A Polish member of the European Parliament says the EU needs to develop “hard power” and member states should work together to form a European army.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Jacek Saryusz-Wolski also wants the European Parliament to have the final say on deployments under the EU flag, the BBC reports.

France, which is due to take over the presidency in the coming weeks, say boosting the EU’s military capability will be a key part of its six-month rule.

France intends to propose calling upon all EU countries to increase spending on defence to meet a new target of perhaps six percent of GDP.

The plans are likely to prove controversial in many countries, including the UK, where there is reluctance towards any move to a European army.

In Ireland there are concerns about neutrality, while in Germany there are worries about any policy that could go beyond a peacekeeping role.

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By staff writer