According to a media report, the Bundeswehr is pushing ahead with its plans for the recruitment of EU citizens. The aim is apparently to recruit professionals from other European countries. Recruitment of EU citizens for special activities is an option that will be examined.
The newspapers of the Funke-Mediengruppe quote the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Eberhard Zorn. “For example, we’re talking about doctors or IT specialists,” the senior military explained. In times of shortage of skilled workers, the Bundeswehr would have to “look in all directions” and strive for the right new generation.
Bundestag defense commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels told the spark newspapers that recruiting EU foreigners was “a sort of normality”. There are already many soldiers with a migration background or dual nationals in the troop.
From a confidential ministry concept, the “mirror” is available, it is clear that Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen mainly Poland, Italians and Romanians wants to recruit. Among young men from these countries there is “a quantitative potential” for the Bundeswehr, so classified as classified paper.
According to this, about 255,000 Poles, 185,000 Italians and 155,000 Romanians between the ages of 18 and 40 live in Germany, together making up about half of all EU foreigners. If you could arouse interest in the German Armed Forces in this group by at least ten percent, this would be about 50,000 possible new applicants, the paper says.
According to the concept, the ministry wants to limit the group of possible recruits to EU foreigners who have already lived in Germany for several years and speak fluent German. For example, the EU neighbors are feared that Germany will woo potential soldiers with better salaries.
Over the past few months, the ministry had sounded out about the defense attachés in the EU, what they think of the idea. The talks had “led to very different results,” the paper says. Above all, the Eastern Europeans feared “significant negative impact on their own needs coverage”.
From Poland comes criticism. The army service is “closely linked to nationality,” said Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz the “mirror”. In the diplomatic service or in the police only citizens are allowed, that is everywhere the rule. “It is even more important in the military because there is a certain loyalty expected there,” warned the minister.
Czaputowicz was surprised to see how concrete the plans of Leyens already are. “If Germany would introduce such a law without first consulting Poland, that would not be good,” he warned, “because of course, Germany has more to offer workers and probably soldiers.”
The number of soldiers in the Bundeswehr increased again recently. “We reach the end of this year, the mark of 182,000 soldiers, which is 2,500 more time and professional soldiers than a year ago and an increase of 6500 compared to the low for 2016,” said of the Leyen the “Rheinische Post”. With twelve percent of women, a new high has been reached. According to new plans, the number of soldiers is set to rise to 203,000 by 2025.