Merkel wants to facilitate arms exports - politics

  • Chancellor Merkel wants uniform European rules for arms exports.
  • In practice this would mean a liberalization of the German arms export policy, which is strict in comparison to France or the United Kingdom.
  • From the coalition partner SPD comes already criticism.

From Daniel Brössler and Paul-Anton Kruger

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has spoken out in favor of arms exports in favor of uniform rules in Europe. In this way, the coalition in Berlin is heading for a new conflict. At the security conference in Munich, Merkel said that "if we do not have a common culture of armaments exports in Europe in view of the planned joint construction of a new fighter aircraft, then the development of common weapons systems is also at risk".

Merkel went on to say that one could not speak of a European army and a common armaments policy if one were not at the same time prepared to adopt a common arms export policy. Similarly, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) said: Berlin is committed to the majority principle in European foreign policy, but one must also recognize that "German maximum positions are not eligible for majority". In arms exports, "we Germans should not pretend that we are more moral than France, or more far-sighted than Great Britain in terms of human rights."

France handles arms deliveries more liberally than Germany

On the other hand said the deputy SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich the South German newspaper, from the Leyen mistaken in derogatory German arms export policy as a moral competition between European countries. "Our principles are the consequence of German history and peace-political convictions." A common European defense industry needs future binding rules. However, these would have to build on yet to be sharpened arms exports. Arms exports to areas of war and tension should generally be banned.

France handles the supply of weapons much more liberal than Germany. A spokesman for the federal government said the two countries had "put in place a first political vote on arms export practices in relation to joint projects and supplies" in January. An intergovernmental agreement between Paris and Berlin on questions of arms exports had not been concluded before the signing of the Aachen Treaty on Franco-German Cooperation.

Germany and France want to develop weapon systems together

The mirror had reported on a "secret supplementary pact" whereby governments would generally object to their respective exports of joint projects, except "in exceptional cases when their direct interests or national security are at risk". Mützenich demanded that national and security reservations should continue to be possible.

Germany and France want the together Future Air Combat System (FCAS), which is to include a sixth-generation fighter jet and also drones. Spain joined the project last week, which is open to further partners. The FCAS should in 2040 the Euro Fighter the Bundeswehr and the Rafale replace the French Air Force.

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