EU Defense (Doctrine)


Emergency TerminalSeineParis204a(BRUSSELS2) To meet heads of mission of the European crisis management missions, and to interview them, it is sometimes necessary to play cat and mouse with the service of the spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, whose job it is normally . Here is a small example from everyday life. It's trivial, without real importance, but it testifies to a certain climate...


Taking advantage of the recent presence of almost all the heads of mission, recently in Brussels, I ask if we can interview them. The essence of my profession. No response (neither positive nor negative) will be received. So I come back to the charge, a day later, de visu, refocusing my request on a name. I am told that, precisely, this head of mission was not present... What a pity! I insist a little. In the most affirmative way possible, I am answered: No, he's not here ". Bad luck for said spokesperson! I leave the press room, two minutes later, to go to lunch. And I come face to face with the head of mission in question who is precisely waiting for said spokesperson to introduce him to the RV floors. What a coincidence !


I do not hesitate to approach it. And, very courteous, this head of mission sees no problem, moreover, in granting me an interview, as soon as he has finished his series of meetings. The spokesperson stammers that he didn't know. Pale excuse... which reveals either a notorious lack of preparation, or a lack of will to communicate. I lean towards the latter hypothesis. Because I dare not imagine that a spokesperson does not take it seriously. But also because a head of mission (especially a soldier) does not come from the depths of Africa unexpectedly. This is a good illustration of the prevailing state of mind: above all, do not make waves, do the minimum to promote CSDP, especially military crisis management. At 36 Quai des orfèvres, this is called a "flag" 😉 (or "flagrante delicto" for those who are not initiated into spoken Parisian).

And this is just one example... We could open a guestbook!

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).