Sun, 03 March 2024
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Germany weighs allowing foreign citizens into the army

Update : 23 Jan 2024, 12:54

A proposal to allow foreign citizens to serve in the German army, known as the Bundeswehr, could be extended to Europeans in countries outside of the EU, a senior German lawmaker told DW.

Free Democratic Party (FDP) member Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, who chairs the German parliament's defense committee, said that she can envision opening up the German army to candidates from across the continent.

She said candidates could initially come from the EU as well as countries like the United Kingdom, a former EU member, as well as neutral Switzerland. But there is also scope beyond these countries.

"I think that Europe also needs to be considered further, namely those who may live in European states but which do not yet belong to the European Union, but which may well be in accession negotiations," Strack-Zimmermann said in an interview with DW's Nina Haase.

"I don't want to tie it down like that, because it has to be legally scrutinized," she added.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius put forward the idea of welcoming non-Germans to enlist in order to combat a drastic shorting in personnel.

In addition to Pistorius from the Social Democrats, the idea has also received support from lawmakers belonging to one of its two coalition partners, the FDP plus the opposition Christian Democratic Union.

However, questions remain about how such a plan would be implemented.


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