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Ashton's Letter to Defense Ministers

(BRUSSELS2) Catherine Ashton, failing to be present at the informal Council of Defense Ministers in Palma de Mallorca, sent them a letter in English (which I was able to read). This letter first has one objective: to apologize for his absence, present some ideas that intend to defend the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and the Common Security Policy. I have already mentioned the idea of ​​a Formal Council of Defense Ministers. Here are some other elements (unofficial translation):

• The partnership with NATO
occupies a prominent place. "JI am determined to work closely with the Secretary General explains Catherine Ashton, “ confident that the constellation of a new treaty, new personalities as well as new structures bringing together military and civilian crisis management will offer us a window
Welcome opportunity to accomplish this. I will make concrete recommendations with NATO and I intend to reinforce the practice of informal meetings between the Secretary General and myself to discuss operational solutions of common interest.”

Learning lessons from Haiti. " EU crisis management missions to continue to increase in 2010 adds Catherine Ashton, who underlines how much the EU response was appropriate and effective in the face of the earthquake in Haiti ". But we must not rest on our laurels (“This should not, however, mislead us into complacency“). “ Lessons from the EU response to the crisis in Haiti, including the employment of PeSDC and military assets, must be learned.”

Consensus to extend Operation Atalanta “It is essential to maintain the deterrent function of EU naval forces. It is necessary to find long-term solutions (…) allowing the transfer of suspected pirates for trial. It is also important to address the causes (in particular) the EU's contribution to building a regional maritime capacity. (…) There is also a consensus to extend the operation. This will facilitate the generation of forces and will be a strong signal from the EU to the sustained commitment of the international community. »

(also read on this topic Atalanta will receive the mandate to monitor the Somali coast)

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).