Blog AnalysisEU Defense (Doctrine)Interview

Conversation with Herman Van Rompuy

© NGV / Brussels2

(BRUSSELS2) (In Ghent) The informal meeting of Defense Ministers therefore opened in Ghent, with Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, in the role of guest star. Before dinner started, we were able to chat for a few minutes. The bishop of Ghent with whom Herman was talking kindly gave way to me. Well, devisive, so to speak. Because Herman is known to be not very talkative (with journalists).

- A small question ? “ No, I'm not here to talk », he replies with a smile. – Any answers then? (I asked). Herman no longer answers, he smiles, as if saying: I answered you. – Any thoughts then? How do you see Defense Europe? (He makes up his mind.) Yes. There are several questions. We must resolve the problem with NATO, for example. This is a problem for cooperation between those who participate in the EU, those who participate in NATO. We must resolve all our relationships, to be more effective on the ground. »

– How do you see the future of European defense, given the crisis? “ This should be an opportunity. The crisis could allow us to move forward to do more together "...

– For the moment we do not feel a great appetite from the Member States? “ Belgium already cooperates closely with the Netherlands on frigates and F16s. There are also other cooperations. But it's true, it's slow. We've had Eurocorps for 15 years, for example... It will take time but it's the start of the process » (Herman leaves me, he is going to give his speech)

(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).