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Brussels sets up defense & space branch as EU wants ‘to complement NATO’

Brussels sets up defense & space branch as EU wants ‘to complement NATO’

The European Union will create a new defense and space arm to help fund, develop and deploy armed forces, the bloc’s incoming chief executive said on Tuesday.

The creation of a defense branch in the European Commission, long resisted by Britain, is an attempt by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to stem a decline in EU influence, as it faces heavy US pressure to do more for its own security, Reuters said.

“The EU will never be a military alliance,” von der Leyen pledged. “But the EU member states have been told many times… that common procurement for their armed forces is of utmost importance.”

According to Von der Leyen, a former German defense minister, the plans would benefit the US-led NATO alliance to which many EU states belong. “NATO will always be [our] collective defense,” she promised.