Merkel calls for creation of EU army

“We should work on the vision of one day creating a real European army,” the German chancellor Angela Merkel said at the European Parliament, to boos from Eurosceptic MEPs and cheers from her political allies. “I’m saying this in full awareness of the developments of the last few years,” she said, in an apparent reference to the election of US president Donald Trump and his avowed “America First” stance, as reported by the Financial Times.

Her words echoed those of the French president Emmanuel Macron, who in an interview said Europe needed to better defend itself.

President Trump responded angrily to that call, on Friday calling it “very insulting” and instead calling for European countries to meet their NATO defense commitments. He doubled down on that call on Tuesday when he made reference to the French surrender to the Nazis in World War II.