Antonio Tajani calls on the European Union to create its own army. In his opinion, this will help maintain peace and prevent conflicts.
In an interview with La Stampa newspaper, the Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani emphasized the need for the European Union to create a European army, considering it one of the most crucial changes to be made.
Why the EU should create its own army: the Italian FM’s opinion
Tajani spoke quite emotionally and metaphorically. He also paraphrased a well-known proverb: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
The European Union is the only existing entity that can protect citizens of Italy, Germany, France, or Slovenia in a world with powerful players such as the United States, China, India, and Russia and with crises from the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific. Therefore, defense and a common army must become concrete facts, he said.
“In a world with powerful players like the United States, China, India, Russia – with crises from the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific – Italian, German, French or Slovenian citizens can only be protected by something that already exists, namely the European Union”.Antonio Tajani, Italian Foreign Minister
According to the Italian minister, there is no room for delay. “If we remain divided, we will always be defenseless sparrows in a world where eagles fly,” he said.
Antonio Tajani calls for reforms not only in EU defense
Antonio Tajani became the head of the Forza Italia (“Forward, Italy!”) party after the death of Silvio Berlusconi. According to Reuters, the elections to the European Parliament in June 2024 will serve as the first indicator of the party’s popularity following the loss of its former charismatic leader.
The minister, representing the party, shared his vision of EU reforms as a representative of a certain political force during the interview.
“For Forza Italia, the first real reform is the one that involves European defense. If we want to be the bearers of peace in the world, we need a European army. And this is a fundamental prerequisite for an effective European foreign policy,” Mr. Tajani said.
The Italian foreign minister is confident that the European nations need to join their forces to “stay in the game.” However, he says that the EU is “ready for peacekeeping, monitoring, and deterrence.”
Another important reform Forza Italia sees is the optimization of the EU’s leadership. In particular, the party is convinced that the European Union should have a single presidency rather than the president of the European Council and the president of the European Commission, as it is now. According to Tajani, the two-headed structure has outlived its usefulness.
“Either Meloni, Salvini and I run or it’s better that no one does. A single leadership for Council and Commission. For Forza Italia impossible agreements with Le Pen”, Antonio Tajani stated.
He meant that in the European Parliament, the right party Forza Italia will not align with French National Rally, led by Marine Le Pen, known for pro-Russian and anti-migration narratives, which is considered to be a far-right force.