Austria is politically divided about European defence integration

  • Redakce ESJ
  • 14.6.2017 08:59

The plans for deeper European defence cooperation, including the visions of creating joint European armed forces, has split Austria into two camps. One of the major political parties, the Socialist Party (SPÖ), stands in strong opposition towards these plans. On the other side, Austria’s People Party (ÖVP) welcomes broader European defence integration, as it can resolve the United States' growing reluctance to defend the EU.

Minister of Defence Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) stated that this type of defence integration is directly against the principle of Austria’s neutrality. Moreover, the primary effort of the MoD is to restructuralise and restore appropriate financing of the armed forces, as it was influenced by sharp cuts during the last years. ÖVP sees participation in the joint defence as a possible way to speed up the acquisition of Eurofighter aircraft. The Austrian government has prepared a fraud complaint against the Airbus and Eurofighter companies for illegally charging 10 % of the price for the off-set deals.

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