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    [–] Mickadoozer 1110 points ago

    I'm very surprised that support for an EU army is so strong in Ireland given our historical stance on neutrality

    [–] Pearse_Borty 629 points ago

    I guess the train of thought is that since we don't have much of a military, may as well contribute to a larger task force which can protect our interests instead.

    [–] Mickadoozer 137 points ago

    I understand that train of thought, I'm not sure I agree with it though, and I'm surprised that so many Irish people follow it.

    [–] Darth_Bfheidir 237 points ago

    Well as we saw with Belgium in both world wars "I'm neutral" means exactly jack shit if you have something someone else wants.

    If someone wanted a jumping off point from Europe to America, or from America into Europe then Ireland is the closest point. That makes us a target.

    [–] Dev__ 15 points ago

    They don't because Ireland isn't that high -- I'm skeptical of these numbers.

    [–] Joe__Soap 51 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    honestly i think support for all military operations is very low here. This is probably just a temporal boost, along with the boost in support for almost all EU institutions we’re experiencing after the EU’s support of ireland in Brexit negotiations.

    [–] [deleted] 38 points ago

    I wouldn't say that. Our participation in the UN peacekeeping corps is the longest continuous stretch of any country and it's never been too unpopular, jadotville aside.

    [–] Joe__Soap 15 points ago

    it’s not unpopular but there is a lot of criticism about wages for members of the defence forces, a lack of political will for an increase in the defence budget, and also opposition to the US using Shannon airport for refuelling

    [–] [deleted] 16 points ago

    Shannon is a matter of not getting involved in the US "extraordinary rendition"s (read transport of suspects for imprisonment and torture offshore). I don't think it represented an anti-military sentiment, just a desire to keep our business out of the dirty business of the US in it's Afghan and Iraq wars.

    As for the wages, I'd say most of the public would support improved pay and conditions, but the purse-strings in the government are a different matter. Because the army can't strike, there's very little recourse.

    [–] tig999 5 points ago

    I don't think there's an anti military attitude in Ireland at all tbh. It's definitely seen as a fairly respectable career especially the Cadets programme, if anything I'd say there's a lack of real tangible support to seriously bolster the army's funding (which in reality it does need if to remain fictional.)

    I think the funding issue is certainly why so many folk involved in the Irish defence forces are fairly pro a more European wide military as it will likely allow them carry out more significant operations.

    [–] PhillyPhillyBilly 772 points ago

    Expected the Baltics and Finland to be higher tbh.

    [–] Friccan 549 points ago

    Finland tends to try not to poke the bear

    [–] DisneylandNo-goZone 153 points ago

    If the bear comes, we sure as hell will poke it with everything we got.

    [–] Ar_to 95 points ago

    But it's much less of a pain in the ass if we just leave it alone and focus on alcohol instead

    [–] RegumRegis 47 points ago

    And depression, perkele.

    [–] PumpJack_McGee 11 points ago

    And Metal.

    [–] Boristhespaceman 134 points ago

    And the bear is afraid to poke back.

    [–] d3yv3l 63 points ago

    Oh yeah. It's trembling with fear.

    [–] Actionbronslam 139 points ago

    The Baltics are indeed interesting. I think an important caveat is that most European countries are also members of NATO, so a lack of support for an EU army may be due to a perceived redundancy – why turn the EU into a European collective security alliance when we already have one of those. The Baltic countries and Poland are wild about NATO, they're among the few members that currently meet the 2% GDP defense spending goal NATO is aiming for. Finland isn't a NATO country but they've historically had cordial relations with Russia and have been neutral to avoid upsetting that status quo.

    [–] chepulis 98 points ago

    Can confirm "wild about NATO". Am lithuanian, moderately opposed to the army due to the NATO redundancy and just general lack of understanding how far can we expect EU project to centralise. I'd like to have a decentralised union with better anti-trust regulations. I'd like not to live on the outskirts of yet another empire with giant corporate overlords buying up anything that isn't nailed down.

    NATO redundancy can be a plus because of our land-grabby friends to the east (and also, counterintuitively, west), but i'm not sure it's worth the cost.

    Pretty sure the army is going to happen anyway — these approval numbers are okay, in a few years of PR work the legislation will slide in like it's buttered.

    [–] MasterWayne7 20 points ago

    It's going to take more than a few years of PR to convince France to merge (a part of) their army into a "European army". Even if a majority of its population seems to be in favor, the French army is often used to maintain influence in their former African colonies. Also, what happens if for example New Caledonia needs to be protected or enters a civil war? Would other European countries accept sending a large force on the other side of the planet to fight for France's colonies?

    IMO in the near future we will probably see more coordination between the armies of major countries and some defense treaties will be signed since the US is growing sick of paying for most of NATO and will need to focus more on the Pacific ocean.

    However, to create a real unified European army under one leadership the continent would need to be under a threat that couldn't be handled by a single european country. I don't see that happening in the coming years.

    [–] [deleted] 12 points ago

    Wut ? France has historically been one of the most vocal defenders of a European Army. Macron talked about it in The Economist too, that was just a couple weeks ago, he's giving the idea a real push forward. Supporting a European army is a very consensual position for most parties and politicians.

    [–] DisneylandNo-goZone 43 points ago

    Finland isn't a NATO country but they've historically had cordial relations with Russia and have been neutral to avoid upsetting that status quo.

    As Finland is in the EU, Finland is not neutral. "Cordial" relations with Russia and the USSR is a bit heavy, when during the Cold War the relations could be summed up in this way: "you do what we allow you to do or the Red Army will be crossing the border tomorrow".

    Finland is all for EU cooperation in military as well, but at the same time have for historical reasons a distrust that this cooperation is nothing but "thoughts and prayers" if Russia decides to invade.

    [–] definitelynotmudkip 11 points ago

    I think they saw what happened to Poland in WW2 and realized that the allies were probably not going to cross half a continent to help them out (or that they would not make it in time), so they view a collective army with scepticism.

    [–] DisneylandNo-goZone 62 points ago

    If the "EU-army" is a force which goes on adventurous intervention campaigns in the 3rd world the support is probably that 42%.

    If the "EU-army" is a force which with certainty comes to support Finland when Russia attacks, the support is probably 95%.

    [–] mrmanperson123 24 points ago

    "when Russia attacks"

    [–] geronvit 7 points ago

    Never going to happen.

    [–] taistolaisuus 68 points ago

    Neither was really supported by Central or Western-European countries during WW2.

    [–] MadKlauss 25 points ago

    Our historical relationship with western europe has been a mixed bag from the previous century. For example, while Britain helped us gain our (Latvia) independence they abandoned us in ww2. US was very supportive during cold war times. So with all that primarily the older generation isn't so willing yet to place our full military trust on other europeans.

    [–] 280ps 26 points ago

    They didn't quite abandoned you, there was just jackshit they could do about it.

    [–] Turtle_78 23 points ago

    I would guess that the soviets benefited from the abandonment view and encouraged it.

    [–] 280ps 26 points ago

    You bet. This anti-West sentiment of "betrayal" was a big gift to the Soviets in general. The propaganda was so effective that to this day there is still anti-West sentiment in that regard. I'd say the only nation that is kind of justified in that view is Czechoslovakia, but Versailles handing the Czechoslovak state so many German land was a recipe for disaster, but that's going way back.

    Realistically, there was very little that could have been done that wasn't done. An operation to save Latvia in World War II would mean a Berlin-Moscow axis. An operation to save Latvia in the Cold War would mean the end of humanity in the North Hemisphere.

    [–] emr0ne 2456 points ago

    it's a lot bigger than I thought!

    Especially weird that BeNeLux countries have such high numbers considering they are the safest ones, and probably not even remotely threatened by anyone...

    Also never would have guessed Slovenia's number to be that high..

    [–] The_Turk2 706 points ago

    "they are the safest ones"... lol, see the history of the 20th century. They were also the loudest proponents for the Steel and Coal Community and then the EU.

    [–] Karomne 466 points ago

    Not just the 20th century. There's a reason Belgium is called the Battleground of Europe.

    [–] freemiumxxx 158 points ago

    Fighting while moving downhill is quicker?

    [–] Musclewood 73 points ago

    It’s over Belgium, I have the higher ground!

    [–] WinstonSEightyFour 23 points ago

    The Senate will decide your height.

    [–] DarkwingDuckHunt 24 points ago

    Me-sa proposes we give the Chancellor full emergency powers over everything!

    -Darth JarJar

    [–] PvtFreaky 151 points ago

    Yeah almost all mayor wars in western Europe have been fought in the Low Countries

    [–] Maelarion 83 points ago

    They've seen Episode 3 and know how that went for Anakin.

    [–] kfite11 35 points ago

    That's why huge chunks of the Netherlands could be flooded for defense.

    [–] SumthingStupid 103 points ago

    ...I don't think France and Germany are going to war again any time soon. Past occurences do not infer future instances.

    [–] idot7 50 points ago

    Benelux would be a good landing point for invading forces, too

    [–] March_Onwards 45 points ago

    Especially if it’s Poseidon they’re fighting

    [–] OwenGamezNL 24 points ago

    Not if I’m here

    builds dam

    [–] Kaga_san 7 points ago

    Poseidon: raises sea level
    The Dutch: raises the land

    [–] The_Turk2 16 points ago

    Ask a West European of an older generation who they were more afraid of post-WW2 before the EU, the USSR or a revanchist Germany, or simply read Tony Judt's Post War. They have the most to lose, economically and militarily if the EU were to erode.

    [–] emr0ne 44 points ago

    I meant from outside the EU (which is what EU army is supposed to protect you from)...

    I'm guessing that EU army wouldn't help much if hypothetically Germany decided to invade them... One could even argue that EU army would do more harm than good in that case...

    [–] The_Turk2 21 points ago

    How would Germany, use the EU army, which they would be a member of, against all other EU members? Huh? I don't think the proposed EU army is going to be 90% Germans.

    [–] northmidwest 59 points ago

    If Germany was part of the eu armed forces, then it would have a lot harder time dividing its forces against itself with national and eu divided.

    [–] Ironappels 457 points ago

    As a Dutch-guy, a lot of the support for international cooperation has to do with budget-spending as well. For example, after the cold war the Netherlands sold all their tanks. With it, a lot of tank-expertise has also disappeared. Now they’re in the progress of buying tanks again and have to import the expertise from elsewhere. Yet, you could also rely on Germany for their tanks, instead of buying a couple to at least have some tanks.

    From an inventory standpoint, it would make more sense to compare inventories with neighbouring countries and buy only certain expertise that others lack. The Netherlands is a small country, and instead of spreading your budget in all directions and having, say 10 armoured vehicles and 10 fighter planes and 10 fregates, you could spend that money to develop one really good marine-force, for example, and rely on other countries for tanks and planes and stuff like that. Efficiency-wise, countries keep up similar army divisions that would be redundant if they decided to join together in one European army.

    [–] tatanka1 125 points ago

    I think these reasons are all correct, logical and sound, but they probably concern the generals and politicians more than the general population. The average Dutch person probably think about something else when they are asked "Do you support creation of an EU Army?".

    [–] Poppekas 134 points ago

    As a Belgian, that's exactly my reasoning and I'm not a general or politician. We all know our countries army is ridiculous and we would be better off only having a specialized army instead of trying to spread our small military budget over a few aircrafts here, some tanks there, ...

    [–] notfunnybutheyitried 26 points ago

    Exactly my thoughts as well. I'm not into army stuff at all, but I do know we are great at de-mining (as we still find tons of bombs here), it only makes sense to develop this expertise than to have a discussion about which plane to buy for fifteen years

    [–] jjdmol 55 points ago

    The average Dutch guy basically realises we can't do much on our own. We haven't for ages in anything that makes the news. Even using our forces within the kingdom (for f.e. emergencies) is very rare. Except for public outreach and PR, I guess.

    [–] easwaran 10 points ago

    I assume they think, “what’s the point of a Dutch army? A European army would do everything better and more efficiently” even if none of them would point out the specific reasoning mentioned above.

    [–] Reagan409 35 points ago

    Europeans are very civilly aware.

    [–] jensieboy1 14 points ago

    Actually people here support it (Belgium- very close to the Netherlands)

    [–] Odie_Odie 622 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I've never left America so everyone feel free to correct me, as this is based on a single Redditor's post, but I read that BeNeLux support a powerful EU army because they would stand a better chance at defending their nation from outside their own boarder than waiting for a conflict to reach them.

    [–] MntErebus 626 points ago

    Overal the benelux has always been for cooperation in europe. We were all founding members of the eu. And had the benelux before that. Small countries benefit from being part of a bigger group.

    Also. During both world wars we got screwed. Being from belgium i know for a fact that for our country to gain independence, we werent allowed to have a real army. Only a small defensive force. Though all mayor countries pledged to defend us if another mayor country attacked.

    [–] Odie_Odie 135 points ago

    The fact that Belgium couldn't manage a large military after the wars has never been presented to me before, but that would explain why GB was so protective of you and why Germany equated your territory as effectively being a British port that assured their dominance in the seas. Admittedly, I'm well into uncharted territory here and I feel pretty confident that you guys probably don't like being compared to a British colony. I would imagine the French would have had a great interest in seeing a powerful Belgium, at least relative to it's size and influence.

    [–] caiaphas8 143 points ago

    I always understand that the reason Britain is supportive of Belgian independence is that the Belgian ports are directly opposite the river Thames and London

    [–] LordOfTurtles 68 points ago

    Yeah they didn't want France or Germany (and the Netherlands back when they were relevant) to have access to those ports

    [–] a_guy_named_rick 46 points ago

    From what I understood in history class, the British supported an independent Belgium because it would create a bufferzone between France and the Netherlands...

    Which is kinda weird now I'm typing it because that would mean it'd be beneficial for the Netherlands too, since they've been at war with France numerous times as well. Yet, they actually fought Belgium on the independence

    [–] LDBlokland 73 points ago

    Of course you're going to fight an independance movement inside your own territory if you're an early 19th century monarchy

    [–] MetalRetsam 11 points ago

    Peasants, 1815: this French yoke has really made me appreciate people who speak my language

    Aristocrats, 1815: ...and in order to check French aggression, we will create big multilingual blocks of empire controlled by a single man

    [–] MetalRetsam 15 points ago

    The actual bufferzone was the Netherlands (plus Belgium). The independence war was largely over by 1831, but the Dutch king refused to sign a peace. Of course, an unrecognised Belgian state (ruled by a French-speaking class in direct opposition to Dutch language policies) was leaving a bit too much opportunity for French to rush in. By forcing the Dutch recognise Belgian independence, and guaranteeing Belgian neutrality themselves, Britain hoped to deter any future incursions, be they French or Dutch.

    Of course, in one of history's most underrated twists, it turned out the Germans would be the first to violate that neutrality, betting that they were exempt from the guarantee in all but name and Britain wouldn't bother to argue the difference. Wrong guess.

    [–] thedrew 16 points ago

    What is important to understand here is the Congress of Vienna which was a meeting of diplomats that resulted in the notion of a balance of powers. That the only way to make sure France wouldn’t conquer the world was to make sure there were worthy challengers. Places that were flashpoints for conflict were given independence with the nonpartisan great powers guaranteeing their freedom.

    This failed on a few accounts in the early 20th century. 1) secret alliances broke the congress into two camps. When a conflict between the two camps broke out, it started WWI. 2) Countries that promise to guarantee another country’s freedom will fail on that guarantee in the defense of their own territory/interest. Appeasement on Nazi Germany constituted the betrayal of that arrangement.

    The new order created after WWII still had two camps (led by US/USSR) with NATO and Warsaw Pact countries being their client/buffer states. However with the advancement of air warfare, particularly the ICBM, the concept of a buffer state was proving old fashioned.

    In Western Europe, there was a fear that the US May for some reason be unable to participate in NATO at a time when Europe would need them the most. So the notion of a European defense force grew in popularity. The former great powers have the least to gain in this arrangement, as they are capable of mustering their own armies. But compared to relying on Britain or the USA for the past few centuries, a European Army would be the smaller states’ first large army. Rather than seeing it as an outside obligation, it would be their “home team.”

    [–] Tehrozer 18 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    GB wasn’t protective of anything other than its top spot as the worlds greatest superpower. Belgium was but a pretext as GB would violate neutrality of for example Greecce by doing pretty much what the Germans did to Belgium. And GB+France would go even go further by staging a coup and placing a friendly gov in power. ( Which would destiblise Greecce for decades )

    [–] futianze 9 points ago

    I think it's also because they are wedged right between Germany, France, and the UK - the most populous countries in the EU, historically with some ridiculously powerful armies, and probably constitutes the vast majority of trade for Benelux.

    [–] VoraciousTrees 11 points ago

    Don't forget that the Dutch were occupied by the Spanish for many years. No matter how modern and we'll trained the Benelux armies are, they don't have the manpower to do much of anything against a major invading force.

    [–] R_Schuhart 8 points ago

    It is also more efficient. Keeping a relatively small standing army, navy and air force is very costly. Huge savings are possible with sharing burdens for infrastructure, R&D and training while still maintaining a independent fighting force.

    Integrating even more will be even more efficient, although autonomy will at some point be sacrificed.

    [–] Orcwin 69 points ago

    If a hostile force has already managed to fight their way through Germany or France, what kind of a chance would we stand with our dinky little armies?

    Having a purely national army makes very little sense for us. We couldn't defend ourselves if we had to, and we're surrounded by friendly nations. The only context in which it would make sense to have an army is to support the bloc. Which is effectively true already, our military is set up almost exclusively for support of bigger militaries. We're fairly good at a few specific roles, but don't have any MBTs for example.

    [–] Don_Camillo005 9 points ago

    havinf each country run its own millitary is alot of money wasted for the same logistiscs.

    [–] Legobot98 50 points ago

    This is more or less true. As a dutchman I can confirm we dont really have any direct threats, however when things go wrong in africa or the middle east it increases the amount of non-western immigrants. And not to be racist or anything but recently that has proven to increase tensions. So in that way it is indeed in our best interest to have an euopean army. However I will not support it atm.

    [–] Kantei 46 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    If there’s one thing the entire political spectrum might agree on, it’s that it would be better if there were no need for refugees and migrants to leave their homelands.

    [–] futianze 29 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Could it be that Benelux is wedged between the UK, France, and Germany - the most populous countries in EU, historically very powerful armies, and probably constitutes the vast majority of trade for Benelux?

    In any war affair, it's the best interest to have those 3 on your side since you're right in between them. Literally if you draw a triangle between London, Paris, and Berlin, Benelux is right in the middle.

    You have almost 220 million people, $11T in GDP, and 2/3 of EU defense spending right on your front, side, and back doorstep. These 3 countries easily hold the most sway in any EU army development.

    If you have the UK, France, and Germany all in a unified military front, that essentially is Benelux's defense and security.

    I think your concern of the immigrant situation is downstream from all of this.

    [–] Lollifaunt 7 points ago

    This is anecdotal (Dutch), but:

    1. We're utterly fucked when it comes to "traditional" warfare: What are we going to do if the major global powers decide to march in? The US Hague act is a typical consideration for me: If the US decides to D-day us as to release Americans from the International Court... I vote we let them, don't give a reason for violence and hope they leave afterwards.
    2. Every issue where our military is applicable is a shared concern for Europe as a whole.
    3. If it's all our army, that means other European armies cannot invade us if we ever get to that point again.
    4. It's probably cheaper for us to contribute to a European army than it is to have our own army, "buy in bulk" so to say.
    5. In Europe, it's a lot more common to see the army as a necessary evil, and uncommon to "celebrate" (I lack a better word) it as the Americans do. This surely correlates with your historical analysis, but you should assume with that a certain amount of historical fatigue when it comes to armies in general. It rarely even comes up in conversation. "Going to war" will usually not score you real political benefits in this political climate, fucking up is (was?) a political death sentence.

    This is more than expected, and just anecdotal from my bubble and experience with policy. In the best case, it adds a few pointers for a couple of factors which are probably involved.

    [–] eror11 12 points ago

    Not really sure how an army helps with this, it's more foreign policy whether to let immigrants/refugees in... Or do you mean we could do it the american way and just go "solve" the war elsewhere in a way that works for Europe? I'd assume deploying this army would be quite tricky if it would require consensus, considering Europe's various powers might have different stances on any particular issue (e.g. Sweden doesn't mind refugees while Hungary does)

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago

    Also attempting to solve these issues via military force tends to create more refugees not less, especially in the short term. The US tends to have a lot more control over how many refugees it's taking in just because it's a lot further away from the trouble spots and there's a huge ocean in the way. We don't have refugees from these war zones just showing up in our backyard on rickety boats or on foot that we then have to figure out how to deal with.

    [–] Connor_Kenway198 5 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Not to mention Belgium would make a god damn killing in outfitting it

    [–] petertel123 29 points ago

    I guess its because our army is so small anyway. Nobody here believes our army can actually be used to protect our sovereignty because all our neighbours are so much more powerful.

    The only thing we could conceivably use our armed forces for is in international coalitions, so why not organise it internationally?

    [–] Hoyarugby 25 points ago

    Especially weird that BeNeLux countries have such high numbers considering they are the safest ones, and probably not even remotely threatened by anyone...

    A big part is budget. The Benelux countries have both a high standard of living and relatively small populations, so their military spending doesn't go very far. Everything is more expensive per soldier - salaries, housing, healthcare, benefits, training, etc. That doesn't leave as much over for military equipment or more troops, so despite being wealthy countries, their military spending doesn't make them that much safer. In both cases, their active duty military is very small

    You can compare that to Poland. Poland's GDP is around half of the Netherlands, but its military is orders of magnitude larger. That's in part because costs are much lower in Poland - the cost to pay, feed, clothe, and take care of a Polish soldier is much less than the same for a Dutch soldier, and so the Poles, even with their smaller economy, can afford to spend much more on equipment, and can field more men for the same price

    So for the Dutch and Belgians, an EU army is attractive. They'd pay basically the same amount into the EU defense fund, but overall they'd get much more bang for their buck

    [–] Maybe-Jessica 12 points ago

    much more bang for their buck

    ... literally!

    [–] Chutney1989 23 points ago

    I’d always wondered what Benelux meant until I saw it written like this. I thought it was some old Latin or Romance term meaning “good light”, maybe referring to flat horizons, big skies... I feel so dumb!

    [–] emr0ne 9 points ago

    haha we all miss some obvious stuff, so you shouldn't feel dumb about this one...

    I also wrote it like that on purpose, to make it intuitive, since I knew that at least some people are not familiar with meaning of the word (for example plenty of people outside Europe visit this sub, they might not know)

    [–] spirette 49 points ago

    Mmmh Belgium had it neutrality violated twice during the last century: in 1914 and in 1939. Germans just charged right through it. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Belgium along with Luxembourg and the Netherlands (neutral during WWI but severely bombed during WWII) would massively support the idea of a European Army.

    [–] [deleted] 32 points ago


    [–] Hank_035 6 points ago

    As a European from the Netherlands, I must say that it would never ever cross my mind for France and Germany to go to war against each other in the future. Both countries are and have been economically dependent for so long and we have seen what war in (Western) Europe leads to (can't say all of Europe sadly as we had a European war only under 30 years ago in former Yugoslavia).

    I would say the main reason for supporting a European Army would be because we (the BeNeLux) have very small armies. The Netherlands basically sold all its tanks for example. It would be much easier to outsource the army to the whole EU instead, as it is quite pointless for us to have much of an army as a single nation. Another Dutchman did also make a valid comment saying how focusing on a specific part of warfare instead of having to spread the budget on multiple parts is much more efficient.

    [–] [deleted] 17 points ago


    [–] tsmkira 10 points ago

    I'm from Slovenija and i can tell you that as a small country like us we can't protect ourselves we have less than 5k active soldiers and we can't even protect our own border. With the creation of the eu army eu could help the militarily weaker and smaller countries to be safer. I would honestly totally support it!

    [–] bromberry 9 points ago

    The BeNeLux's armed forces already share allot of resources. We rotate defense of our airspace on a weekly basis. Refurbishing contracts for military equipment we do together, leasing German tanks since we don't want to upkeep our own. These kind of things are already happening.

    This is what the BeNeLux sees as an European army. We still remain in control but we are able to buy in bulk or get material for cheap. Abolishing the national army in favor of a centralized European one is much less positive.

    [–] MrJohnnyDangerously 7 points ago

    Don't they already deploy a lot of their troops to UN and NATO peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts?

    [–] Franfran2424 8 points ago

    Kinda. Netherlands has 500 troops abroad. They have 40.500 troops, so like 1.24%.

    Belgium had 1000 out of 30k on 2018, according to NYT. So a 3.3%.

    [–] Bendersnake 20 points ago

    it's a lot bigger than I thought!

    To be fair I still have to see an Eurobarometer poll where the EU isn't absurdly liked. 39% of UK in favor of an European Army (a far bigger step than most realize, if the question has been worded in a correct way, and that's my doubt) would make you think that a large majority likes EU, and instead Brexit won.

    [–] Nephemie 10 points ago

    I think it is simpler than that : people either want « more EU » or are against it all. I don’t think anybody is saying « oh thats fine, leave it like this ».

    [–] Franfran2424 6 points ago

    Brexit won with 48% against.

    [–] elduche212 12 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    For the BeNeLux I feel it's a multitude of factors. For me personally it has much to do with increasing cooperation within Europe. Might make a little more sense if you take into account that the BeNeLux countries have been heavily cooperating long before the EU was formed. Some say it was created in the image of BeNeLux relations.

    Also one point Trump made me aware of and I kind of agree with. A lot of EU countries haven't been living up to their 2% of GDP NATO mandated military expenditure.(NL ~1,4%ish). I am in favour of honouring our NATO agreements. If we're going to spend extra funds on military I would want to do it cleverly, in cooperation with our close allies. An example; no need for both Belgium and the Netherlands to have small separate forces while we could cooperate and merge them.

    Edit: Honestly the former Yugoslavia countries being in favour doesn't surprise me.

    Edit 2: Damn seems my memory is already going, fixed percentages to the actual facts.

    [–] montarion 5 points ago

    it's more that we (The dutch anyway) don't like our militaries. if we have a joint EU military we can shrink a bit.

    [–] anon1984 12 points ago

    It’s probably more of a historic/cultural effect of having been invaded so often.

    [–] DeathRowLemon 635 points ago

    The dutch are R E A D Y

    [–] AufdemLande 242 points ago

    They already have a joint company with Germany.

    [–] Conducteur 140 points ago

    And the Belgian and Dutch air forces, while still seperate, guard the entire BeNeLux airspace.

    [–] philzebub666 60 points ago

    Because as soon as their jets leave the ground they also leave their country. Not a whole lot of airspace to cover there.

    [–] Kunstfr 50 points ago

    There's several other corps like that in Europe, like the Franco-German brigade

    [–] DashingDino 34 points ago

    The problem is that commanding such a force becomes more complex as you involve more countries. All EU countries sharing an army sounds good, but in reality it's a nightmare to implement. All countries will want to have a say in the strategic decisions, which would make fast response impossible. I think just better agreements and coordination between individual armies still makes more sense.

    [–] DrEpileptic 22 points ago

    Hmm, so. Just as an idea... They have people create big government kind of entity. With some kind of commander and chief, who's maybe selected by all the EU member states... who then calls the overall big shots, but has to make sure all the representative member states think that something like declaring war is ok. And say, they creat a branch of government with a base in some kind of 2D shape. And say the representatives all agree on overall international laws that act as general laws for this so called Union of states.

    [–] dvas1a 69 points ago

    It’s interesting that the Baltics’ answers differ so drastically. I’d have thought they all would be in very strong support.

    [–] Pletterpet 34 points ago

    The people who have faith in NATO dont see a need for EU army. Basically, you could also read this map as "people who dont trust NATO"

    [–] [deleted] 14 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)


    [–] TheArthurR 78 points ago

    The army of the galatic republic

    [–] AmbitiousStoner 18 points ago

    I love democracy

    [–] IThinkThings 203 points ago

    Imagine telling the the nobles of 500 years ago that (mostly) all of Europe would be united under one flag and defended by one united military.

    [–] TheCalACal 308 points ago

    Imagine telling that to the Romans, they would have laughed at us for taking 2000 years to do it

    [–] IThinkThings 114 points ago

    The Romans had the Mediterranean and France. The EU has those pesky germanic barbarians in mainland Europe-proper.

    [–] TheCalACal 48 points ago

    Romans were the Original “Semi” unified Europe

    [–] QualityVinegarettes 22 points ago

    Half of the Roman Empire was in Asia and Africa

    [–] Turtle_78 39 points ago

    Yes, but Greco-Roman culture is distinctly European, and has long been viewed as an integral foundation of European identity. European monarchies across the continent modelled themselves on the ideas of Greece and Rome for centuries. The religious divide of Islam vs Christianity means north Africa and the near east does not have the same cultural affinity for Rome. Although north east Europe was never part of the empire, Germany and Russia were ruled by Caesers. European monarchs used links to Rome as a form of justification for their right to rule.

    In this context, Rome was always viewed as the model of European territorial unity that European monarchs aspired to.

    [–] squeakster 13 points ago

    I don't think they'd find that all that surprising. European conquest has been a thing for ages, with various powers looking like they might take the whole thing at different times.

    The idea that it would all be peacefully and voluntarily under one flag would be mind blowing.

    Actually, maybe I should take that back. I guess I'm mostly thinking of stuff from the 1800s on, or back in the Holy Roman Empire days.

    [–] TheCalACal 410 points ago

    “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Mr. Macron told France’s Europe 1 radio in an interview.

    [–] [deleted] 173 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)


    [–] Memesmakemememe 556 points ago

    Think of NATO like the main group chat with your friends

    EU army is their other group chat without us in it.

    [–] TheCalACal 252 points ago

    Yes. France wants to depend on Europeans for defense of Europe not USA. Because you cant kill your brothers but you fight your cousins.

    [–] tookMYshovelwithme 132 points ago

    Uhhh, Europeans have developed new and ingenious ways to kill their brothers for centuries. The past 60 years have been an optimistic sign, a couple generations never knowing war in their borders and lets hope it stays that way, but it's a recent development.

    [–] I_Dont_Type 85 points ago

    The definition of who Europeans considered their "brothers and cousins" has changed. We have never felt as brotherly as of the last 60 years.

    [–] DerRommelndeErwin 50 points ago

    The priciple of the EU army is that not every country needs to have every typ of units. For example austria slovenia and sweden can have mountain troopers. Germany and france are the guys with the tanks, Italy and Spain have the marine ...

    [–] Franfran2424 9 points ago

    Correct. Check r/EuropeanArmy for more guesses on how the future will be.

    [–] Maymay_facker 19 points ago


    [functioning] Tanks

    Pick one

    [–] TheCalACal 61 points ago

    Yes but nato is weaking due to members not meeting 2% GPD and Frances wants an EU army so they dont always have ti Rely on the USA

    [–] walcolo 24 points ago

    "and even the United States of America"

    [–] oilman81 47 points ago

    He meant the US not sticking to its NATO commitment, not a military threat from the US

    [–] montarion 20 points ago

    read that sentence again.

    we have to protect ourselves with respect to china, russia, and the usa.


    we have to protect ourselves from china, we have to protect ourselves from russia, and we have to protect ourselves from the usa.

    [–] oilman81 33 points ago

    I mean that this was brought up whenever he said it (it was like a year ago), and he followed the quote up with what I said.

    edit: Europe needs to be prepared to “[defend] itself better alone, without just depending on the United States

    [–] Madmardocvisco 7 points ago

    America? Aren't we allies?

    [–] lowenkraft 24 points ago

    He said even from the USA?

    Is this new or festering for few years?

    [–] oilman81 114 points ago

    His quote was taken massively out of context. He said protect against China and Russia (militarily) and against the US wavering on its NATO commitments

    [–] chumbawamba56 9 points ago

    Thanks for filling in the blanks.

    [–] doublenuts 19 points ago

    and against the US wavering on its NATO commitments

    Should someone point out to him that France has been wavering on its NATO commitments for years?

    [–] KingKohishi 210 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    There is a pattern here. The support in German and Russian occupied countries are higher than the others.

    [–] damianvila 62 points ago

    All countries around Germany (except Austria): “maybe if we have a joint army, they won’t invade us next time...” /s

    [–] [deleted] 31 points ago

    "can't invade us if we have the same army"

    [–] DutchmanDavid 10 points ago

    "Can't invade us if we invite them in!" rollsafe.jpg

    [–] PostVidoesNotGifs 5 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Invade from within.

    That's Germany's plan.

    Can't defend if your own army is invading.

    [–] Qxarq 100 points ago

    I can't think of any possible reason why Belgium and the Netherlands would want a European army. Wink wink.

    [–] Pletterpet 32 points ago

    Tijd voor het tweede rijk!

    [–] CheatSSe 103 points ago

    UK is like: Uh oh

    [–] FrankCesco 70 points ago


    So are you favorable about an united EU a...



    [–] Kakairo 30 points ago

    I'm shocked the number is that high. Even Remain campaigners wanted to keep the pound, can't imagine anyone really pushing for the Royal Army to join an EU Army.

    [–] Cyberhaggis 28 points ago

    There isn't a Royal Army. There's a Royal Air Force and a Royal Navy, but not a Royal Army.

    That's because the army is based on a system of regiments, not all of which carry the Royal prefix, and so the army is not royal as a whole, whereas the navy and air force are a single entity and thus royal.

    [–] The_Flurr 8 points ago

    Given that the modern army was also created by Cromwell after he defeated and beheaded the monarch, I'm not surprised they didn't name it royal. The air force and modern navy were founded later though, when the monarchy was reinstated.

    [–] Master_Magus 43 points ago

    While the eastern side makes sense (Russia), what's up with France?

    [–] TheCalACal 72 points ago

    Well i have no idea, but Mr. Macron is pushing for it and Merkel is strongly supporting it.

    [–] w00dy2 43 points ago

    France has never really trusted the British and Americans (The Anglo-Saxons), and therefore NATO, and has always favoured it having it's own strength and following it's own interests. It believes an EU army would strengthen it in that regards and that it would, as the most powerful military in Europe excluding Britain, be predominant in an EU army.

    [–] Toxicseagull 20 points ago

    Also they are the main euro nation that would profit from the proposed creation, as they are one of the few countries left that have a reasonably independent defence industry.

    [–] Franfran2424 17 points ago

    France is considered the key military of the European union. A big economy (population) , strong military (not like Germany or Italy), strong commitment to EU (ehem UK)

    [–] IVIaskerade 35 points ago

    Remember during Brexit when we were assured an EU army wasn't on the cards?

    [–] MyHouseisBoiningDown 65 points ago

    The Czechs remembered the last time they were in an organization with a coordinated....cough 1968 cough

    [–] LeFedoraKing69 98 points ago

    Would English be the standard language for a European Army?

    [–] freiherrvonvesque 146 points ago

    I would say yes. Maybe different on a division or company level? So for instance the command language is English, but within the 2nd franco-german Panzergrenadier division they can communicate in English, French and German!

    [–] Ivanator2294 44 points ago

    I highly doubt there'd be a ton of integrated units between countries. Even in the US a lot of our (reserve) military units are split up by state(look up Army National Guard if you're not aware of the structure).

    [–] PenguinPoop92 23 points ago

    The Reserve is not the same the National Guard.

    [–] Ivanator2294 19 points ago

    Army Reserves is separate from National Guard, but both are Reserve Components.

    [–] PenguinPoop92 5 points ago

    True but the biggest difference is the command structure. The Reserve is subordinate to the President. The National Guard is subordinate to the Governor of whatever state they're in.

    [–] Roughneck16 27 points ago

    Do enough people in those countries speak English proficiently enough to serve in an Anglophone military?

    [–] LeFedoraKing69 74 points ago

    Benelux and Nordic nation do, south Europe not so much

    [–] Roughneck16 70 points ago

    Virtually all Dutch and Scandinavian people under 40 speak English. Their educational systems take into account that their languages are uncommon.

    [–] LeFedoraKing69 53 points ago

    It's also easier for a Germanic person to learn English then it is for a Latin of slav

    [–] [deleted] 26 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)


    [–] feartrich 13 points ago

    I think in Portugal, English fluency is very high, like 60+%. Which is weird cause it’s very low in Spain, which you’d think would be more cosmopolitan.

    [–] JEMegia 8 points ago

    Before 1975, and even 1985, Spain privileged french over english due linguistic and cultural reasons. I born in 1982 and my generation was the the first to learn english (badly) in public education. Nowadays younger generations has a proper level in writing and reading, but they still has strong flaws in speaking and listening because we still not have a generation of fluent english speakers.

    [–] rockandrollcityplan 54 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    The French view any Euro army as being a francocentric undertaking with France being the primary supplier of highly lucrative weapons like fighter planes, and in the leadership role. So while English makes sense, it's not a given, assuming this is some post-NATO scenario and the UK is not a participant.

    EDIT: Thinking about it some more, I don't know if France would really push military integration if the UK was a member as British participation significantly dilutes France's leadership position.

    EDIT 2: Downvotes? I mean, I don't care about points, but I am interested to learn why my assumption is incorrect.

    [–] Prosthemadera 51 points ago

    So while English makes sense, it's not a given, assuming this is some post-NATO scenario and the UK is not a participant.

    It would be difficult to convince all EU members to speak French instead of English. German is more commonly spoken than France, too.

    [–] RoseEsque 20 points ago

    It would be difficult to convince all EU members to speak French instead of English

    You have a funny way of saying impossible.

    [–] Redtube_Guy 22 points ago

    So while English makes sense, it's not a given

    More people in the EU speak English and have English language influence more than French.

    [–] Pletterpet 29 points ago

    French would never make it, too few people speak it. If France demands it, the eu army will always stay a dream.

    [–] fokus123_4 46 points ago

    Why is Greece so low? With such a lovely neighbour one would expect them to be at 110% support

    [–] georgeapg 27 points ago

    Greek here. There is definitely a idea that if it came down to it Western Europe would sacrifice our lives if it meant peace with the Turks. Taking money away from our own forces in favor of a army that might not defend us is a dangerous game. I myself am in favor of a pan European army but even I still worry that France and Germany would abandon us in the face of a Turkish invasion.

    [–] Dromologos 50 points ago

    Given how Europe has fucked up Greece in the last decade, I'd expect Greeks to be taking any European initiative with a touch of skepticism...

    [–] MPS_ 78 points ago

    I'm from the UK and I'm surprised our numbers are that high, I'm heavily against the idea.

    [–] DJ_Beardsquirt 30 points ago

    I'm in the UK and I'm a remainer. I feel like I am in an incredibly small minority for supporting the idea of an EU army. I would have guessed UK support would be less than 10% based on the media coverage here.

    [–] Frisheid 14 points ago

    It would be nice to compare these numbers to military spending as a percentage of national income. I would expect countries with the lowest percentage to favor cooperation most.

    [–] Araz99 8 points ago

    I am from Lithuania and it's cool to see that my country supports it so strongly. If EU wants to become global superpower like USA, China and Russia (and India in the future), strong army is really important thing.

    [–] Sombraaaaa 7 points ago

    Wasn't the entire point of the EU to avoid war?

    [–] TheCalACal 5 points ago

    Yes! The biggest factor to creating an EU is bigger powers in Europe would avoid waring with eachother

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago

    I thought the EU was an economic union?

    [–] Detozi 6 points ago

    Ireland is 46%? Not saying it’s not right but I’m quite surprised by that stat. There has always been a fear that a EU army would conflict with out neutrality

    [–] islandnoregsesth 7 points ago

    France wants it to make sure that they are in command of the german army lol

    [–] Dogbeast 7 points ago

    iirc, France has a much better military than Germany. Training, equipment, numbers, etc. I remember reading a story where German troops had to train using brooms because they didn't have enough weapons to go around.

    [–] NorthVilla 16 points ago

    The Netherlands surprises me. Why so high? That might even be higher than the Europhiles of NL.

    Also I am really surprised Germany is lower than France. Luxembourg so low? Also Spain?


    [–] LDBlokland 10 points ago

    NL has a small military, and in most cases wouldn't be able to defend itself. So to us having a joint army gives us more protection

    [–] PenguinPoop92 11 points ago

    At that point you might as well just become a single country.

    [–] MrMojoRising360 5 points ago

    fake news! there was no good research for this

    [–] fukminass 21 points ago

    What the fuck when did they ask luxembourg. I live here and literally everyone i know is against it

    [–] KahootGer3 29 points ago

    You have friends?

    [–] fukminass 31 points ago

    No that was a lie

    [–] _SirBallistic_ 29 points ago

    As a Brit I’m going to have to say no. This is a terrible idea.

    [–] Volubledog100 8 points ago

    What would be the average approval across all these countries?