Germany is open to proposals due to be unveiled by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to create a European Union naval fleet, the Defence Ministry said today.
According to the spokesman for the Defense Ministry, he confirmed a report in the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel that Mr. Sarkozy would outline his plan after France assumes the rotating EU presidency on July 1st.
"There is already a Franco-British initiative for a fleet, and Germany could play a part in this," the spokesman said. "But everything would need to be checked first. We'll have to wait and see what sort of proposals the French presidency unveils."
The fleet would sail under an EU flag, and might encompass other nations from the bloc.
The spokesman said Sarkozy had discussed the plans with Chancellor Angela Merkel. How large the fleet could be, or when it might be created, was impossible to say for now, he added.
According to Der Spiegel, the Sarkozy plan foresees Germany providing frigates and supply units to a naval battle group headed by an aircraft carrier from the British navy.