Germany, France and Poland call for joint �Weimar Battlegroup�

Monsters & Critics (Link) - Deutsche Presse-Agentur (April 27, 2010)

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland called on Tuesday for the establishment by 2013 of a so-called �Weimar Battlegroup,� combining the three countries� military forces, after talks in the German city of Bonn.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and his French and Polish counterparts, Bernard Kouchner and Radek Sikorski, agreed that by combining their military forces in this way, they would set an example for military cooperation across the European Union.

�We want to strengthen the EU�s civil and military capacity to act,� said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, adding that this was the only way the 26-member bloc could meet its international responsibilities.

The EU�s greatest priority was the ability to respond diplomatically to crises around the world, Westerwelle said after this year�s �Weimar Triangle� meeting, named after the town where the annual three-way talks were first held in 1991.

For this reason, Westerwelle stressed the importance of the European diplomatic corps, formally approved in Luxembourg the previous day. However, he warned that the EU had to be prepared to act, if further steps were necessary.

�Next time, we want the EU to be ready to act independently,� Sikorski added in reference to previous EU interventions in Africa.

The Polish foreign minister stressed the importance of setting up the joint Weimar Battlegroup by early 2013, �so it is ready for action the next time there is a serious conflict, God forbid.�

The three countries intended to suggest ways in which joint EU operations could be planned and led in future, combining the civil and military approaches of separate member states.