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No bridge in the EU should the tanks stop

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The European Commission wants the member states to major lines of transport planning for military vehicles. Bridges and roads need to be adapted to trucks and tanks.

A full-fledged defence union building by 2025: that is one of the ambitions of Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission. But what if military vehicles are not …

A full-fledged defence union building by 2025: that is one of the ambitions of Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission. But what if military vehicles are not able to rapidly move along the major axes across the European Union in the event of a crisis, for example, Russia?

‘Peace and security for our citizens are the main priorities of the European Union. By improved military mobility in the EU, we can crises occur, our missions more efficiently develop and respond more quickly to problems, ” says Federica Mogherini, high representative for Foreign Affairs in the EU.

There are two major problems, learned a analysis. In several member states complies with the maximum height or the carrying capacity of bridges along the major axes not for heavy military vehicles such as tanks or trucks. Also with regard to train transport, there is often insufficient capacity for military equipment to be transported. But also customs formalities or complex rules for the transport of dangerous goods may also slow down the sure.

‘It goes without saying that troops and military vehicles quickly from country to country must be able to move in the European Union and must not remain sticking to the borders, ” says Hilde Vautmans (Open VLD), who is a member of the commission’s Defence in the European Parliament.

The action plan consists of two stages. By the end of this year, the member states should address gaps and vulnerabilities detection. On this basis, the European Commission will next year that axes of the trans-European transport network indicate that are suitable for military transport, and to draw up a list of priority projects to tunnels to increase or bridges to reinforce. Governments will also need to take into account if they are new large infrastructure plans.

To military Schengen

The Commission will also propose amendments to customs formalities for military operations to simplify and harmonise. “It is important that we get to a real military Schengen,” says Vautmans.

The EU sees this action plan as a new step in the development of greater military cooperation between the EU countries. In that process, that Permanent Structured Cooperation is called (abbreviated to Pesco, 25 EU countries share. Except Great Britain, that the EU will soon leave, also remain in Denmark and Malta tentatively to the side. That means that even a country like Austria, which is not a member of Nato and on its neutrality, will have to cooperate, declared the European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc. Without such cooperation the plan will never work. Everything will also be coordinated with Nato.

For financing, the Commission refers to the next multiannual financial framework as of 2021, which will take into account the extra financial support for those projects that even the normal traffic. “That support would also be good for the private roads. By the military mobility, to strengthen, to refresh, we at the same time the European road infrastructure, ” says Vautmans.

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