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A. Juppe. “The EU cannot just be a humanitarian NGO”

Alain Juppé at the Council (Credit: Council of the EU)

(BRUSSELS2) The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, gave a short debrief of the Council of EU Ministers to journalists. Chosen words…

France does not intend to lower its guard on European defense

Alain Juppé repeated it yesterday “ This is a reflection that must be continued. The EU cannot just be a humanitarian NGO. It must have, as part of the CSDP, its own intervention capacity, in complementarity with NATO. I have called for a European summit by the end of the year on the subject. (…) We ask the High Representative of the EU to “restore color to the CSDP” in particular to enable the European Defense Agency to play its role. This has always been the French position and we intend to defend it."

Military action needed in Libya

Nicolas Sarkozy's Minister also insisted on defending the action taken by France in coalition with the United Kingdom and the USA. " Strengthening sanctions alone could not have saved Benghazi. (…) Look at what is happening in Côte d'Ivoire. If we did not act, it would be likely that Benghazi would be in a bloodbath. We saved the city of Benghazi” explains Alain Juppe. The action will continue so as to neutralize the possibility of Gaddafi targeting the civilian population, that is the objective assigned by the resolution ».

“Strengthening sanctions alone could not have saved Benghazi
Without military action, Benghazi would be in a bloodbath”

The departure of Gaddafi but not a change of regime

« The resolution obliges us to protect civilians, not to change the regime. It is up to the Transitional Council and all the forces to choose the regime they want. This does not prevent us from asking for the departure of Kadhafi. We plan to bring together different partners to propose a political solution."

Different sensitivities around the table

Alain Juppé wanted to play down the differences within the EU. " We had a discussion where different sensitivities emerged. There are differences in approach: some countries have abstained and are not taking part in the operation. But the goal is common ". But there is no shared skepticism (as urbi et orbi Westerwelle proclaimed) believes the Minister. Using a formula used just previously by the Minister for European Affairs, Laurent Wauquiez, he added: “ Any differences should not be hyperbolized. » And concerning the Franco-German couple, Alain Juppé wants to take a little distance: “ It's not a drama. We didn't always agree. I say what I think. And Westerwell too. We already have a point of agreement."

But a unanimity in the end

Indeed, it is necessary to reread the conclusions of the Council (download here english version) which marks an agreement of the 27: “ the partners are resolutely and collectively determined, with all international partners, particularly the Arab League and other regional actors, to give full effect to these decisions " same " if they (Y) contribute in different ways ". These “decisions” aim on the one hand the adoption of resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council for which the 27 affirm their “ determination to contribute to its implementation ", on the other hand the Paris Summit, defined as a " decisive contribution to its implementation ».

NB: A turn of phrase that has been added to the first proposal that was on the table of 27 and is essentially due to the desire of French diplomacy not to leave the Paris Summit aside.

The problem: the African Union

Alain Juppé made no secret of it. It is a problem. “The African Union, it’s true, has not taken a position. We must continue the dialogue with Jean Ping and African countries. It’s important to involve them in the operation and to train it.”

“We support the aspiration of all these peoples
to freedom and democracy in the face of exhausted regimes”

The revolution continues: it's up to President Saleh to get out!

Finally, the Minister made a point of emphasizing that " from Morocco to the Persian Gulf, there is a consistent line. We support the aspiration of all these peoples for freedom and democracy in the face of regimes exhausted by corruption, dictatorial practices…. We must build democracies which will not necessarily be copies of Western democracies. We say this with great force in Yemen. The departure of President Saleh is unavoidable. We support all those who fight for democracy, calling for dialogue and restraint. »

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 “A. Juppe. “The EU cannot just be a humanitarian NGO”"

  • First of all, I would like to say that I like Alain Juppé's reasoning very much. I agree that the problem is the African Union. this body is not up to the events of 2011 with these former presidents old mentalities inspired and dependent on authoritarian rule (like FLN algerien sud afrique, ghana etc) and that is also why it remains blocked in ivory coast ).a change or a rejuvenation must be done in this organization which camps on archaic underdeveloped methods.

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