German army contemplates EU fissures in scenario study: Spiegel

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The German army contemplated fissures in the European Union and a rise in global conflicts as one of six scenarios that might play out by 2040, German magazine Der Spiegel wrote in this week’s edition.

FILE PHOTO - German army soldiers drive their battle tank Leopard 2 after NATO enchanced Forward Presence Battle Group Lithuania exercise in Pabrade military training field, Lithuania, May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The EU experienced a damaging debt crisis in 2010-12 and is now navigating Britain’s departure from 28-country club, the first country to choose to lose the bloc.

In their scenarios, the German army’s strategists envisaged a situation where more countries follow Britain’s footsteps and the world becomes “increasingly disorderly”.

“The EU enlargement has been largely abandoned, more states have left the bloc,” they wrote in the study cited by Der Spiegel.

“The increasingly disorderly, sometimes chaotic and conflictual world has dramatically changed the security policy environment for Germany and Europe.”

The magazine said the study would be followed by concrete armaments plans to be developed in the coming years.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said on Sunday the study, labeled Strategic Perspective 2040, made “robust predictions” but did not attach probabilities to them or trigger decisions.

He declined to comment about the content of the report, which is confidential.

The five other scenarios cited by Der Spiegel include one where some eastern European states halt progress in EU integration and others enter the “Eastern bloc”, a likely reference to Russia and its allies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the EU risked running into trouble unless it allowed members to participate at varying levels of intensity, with those using the euro currency pulling closer together.

Two scenarios in the army’s study saw a comeback of Russian-style “state capitalism” in some EU countries and a halt in globalisation. A further two envisaged a more peaceful world.

Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Edmund Blair