Friday, 26 Feb 2021

EU ‘expansionist’ agenda sparks war fears as bloc urged to step away from army plans

EU: Expert says the bloc may become 'military adventurists'

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Since 2016 the European Union has taken significant steps to increase EU security and defence cooperative efforts. But Robert Oulds, Director of the Bruges Group, claimed the bloc has adopted an agenda aimed at the expansion of its borders. Speaking to Narcissi, he said: “To give that organisation a military capability as they’ve already got to a small degree is actually worrying and it is an expansionist organisation that wants to push its borders out.

“We’ve seen how it took in Ukraine which provoked a war with Russia which then ended up dismembering part of that country because of its reckless ambition to push itself and expand its borders.

“The European Union has an agenda and it doesn’t actually stop.

“It is something that is a source of worry on the foreign policy.

“The last thing we would want it to have is its own military capability because they’re unaccountable, they’re undemocratic and we’ve seen how leaders, when they don’t have checks and balances placed upon them, can become military adventurists.”

Leading members of the European family, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have in the past expressed support for additional military integration among EU member states.

It comes as the European Commission is expected to announce more legal proceedings against Hungary on Thursday for failing to change a law requiring civil organisations to disclose foreign donors, three officials said.

The European Union’s top court ruled last year that the law “introduced discriminatory and unjustified restrictions with regard to both the organisations and the persons granting them such support” in breach of fundamental EU rights, including on the protection of personal data and freedom of association.

The Commission, the EU’s executive, is now preparing to launch further legal proceedings against Hungary because it has failed since the ruling to change the 2017 law, the three officials said on condition of anonymity.

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A decision by the Commission to trigger an “infringement procedure”, which is used against member states seen to be violating the bloc’s laws, was pending final approval on Wednesday, they said.

The Hungarian government and Hungary’s EU mission did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has rejected EU criticism of the law, and of other legislation which the Commission says undercuts democratic standards.

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If the decision is taken to launch an infringement procedure, Hungary will be sent a “letter of formal notice” and will have two months to respond.

If Hungary does not comply within this period, the Commission can demand that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) fine Budapest.

The EU has long accused Orban of failing to meet democratic standards on the freedom of courts, media, non-governmental organisations and academics, and of violating the law with his stance on migration.

Orban dismissed the criticism in an interview with Reuters last September, saying he was a “freedom fighter”.

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