News BlogCivil protection

When Nicolas goes up the suspenders to José-Manuel

(BRUSSELS2) This is a letter from Nicolas (Sarkozy) addressed to José-Manuel (Barroso) and written during the weekend of August 15. The tone is polite. But a little threatening. “The mobilization of Europeans must be total” thunders “Che” Nicolas. Of course, Europe has already released 40 million euros in humanitarian aid, sent a few teams of experts and activated its civil protection mechanism. But this is very little in the eyes of the French president. “Europe can do more by committing to cover even more immediate humanitarian needs” (NB: the UN has launched an appeal for $459 million but only a quarter of the sum has been raised so far). And Sarkozy doesn't beat around the bush. France is ready – he explains – “to mobilize national military, air and naval logistical resources for the delivery of international aid, within the framework of NATO."

Sarkozy's three recommendations

Europe must get off its butt… Sarkozy admonishes the President of the Commission: “I am counting on you (the President of the Commission) for the European Union to show its unity and determination and to bring with it the international community to prevent a humanitarian disaster“. And he outlines the road map: 1° strengthen humanitarian aid; 2° plan now for the future, reconstruction, by mobilizing its two financial instruments (the Stability Instrument and the Cooperation and Development Instrument), 3° Equip ourselves with a “real European capacity” response to the crisis. Haiti and the fires in Russia (where European coordination has been a little lacking) have demonstrated, continues the president, that we “must draw the consequences of such situations”.

  • Clearly, Sarkozy is not only raising the bar on the President of the European Commission but also on Commissioner Georgieva, who is absent these days to say the least, as well as on the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs. Cathy Ashton continues to demonstrate that if she manages to manage institutional politics (the adoption of the first decision on the diplomatic service is proof of this), that she begins to practice diplomacy (involvement in Gaza or negotiation of 'an agreement to prosecute pirates proves it), she still has difficulty appreciating crisis management. This is what the EU is still missing! Sarkozy, however, makes a mistake, in my opinion, by making French resources available to NATO. This is in contradiction with the content and objective of the letter (strengthening the European Union) and also with its previous commitments (getting more involved in NATO to strengthen Defense Europe). It's a bit the opposite here...

(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).

One thought on “When Nicolas goes up the suspenders to José-Manuel"

  • The NATO/EU contradiction is only apparent.
    The 1st treaty of constitution of the Union stipulated already black on white that the armed arm of Europe was NATO, even if this text was finally rejected, this part becomes nevertheless a reality by pragmatism. NATO is working better than the EU, we are also making some structural savings and that would give the Organization a better image in public opinion than the A-stan bog down…

Comments closed.