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Germany's Habeck backs idea of European commissioner for defence

Published March 28,2024

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck on Wednesday said that he supports the idea of a separate European commissioner for defence.

Speaking in Berlin after meeting representatives of the German defence industry, Habeck said he thought that such a role would make sense to coordinate processes between countries.

However, he pointed out that this alone would not mean a common European policy on defence. Habeck pointed out that there is an EU industrial commissioner, but policy in this area continues to be national in nature.

"We only see progress if we get concrete things rolling," Habeck said about defence policy in Europe, which is dealt with by individual nations.

He noted that it is important to "agree on concrete cooperation in procurement, agree on production, promote the same norms, the same standards" and to achieve the greatest possible agreement.

"If we look at Russia, we have to see that we also increase the production of goods that increase the country's security capability in Germany and Europe," he added.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen supported the idea of naming a defence commissioner at the Munich Security Conference in February.

In the European election campaign, Germany's conservative CDU and CSU parties are focussing on massively rearming the European Union, including aircraft carriers and its own missile shield. The parties are also calling for a separate European commissioner for defence.