EU Defence chiefs have been discussing how long to keep European peace troops in Congo and Bosnia, and whether to take over the Kosovo mission now under NATO command. At the start of two days of talks in northern Finland, which is the current EU president, Germany was expected to stress that the Congo mission must remain temporary.
Others have been insisting that the troops will be needed there beyond the end of November, after presidential election results are announced. Talk of a longer mission comes as Europe’s armies are already struggling to cope with peacekeeping missions around the world. An internal EU report forecasts mounting expense and difficulty for Europe in finding enough young recruits for its armies, as overall populations’ average age rises in the future.