EU moves to speed troop deployments in and outside Europe

Markets Associated Press

The European Union is moving to lift barriers to the rapid deployment of the 28 nations' armies to confront aggressors within Europe or abroad.

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Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc, unveiling the plan Friday, said that "we need to be able to react effectively to internal and external crisis situations."

The aim is to upgrade infrastructure like bridges, roads and runways that can't handle heavy military equipment and cut customs and administrative red tape, which cause delays, higher costs and leave Europe vulnerable to attack.

The European Commission will by March recommend what action should be taken, who should do it and by when.

NATO commanders are calling for the lifting of military transport barriers. Officers say it can take up to 30 days to get administrative clearance to move through Europe.