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The EU’s Biggest Standing Armies

As we detailed previously, the foreign and defense secretaries of 23 EU countries (out of 28 in total) agreed on Monday to take further steps towards forming a European defense force.

Five countries opted out: The United Kingdom (that's is leaving the EU), Denmark, Ireland, Portugal and Malta.

The defense union has been on the agenda for a long time and is called the Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO.

This chart shows the EU countries with the largest standing armies, according to data provided by

Infographic: The EU's Biggest Standing Armies | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

It counts in all active military personnel, so-called "ready-to-fight" elements, but not civilian employees or reservists.

France has the biggest standing army, counting 204,000 Soldiers, followed by Germany and the relatively small Greece.