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EU Defense (Doctrine)

It's time to push the lights Mr. President

(BRUXELLES2 to Strasbourg) We still feel a certain shyness listening to François Hollande, both on Africa and on European defense policy. Barely a paragraph in his introductory speech to MEPs on Wednesday (February 6). And fairly expected and fairly consensual words, all in all, with very little novelty or commitment. On the strength of its "success" in Mali, and the general European political support, which gives it a certain " legitimacy - as he recalled himself - the French president could have pushed his advantage a little, to give a real African policy to Europe. While the turn towards the East has occupied European minds for several years, the southern shore and especially Africa really need allies at European level. Need we remind you that Africa had been the great “forgotten” of the strategic partnerships that the Europeans had looked into three years ago.

It is the same for the Europe of Defense which has been left to the sideline for the latter. It evolves. But, at a time when each country is struggling with inextricable budgetary questions, defense appears in many countries to be the key to perfect adjustment. And the tomorrows could be dark. What France was able to do in Mali, could another country have done in Nigeria or Guinea-Bissau? It's not sure... In terms of defence, there is no need for reform. All the instruments for a differentiated Europe - as François Hollande called for - are there: avant-garde group, enhanced cooperation, structured cooperation, mutual assistance... Everything is planned... on paper. Now you have to fill in the boxes. It's time to push the lights Mr. President...

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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).

2 thoughts on “It's time to push the lights Mr. President"

  • Hollande's big problem is that he has neither ideas nor convictions, except those of maneuvering to conquer and maintain power, as a faithful emulator of Mitterrand's Machiavellianism. There is nothing to expect from the new French president, in any case no ambitious project on Europe. Mali was for him a divine surprise and an easy undertaking (he was therefore able to lead it, because it was easy), Europe is a more complex question. And the Europe of Holland is limited to making France the leader of Club Med.

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