Central Southern AfricaMissions Operations

Europeans in the Central African Republic soon? (Shift)

Croatian soldiers during the EUFOR operation in Chad 2008 (credit: EUFOR Tchad / Archives B2)
Croatian soldiers during the EUFOR operation in Chad 2008 (credit: EUFOR Chad / Archives B2)

(BRUSSELS2 exclusive) The European Council should lead to a more concrete initiative in terms of CSDP operations. According to our information, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs could, in fact, be responsible for presenting options “ for a civilian mission or a military operation in the Central African Republic.

All civil and military CSDP options must be studied

The last draft conclusions circulated, seen by B2, mentioned the " will (the 28) to examine the use of appropriate instruments to contribute to ongoing joint efforts.” That is to say those led on the one hand by France – Operation Sangaris – and by Africans from MISCA. It's about to stabilize the country, including the common security and defense policy (CSDP), in its two military and civilian dimensions ". Several Member States are, in fact, ready to support such an operation if it takes place under the European banner.

Belgium and Visegrad

Belgian Prime Minister Di Rupo was the most explicit on the subject, indicating that the Belgian effort (2 planes) was all for now. and certainly not bilaterally”. According to our information, the Visegrad countries (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia), could also consider, in this context, making a bundled offer.

Comments : If confirmed, this decision would have three advantages:

  • 1° offer a slightly more muscular European response than until now. This response is all the more necessary as the news coming from the field shows a situation that is sordid to say the least. If Europe remained silent, it would be a negative sign.
  • 2° Allow the French government – ​​sometimes criticized at national level – the opportunity to say that they are not “all alone”.
  • 3° Provide an opportunity for broader debate on the financing costs of PSDC operations. The French idea of ​​a “Fund” having been “reframed” from a European perspective.

On the other hand, we must guard against any enthusiasm. It will probably take a few months before this becomes a reality, time to prepare a mission (a new UN Security Council resolution may be necessary). And the European effort could not automatically have combat troops on site (a EUFOR-type mission) but rather what the European Union has now made a specialty of: the training and/or restructuring of African armies. or security forces (EUTM or SSR mission type).

(Updated 20.12 midnight) This information – given at the start of the Summit – was confirmed upon reading the final conclusions. Was added: an appointment given to the Council of Foreign Ministers, on January 20, for “decision”. Which reinforces the notion of urgency of the decision.

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).