When France wanted to send Leclerc tanks to bolster the defenses of NATO ally Romania in September, fellow alliance member Germany opposed trucking them across its highways. The problem wasn’t peace protesters or political opposition. It was the heavy French tank-transporters.
The flatbeds’ weight on each axle exceeded the legal limits for most German roads, said government authorities, who proposed a route that Paris deemed unacceptable. Instead, France sent the tanks by rail, delaying the shipment. […]
Pål Jonson, defense minister of Sweden, which just took over the EU’s rotating six-month presidency, said enhancing mobility is a vital activity for the EU and NATO—and an area ripe for cooperation. “To live up to Article 5, this is crucial,” he said, referring to the NATO agreement that an attack on any member represents an attack on all of them. […]
“It is time to move from a case-by-case approach towards structural solutions,” said an EU report published in November, titled “Action plan on military mobility 2.0.”
Days after its publication, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met with EU defense ministers to discuss military mobility and logistics, calling it “an important part of NATO-EU cooperation.” Mr. Stoltenberg last month met with EU Commissioner for Internal Markets Thierry Breton to advance the alignment.
Those meetings built on increasing recent efforts to overcome longstanding wariness between the two multinational organizations. In times of peace, each saw the other as potentially encroaching on its turf. Now they are trying to make their overlapping security planning and spending more efficient.
The EU invests billions of euros annually in transportation infrastructure, but has rarely made military mobility a concern. The two organizations have begun coordinating plans so that EU funding aligns with needs identified by NATO. Läs artikel