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Towards a European security mission in Haiti? (shift)

(BRUSSELS2 / updated Fri. 19 p.m.) The Ban Ki Moon's request after the earthquake in Haiti is on the table of Europeans. And it's about responding in a way that does honor to Europeans (a little better than for the Congo). The 27 COPS ambassadors are looking into the issue today, Friday. And the Foreign Ministers will discuss it on Monday. Will a new PeSDC operation be launched? Or will we take advantage (for the first time) of the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty which allows a group of countries to be entrusted with the possibility of leading a mission? (*). In fact neither one nor the other a priori (read the 3rd paragraph)

Be at the height. Spanish Prime Minister Jose-Luis Zapatero on Wednesday outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Faced with the disaster in Haiti, “Europe must rise to the occasion (…) We will offer a strong response to their international aid needs. » . It was not just an empty word to do good in a forum committed to the European cause. It was a question of sending a message first of all to certain States more reluctant than France or Spain to engage in a coordinated manner in Haiti. Also a way of saying and supporting Catherine Ashton, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs. so that it defends a certain level of specifically European ambition

securing. One of the options considered consists of placing a European police/gendarmerie unit at the service of the Minustah, as quickly as possible, with a few hundred men. This would involve taking over from the American military (whose job is not really), for a period of less than a year (approximately six months), while MINUSTAH reconstitutes its forces. The number of personnel required for the mission does not seem to be a problem (**). Spain is in favor of such a mission and has promised several dozen men from the Guardia Civil. France has already indicated that it can hire a maximum of 100 gendarmes for 6 months. It remains to validate the idea by the other Ministers of Foreign Affairs. This would be the first (civilian) defense mission on the American continent.

It's not quite a PeSDC mission, several diplomats told me. We are more on the model of what the Europeans did for UNIFIL II in Lebanon. A grouped, coordinated, structured offer at the United Nations. The men sent operating within the legal framework and in the context of MINUSTAH. It is not, in fact, a question of doubling the mission and the chain of command already in place. It’s also about doing it quickly. Setting up a PeSDC mission would have taken too long...

(*) section 44 of the Lisbon Treaty
(**) Alain Leroy, the head of the peacekeeping department (DKPO) at the UN, requested 457 men in total, some of whom
of Europeans.

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).

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