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Photograph: Photo by bob, used under CC BY

Germany and France laid out their vision Monday for a strengthened military role for the European Union, a capability that has come to be seen as crucial following recent terrorist attacks in Europe.

Berlin and Paris published the joint position paper ahead of the EU's special summit in Bratislava at the end of the week. The document includes plans for a headquarters for EU missions and regular summits on security and defence policies.

It is "high time to strengthen our solidarity and European defence capabilities to protect our borders and the citizens of the EU more effectively," the six-page paper read.

Both countries are pushing for initial decisions on the topic to be made at an EU summit in December.

Among other proposals, the paper suggests that a permanent headquarters for civilian and military missions should be set up "in the mid-term."

A European first aid command should improve medical provision during EU missions, while the transport capabilities of the member states should be concentrated together more effectively, according to the paper.

The exchange of satellite images should be improved in order to better protect the EU's external borders, and cooperation between the EU and NATO should be improved to defend against online threats, Paris and Berlin suggest.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to travel to Paris for talks with French President Francois Hollande ahead of the EU special summit in Bratislava, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Merkel is to travel to Paris on Thursday, a day ahead of the informal summit which will take place without Britain, which voted to leave European Union.

The heads of state and government of the other 27 member states are to discuss how the so-called Brexit will proceed. Concrete decisions have not been made so far.


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