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French MEPs shun Defense Europe

(B2) It is an astonishing fact, but it could not be clearer, when we attend the meetings of the Defense Sub-Committee of the European Parliament: the almost total absence of French deputies.

Aside from Robert Toubon – who works mainly on defense markets and is there when needed -, and… the Finnish Ari Vatanen (elected on a French list) – who is currently writing a report on NATO -, no one… Registered deputies like (general) Philippe Morillon – busy with his fishing commission – and Michel Rocard come very rarely.

The Germans are present in force. On the other hand. Not only its president, Karl Von Wogau (Christian Democrat), convinced supporter of European defense and very active, but also Helmut Kühne (social democrat), Angelika Beer (greens), Tobias Pfluger (communist) and Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (liberal). In short, all points of view on the German political scene are expressed. We share them or not. But they are there.

Also present: the Eurosceptic conservative on duty, Van Orden, whose epics are always “refreshing”; Ana Maria Gomes, the socialist deputy, who deserves to be listened to with more attention than she seems; the Flemish Belgian Annemie Neyts for the liberal group, the Romanian Pascu… But there you go, is there less spin than elsewhere perhaps, or a certain lack of media interest… in any case , the main promoters of European defense – the French – are in the “absent” section.

This sub-commission is however very interesting. The invited European officials – from the Council, from the General Staff – lend themselves to the exercise with interesting frankness (see the recent General Leakey's exercise) and the external speakers – academic experts, industry think tanks – are of an excellent level.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

One thought on “French MEPs shun Defense Europe"

  • Bonsoir
    I would like to know when and where, that is to say in which committees they are present (regularly), I have the impression that absenteeism is more than important...

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