Backdoor Army: No EU ‘Military’ Yet, But Armed ‘Civilian Troops’ in ‘European Uniform’

WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images
WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union (EU) may be expediting its plans for a centralised army with a massive expansion of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), according to the agency’s chief.

“We don’t have a military army, but we will have, let’s say, civilian troops wearing a European uniform. And for certain functions carrying weapons,” said Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri slyly, in an interview with POLITICO in Brussels.

These “civilian troops”, who “will be able to deploy to an EU member-state and exercise executive powers such as carrying out border controls”, according to POLITICO, are to be expanded from a modest 750 officials to a 10,000-strong corps — greater than the active manpower of Belgium’s land force.

While it is claimed that this new force will not be able to take control of national borders or use their weapons without the authorisation of the relevant EU member-state, the bloc has rewritten its rules to suit its purposes on the hoof before, such as when it pushed through Eurozone bailouts during the Greek crisis, or when it introduced compulsory migrant redistribution quotas over the objections of governments in Central Europe which, unlike Germany and its allies, opposed opening their borders during the 2015-16 influx from the start.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, whose government instituted a policy of no-tolerance for illegal immigration and rapidly rolled out physical border barriers in response to the migrant crisis in 2015, has already said that he believes the EU is seeking to expand Frontex in order “to take away from us the keys to the gate”.

“Because they were unable to persuade Hungary to let migrants in, the plan now is that they will take border protection rights away from us,” he told ,

“They want no less than to send their mercenaries from Brussels to replace our Hungarians who are defending the border, and working as police and soldiers, whose homeland is important.

“Let us not be under any illusion… they will allow in migrants,” he warned.

Earlier in 2019, Orbán’s foreign minister Péter Szijjártó accused Frontex even in its current state of  acting as “a travel agency” for illegal migrants in an echo of then-Vice Chancellor of Austria Heinz Christian-Strache’s assessment of the agency in 2018 as “anything but a border guard” — and, in fact, a “people-trafficking organisation”

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