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Romano Prodi, EU mediator for Libya? The idea advances

Romano Prodi with African officials at the UN

(BRUSSELS2) The idea of ​​a mediator for the Libyan crisis is gaining ground. And the name of Romano Prodi is now being put forward, half-heartedly, in European circles, as the Italian daily specifies. Corriere della Sera. Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission, and former Italian Prime Minister.

Two arguments essentially seem to oppose this appointment. First of all, it seems delicate to ask a national of a country engaged in war to be a mediator. Then, there are some tactical questions specific to the elections in Italy, this would put one of Berlusconi's most inevitable (left) opponents back in the saddle while his party and its ally (the Northern League) have just suffered a defeat / rout in the last municipal elections.

But Romano Prodi also has some solid arguments to put forward in his favor. On the one hand, its network of contacts both in the Arab world and in Libya; he is one of the men who led the normalization of European relations with Gaddafi in 2004. On the other hand, his independence of mind. Recently, in Bergamo, he criticized the case-by-case decisions and the lack of European leadership, as well as indirectly the military intervention in Libya, believing that more money and will needed to be found to help the countries of the southern Mediterranean, notably Egypt. Finally, there is his current status as UN envoy for relations with Africa "for the maintenance of international peace and security" which predisposes him, quite naturally, to this task which could thus be assigned to him. entrusted by the UN.

(Maj) This information is not confirmed by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton.

This appointment would be quite logical in my opinion. And I had already made this clear at the start of the crisis (Read: Libya, Somalia, Sahel… Why not appoint a special envoy?) But if there is a nomination, it should take place more within the framework of a “contact group”, for example a troika bringing together Arabs, Africans and Europeans.

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).