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EU Military Attaches to be sent to EU Embassies

In the Defence Sub-Committee of the European Parliament today, Maciej Popowski, the Deputy Secretary General of the EU’s Diplomatic Service (the European External Action Service) which also covers the EU’s Common Security & Defence Policy (CSDP) – described plans to position “CSDP Attachés” in some EU delegations.

In the Defence Sub-Committee of the European Parliament today, Maciej Popowski, the Deputy Secretary General of the EU’s Diplomatic Service (the European External Action Service) which also covers the EU’s Common Security & Defence Policy (CSDP) – described plans to position “CSDP Attachés” in some EU delegations. He said that these would be provided by member states and, at this stage, it was not intended to install a full network of military experts but to provide cover where there seemed to be a demand.

Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, Conservative Defence Spokesman, who has long challenged the need for any EU involvement in defence matters, commented:

“This is another dangerous example of EU mission creep at a time when we want the EU’s tentacles cut back. The ambition is to turn the EU’s 140 overseas delegations and offices into full blown embassies, including military reporting. This can only erode or displace the role of national embassies and add to EU costs.

“As part of the push for more EU integration on the back of the Eurocrisis, there is a drive to give the EU more power in foreign policy and defence. The bill for Baroness Ashton’s folly already runs to £450 million and 3,500 staff. On 1 February, 14 Foreign Ministers (not UK) set out their thoughts on enhancing EU capacity in these areas. This follows last year’s report from more or less the same group which called for “a European Defence Policy which for some could also include a “European army”.

“While CSDP is still largely under control of national governments the direction of travel is very clear – the EU wants to run our foreign and defence policy. The attaché proposal should be seen as yet another warning.”

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