Blog AnalysisEU Defense (Doctrine)

Solana, Mogherini, Fischer at the Solvay Library

Javier Solana, Federica Mogherini (credit: EEAS)

(B2) Javier, Joshka, Federica, three European personalities, three characters, three different experiences. This prestigious trio was reunited, just before the European summit, Wednesday (December 13), in the legendary grounds of the Solvay Library, in the heart of Leopold Park in Brussels.

A beautiful audience, ambassadors, “think-tankers” and a few journalists (including B2). The opportunity for these convinced Europeans to celebrate the establishment of Permanent Structured Cooperation but also to recall memories. A pleasant and interesting moment.

be bold

« Times today are really different » said Javier Solana, who was the first High Representative of the EU. But there remains one principle: “ If you are not bold, you fail. You must jump ". And to salute the work " impressive that was accomplished in a few months, also thanks to Federica Mogherini »

Three years ago, not many people believed it

When I started my term, " it was not really the time to relaunch European integration, in particular on defence, I had confirmation of this in the European Parliament, during my first hearing » she recalled. “ When I spoke about making full use of the Lisbon Treaty, many told me that the political conditions were not met, that it was impossible. »

Solana's advice

« I went to see you in Madrid, at the very beginning of my mandate, during a breakfast. And you told me to be « ambitious and pragmatic, and to overcome people who tell you “it’s not possible” ", that's what I did, recalled the High Representative of the Union. “ We did not want to reopen the ideological debate of the European army or of a single HQ »

Acting together is not an option

“One Member State cannot resolve all crises alone. We are facing a proliferation of crises. It is only in the Union that we can bring together all the tools, [to] not be just a commercial or economic partner. […] Yesterday it was a vision, today it is a necessity. » But the European Union can act as a “cardinal point, a compass in this confused and dangerous world”

Beware of an overdose of optimism

After having " confessed " a " feeling of deep satisfaction », the former German Minister (Greens) of Foreign Affairs Joshka Fischer wanted to qualify any feeling of victory. " You're right, it's time to celebrate, but be careful, don't be too optimistic about the will of the Europeans. What would have happened if (Emmanuel) Macron had not been elected. We came close he warned.

“Every military mission needs a political strategy”

He also made a point of recalling how vital was “ in a mission or operation, to have a political strategy, political orientations ". Military victories are not enough. This is particularly the case in Kosovo. “The military did not bring the expected result [but] where was the political planning ". Same, " after the war in Iraq for Americans.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).