The German army intends to open its ranks to nationals of several European countries.
The Bundeswehr is facing a lack of recruits, and now plans to integrate Polish, Romanian and Italian citizens, according to the weekly der Spiegel, which relies on a document from the Ministry of Defense.
The state plans to strengthen its troops, since the annexation of Crimea by Russia four years ago. The pressure has also increased since Washington threatened to withdraw from NATO if European countries did not deploy more military means.
Berlin has announced that its forced army should increase from 179,000 to 198,000 soldiers by 2024.
By opening applications to nationals of three other European countries, Germany hopes to generate 50,000 vocations from abroad. Aspirants will have to master German and have lived in the country for many years. But it’s impossible to know in which units these recruits will serve.
The German Ministry of Defense did not comment on these leaks. In recent months, contacts with the defense representatives of the Union’s neighbors, intended to probe the reactions, would have given “very variable” results. The head of Polish diplomacy believes that military service and nationality are “closely linked”. To achieve its goals, the German army also intends to campaign with its young, in a country where the choice of a military career is far from innocuous, more than 70 years after the end of World War II.