Blog AnalysisEU Defense (Doctrine)EU diplomacy

Where is Europe? What is Europe doing in the face of ongoing conflicts?

Europe is a bit like this good big mountain cow of the Saisies, an impressive massif, a good bell to warn, a surprising moan, but that's all, she hastens to graze her field afterwards (© NGV / Bruxelles2 )

(BRUSSELS2, opinion) The situation between Gaza and Israel which is igniting, eastern Congo which is sinking into crisis with the rebels at the gates of Goma... without forgetting the classic situation in Syria. These three crisis theaters are taking place with a relative absence of the European Union (*). Certainly we are entitled to the usual condemnations (ranging from “concerned” to “very concerned”). And the European humanitarian aid system is getting underway. Then we will undoubtedly be entitled to well-written “conclusions” on Monday, where each term will be weighed. But that's about all.

Where has active diplomacy gone?

We continue to see a notable lack of responsiveness from the EU to events – already noted on numerous occasions for several years – and a deficiency in European diplomacy. Where have the negotiating troikas sent on site gone, the mediation effort of the parties, the notion of summoning or recalling an ambassador, etc.? This would not stop the conflict. You shouldn't dream. But this “active” diplomacy has a role, both to limit the damage and begin the search for a future solution but also to show Europe's interest and presence in the world.

By depriving itself of this tool, the European Union deprives itself of the capacity to act and opts for the position of spectator commentator rather than dynamic actor for peace.

(*) Let us specify that in two of these three theaters (Israel/Palestine and Congo), a special representative of the Union and European defense policy missions are present.

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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).