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German army could recruit EU citizens

Staff Writer |
Seven years after Germany scrapped conscription, its defence chief has said employing EU citizens is an option to fill expert posts.

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Army general inspector Eberhard Zorn said the forces had to "look in all directions in times of a lack of qualified personnel", such as doctors and IT specialists.

The armed forces have been beset by years of under-investment.

Germany aims to increase its military by 21,000 personnel by 2025.

It has also pledged to raise its defence budget from 1.2% to to 1.5% of its gross domestic product by 2024, in the face of criticism from President Donald Trump that it does not meet the Nato target of 2% of GDP.

Gen Zorn told the Funke newspaper group that "of course the Bundeswehr needs personnel" and the army had to "push hard for a suitable new generation", although EU citizens in uniform were "an option" to be examined only in specialist fields.

The media group said the government had already consulted EU partners and that most had reacted cautiously, particularly in Eastern Europe.


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