Anyone who said that France was re-joining NATO's military structures with a view to setting up a single, EU military headquarters may well feel vindicated by the words of French Europe Minister Bruno Le Maire this afternoon.
He told a French radio station:
“While it may be a difficult objective, in time we will need to have a single military command for the European Union, a European staff headquarters which could be installed for example in Brussels, and which would allow us to command European operations wherever European security interests are at stake. Today there are three staff headquarters which do that: one in England, one in France, one in Germany. I think it would be more logical, more reasonable and also more economic for public money to have a single operational headquarters.”
He admitted it would be “very difficult” to convince Britain of the need for a single headquarters, which has for years blocked the creation of a proper permanent EU military headquarters, because of the risk of duplicating NATO structures. But, Mr. Le Maire said, with the return of France into the integrated military structures of NATO, “we can no longer be accused (…) of doing it against NATO because we are now fully in NATO.”