Ms von der Leyen, who was German defence minister at the time, said in 2015 that a form of EU Army should be a long-term goal for the bloc. She added she was convinced about the goal of a combined military force, just as she was convinced that “perhaps not my children, but then my grandchildren will experience a United States of Europe”. The now-EU boss also said that Germany’s role was to “lead from the centre”.
Ms von der Leyen's words will confirm many fears Brexiteers have about the EU – that the ultimate goal of the bloc is further and further integration into one federalised country.
Her words echoed her predecessor, former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.
Mr Juncker openly called for an EU Army to improve the bloc’s standing on the world stage by having united force to defend its values and borders, and to send a message to Vladimir Putin.
He said: “An Army like this would help us to better coordinate our foreign and defence policies, and to collectively take on Europe’s responsibilities in the world.
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Ursula von der Leyen said in 2015 that she envisages an EU Army and United States of Europe (Image: GETTY)
Former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (Image: GETTY)
“Europe’s image has suffered dramatically and also in terms of foreign policy, we don’t seem to be taken entirely seriously.”
He even implied an EU Army might have changed how Russia dealt with Ukraine.
Mr Juncker insisted such a force would not be used immediately, but to simply muscle-flex in Moscow’s direction.
He said: “A common Army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union.”
Guy Verhofstadt has also advocated for an EU Army (Image: GETTY)
He added it would not be a challenge to NATO’s existing role,