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EU 'Defense Identity' Unlikely to Start With 'Real European Army' - Spokesman

© REUTERS / Francois LenoirFlags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016.
Flags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The EU "defense identity" is likely to start taking shape via research and procurement projects rather than the establishment of the bloc's army, spokesman for the European Commission said Tuesday.

"I don't think that this defense identity will start with an EU army and we'll do the rest. We have to start with the rest and we'll see that at some point in time… we may see something that people already describe as a new army or an EU pooling of resources to make this defense identity more visible and more meaningful," the spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters.

Schinas noted that the European Union would start its work on the new defense identity in the areas where the bloc had more experience, such as research, procurement cooperation, "possibilities for EU funding."

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The spokesman's comments follow a statement voiced by French President Emmanuel Macron earlier in the day in an interview to Europe 1 broadcaster that Europe should have a "real European army" to be able to defend itself.

The commission's spokesman noted he would not comment on Macron's recent interview, but added that the French leader's idea of the "stronger Europe that empowers and protects" was "totally compatible" with the work of the European Commission.

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