THE NETHERLANDS has rejected the idea of a European army backed by French leader Emmanuel Macron and his German counterpart Angela Merkel.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said joining an EU military force would be a step too far. He said: "The idea of a European Army goes way too far for the Netherlands. NATO is and remains the cornerstone of our defence policy."
Mr Macron has long been a supporter of the creation of a European military and repeated calls for action during a recent radio interview.
He said: “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.
“We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.
“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s Euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security.”
Mrs Merkel echoed Mr Macron's calls when she said she supported a “real, true” European army.