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2009, stastny novy rok

(B2)Yes… “Happy New Year” in Czech. Because this first half of the year, it was the Czech Republic which took over from France in its presidency of the EU. A France which leaves an unblemished record in terms of European defense policy. Almost everything has been accomplished.

Let us judge: reform of the financing mechanisms, of the civil and military headquarters (with creation of a new crisis management), of the European Defense Agency (with a reinforcement of 10 people), opening of public defense procurement, launch of three ESDP missions (Guinea-Bissau) – two of which (Georgia and Somalia) were not at all obvious, putting two other missions into orbit – Chad and Kosovo, the latter being politically delicate , launch of industrial cooperation, updating of the European security strategy, etc.

All without any real clashes or laments. We can even say that enthusiasm – including from countries like the Netherlands or Poland – until now not very militant about European defense – has more often dominated. Even the United Kingdom has joined several of its projects and has been careful to use its veto only sparingly. Which – in itself – is something new… and progress. Of course, some ambitions have been lowered. And we can always say that everything is far from perfect. Defense Europe is not yet fully playing its role. And, in some cases, it is in its infancy (I will come back to this). Certainly…

But in January 2009, the atmosphere is totally different... May the Czech presidency, if not continue the same pace, at least not break this momentum (a bit like these two Casa pilots who pass on the navigation sheet to each other ).

In the meantime, Happy New Year everyone. And the rest of our adventures in a few hours…


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).