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Defence is another addition to the “EU reform” agenda

In debate today with EU Foreign Policy High Representative Mogherini on the main aspects and basic choices for EU Defence Policy and Foreign Policy, ECR Defence Spokesman Geoffrey Van Orden challenged the whole thrust of EU external policy.

In debate today with EU Foreign Policy High Representative Mogherini on the main aspects and basic choices for EU Defence Policy and Foreign Policy, ECR Defence Spokesman Geoffrey Van Orden challenged the whole thrust of EU external policy.
He commented: “In sharing the remorse over the tragic events in Paris last week it is quite wrong yet again to repeat the idea that the answer to every crisis is ‘more Europe’!

“Actually the choice is simple. The EU can continue to expand its role, seeking to promote itself as some sort of global actor in its own right. Or it can focus on a very limited set of tasks where it might actually add value.

“Speaking yesterday in the European Parliament, EU Council President Donald Tusk said that the EU was a “political organisation – a tool, not a destination”.

“But some still cling to the idea of a State called Europe as the EU destination. The way in which the EU’s diplomatic service has developed, employing nearly 4,000 staff, costing €750 million, with 136 “EU embassies”, is precisely part of that drive in the wrong direction towards an integrated European state. Instead, the demand that we hear from many of our citizens and from the British Prime Minister is for an end to “ever closer union”.

“My concerns are especially acute in regard to EU Defence Policy – another supreme example of the EU quest for visibility and erosion of sovereign capabilities of our nations in the most vital and sensitive area of national responsibility. There is no need for the involvement of the EU in military affairs. The idea that the EU will somehow create additional military capabilities from diminishing resources is smoke and mirrors. It will have the opposite effect.

“These are further important areas that will need to be addressed in the eventual negotiations over European reform”.

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