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José-Manuel, in turn, takes up the pen and presents his “plan for Pakistan”

(BRUSSELS2) The response from the wolf to the shepherdess (or the opposite, depending) did not take long. After the missive, a bit of a warning from Nicolas Sarkozy to the European Commission (1), here is the response from the President of the Commission who denies any delay. “The drama of Pakistan affects us all” he writes. Then, stung, he argues: “the European Commission was the first to react (on July 30), and to increase (on August 11), the funds allocated to Pakistan, (…) my services worked hard (…). The services of DG Echo (Humanitarian Aid Office) are demonstrating their professionalism and effectiveness in responding to major humanitarian crises.“. So much for the defense (justified in my opinion) of European work. But the most interesting thing is in the ad “of a three-step action plan” which takes up, in part, the three recommendations of the French President of the Republic.

An action plan for Pakistan

1° A joint Ashton – Georgieva letter (respectively the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid) will be sent to the Member States to specify the modalities for the coordination of humanitarian aid. It is DG Echo (which now includes the civil protection mechanism) which will lend its assistance to the “active coordination” of any humanitarian initiative or logistical assistance.

2° The increase in the sums allocated to Pakistan, “this before the end of the month".

3° Monitoring the crisis, with a “possible donor conference” for Pakistan. This point will be on the agenda of the Gymnich, the informal council of foreign ministers, on September 10.

Continuing reflection on civil security

On the idea of ​​a European civil protection force, Barroso tempers the French president by reminding him of the lukewarmness (the word is weak) which had greeted the proposals of the Barnier report in 2006. “A certain number of Member States then showed more than relative enthusiasm for the idea of ​​their own European structure.“. But, he promises, after “in-depth” reflection, and consultations with Member States (France was consulted), led by the Ashton – Georgieva duo, a proposal for “a new policy” response to crises will be made “very soon“, to be discussed by the competent Ministers.

This is called a return to sender! However, I will not be relieved of a doubt: is Europe not still reacting too slowly, very lukewarmly, and not very boldly, in reacting to crises?

Last point, concerning the use of military means to deliver humanitarian aid, Barroso welcomes it but with a grain of salt. He even can't help but show some doubts. It is "Useful“, he said, if “certain parameters are respected". "It is important that the use of these means does not expose humanitarian operators, who have already lost many of their members in Pakistani conflict zones, to the same risks as those incurred by the military.“. (NB: Humanitarian Aid Day is commemorated these days, August 19, the day in 2003 when 22 UN employees, including its Special Representative in Iraq, the Brésilien Sergio Vieira de Mello, died in an attack in Baghdad).

(1) Read: When Nicolas goes up the suspenders to José-Manuel

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).