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US agreement for EU peacekeeping missions

Cathy Ashton and Hillary Clinton signing the deal (credit: US)

(BRUSSELS2) If it is fashionable today to scoff at European defense, the Americans seem to believe that this European defense policy has an interest and a future. They have just signed a framework agreement for participation in crisis management and peacekeeping operations carried out by the EU, which is a notable sign of commitment, and also avoids having to negotiate and sign an agreement for each operation. complete (which takes precious weeks).

Strengthen the links

For the Americans, the objective seems clear. “ We want strengthen our partnership, and increase American civilian participation in EU crisis management missions explained Hillary Clinton, during the signing of the Treaty on May 17 in Washington. We are already participating in missions in Kosovo and DR Congo and we will look into working side by side in other locations. "" The United States and the European Union are partners working together, I think, on every global issue and regional challenge you can imagine. »added the American Secretary of State. “ We do the urgent, the important, and the long term all at once. We are united in a transatlantic community, based on shared democratic values ​​and limitless belief in human potential.”

Americans already engaged in Kosovo and Congo, perhaps elsewhere in the future

Indeed, the Americans are already participating in the Eulex Kosovo mission with a staff of around a hundred people (mainly police officers) as well as in the mission in Congo (one or two experts). They also contribute decisively to the European training mission for Somali soldiers in Uganda (EUTM Somalia), by providing logistical assistance (transportation of recruits back and forth) as well as technological (screening of recruits) or military (arming via the forces Ugandan armies or the African Union, if necessary).

It is not excluded that in the medium term, we will therefore find Americans on the police training mission (EUPOL) in Afghanistan. They had also shown their interest in the observation mission (EUMM) in Georgia; an offer declined at the time by the European Union which feared – rightly – that its more or less impartial status would be compromised in particular with regard to Russia, a party to the 2008 conflict.

Civil but not military component

It should be noted that this agreement, however, only concerns the civilian aspect of EU operations and not the military aspect – unlike other agreements signed with countries. Certain liability and compensation clauses have also been provided for and adapted.

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).

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