Army of Europeans

New European leaders are being appointed, although the elected parliament will be asked to ratify the candidates this month. Ursula von der Leyen is the new Commission President and Christine Lagarde President of the European Bank. The latter was convicted by a French court of financial negligence in 2016 but received no penalty. The former’s handling of the German defence ministry was hardly a success. In October last year, not a single German military submarine was operational. Bundeswehr pilots were using helicopters from a a private automobile club because so many of their own choppers were in for repair. About half of all their Leopard tanks were out of order, leaving only 95 operational, at a time when Russia is believed to have over 20,000. Furthermore, German troops on exercise with NATO were reduced to using broomsticks painted black as substitutes for absent guns, according to a report leaked 12 months ago. The EU seems to reward charismatic but otherwise failed national politicians with even more power and influence. 

Ms Von der Leyen, despite her apparent incompetence as German defence chief, is urging a "defence union” and calling for the establishment of an "army of Europeans." She is quoted on the Politico website saying "Europe must be able to act independently precisely in the areas where Europe must act independently” -in other words, without the approval of national governments in military affairs.

Personally, I love the idea of a peaceful family of European nations cooperating and working together to achieve prosperity and the avoidance of the interminable wars which characterised the continent for two millennia. Few in the European Commission are content with this; quite why a free trade bloc requires its own army, anthem, embassies and flag puzzles me. Perhaps it was always intended to be an ever hotter melting pot of dissolving nation states. We used to call such a thing an ‘empire’. Such groupings of countries rise and wain; Europe has already had its time in the sun, colonising and invading the rest of the world. I would suggest that this latest gravitation towards military power is a false start, for the God of heaven laughs as kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together. We Christians should rather look to Messiah’s coming empire:

And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

Revelation 11:15


With mercy's mildest grace,

He governs all our race

In wisdom, righteousness, and love:

Who to Messiah fly

Shall find redemption nigh,

And all his great salvation prove.


Hail, Saviour, Prince of peace!

Thy kingdom shall increase,

Till all the world thy glory see;

And righteousness abound,

As the great deep profound,

And fill the earth with purity!

-Benjamin Rhodes

Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay