Schroeder puts faith in EU todeal with new terror threats

7th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 June 2005, BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Tuesday that German foreign and security policy was increasingly being based on the European Union's own security and defence policies.

7 June 2005

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Tuesday that German foreign and security policy was increasingly being based on the European Union's own security and defence policies.

Addressing a ceremony marking this year's 50th anniversary of the creation of Germany's modern armed forces, he also affirmed his support for conscription to provide the bulk of the armed forces' recruits. There has been debate in Germany on abolishing the draft.

Schroeder stressed that the North Atlantic Alliance grew out of a shared conviction on both sides of the Atlantic and continued to be "in the joint German, European and US interest".

EU security and defence policies were developing into a second basis for German foreign and security policy, he told an audience of ministers, senior military officers and ambassadors.

"This is not meant to replace Nato, but to complement it where that makes sense," he said. "The objective is to give the European Union a greater capacity to act." The EU needed to have military forces available for use, as well as civilian forces such as police.

Schroeder said the political and military challenges had changed in the world since the 11 September 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington. The new threat was "asymmetrical, privatised force arising from civil conflicts and from international terrorism".

The West German Defence Ministry was established on 7 June 1955 and the first 101 servicemen received their warrants five months later on 12 November 1955, the day taken as the official foundation date of the new armed forces.

Nazi Germany's armed forces were dissolved at the surrender in 1945 and West Germany had no official armed forces for a decade.

DPA

Subject: German news

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