21 April 2019

Why a European army is not coming soon

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Last week, Dr Trineke Palm (History of International Relations) explained on NOS.nl that a European army would not be established anytime soon. She has already spoken about the same subject in various other Dutch newspapers.

Last week, D66 Member of Parliament Salima Belhaj argued that the Dutch army should be opened to non-Dutch EU citizens. According to her, this should ultimately lead to a joint armed force.

Deployment of Dutch soldiers

Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld are against a European army. They believe that the Netherlands should be able to decide on the deployment of Dutch soldiers. Moreover, Rutte emphasizes, the Netherlands is already working closely with the US and NATO.

European army

Palm understands Rutte's argument about NATO and the US. “If you are committed to those connections, you can see other cooperations as a threat, but NATO and a European army can also reinforce each other”. 

Russian threat

It is not the first time that the discussion about a European armed force has flared up. Seventy years ago, a European army was almost established. "That was against the backdrop of the Korea War and the Russian threat," Palm says.

Trineke Palm 

Dr. Trineke Palm
Dr. Trineke Palm

Trineke Palm is a political scientist and also connected to Institutions for Open Societies - an interdisciplinary research area of Utrecht University focused on the development and expansion of healthy open societies everywhere.