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Bring together defense concepts before a European army? (Bitterlich)

(B2) The word of Joachim Bitterlich is often worth the detour. This former adviser to Helmut Kohl returns, on the site of All of Europe, on recent advances in defense (and other topics). A statement that deserves to be listened to. For him, PESCO is a “ project which constitutes a first step, but which must be followed in other areas ».

Some cultural differences

But we must not hide certain difficulties. Progress in foreign policy and security is “ difficult given our very different and sometimes even opposing cultures and traditions ". Between a German and a French, the differences are fundamental, when we talk about defense, “ a German thinks first of all about the defense of the territory while a Frenchman includes at the same level the need for military intervention, to overcome crises and conflicts ».

The need for an intelligence, transportation, acquisition agenda

To move forward, he "We must gradually bring our conceptions of defense closer together to make them convergent and compatible". You will also need a clear and engaging agenda on fundamental issues such as cooperation in intelligence, planning, transport and logistics, acquisition and control” Like on “armament export ". Very delicate points which have not yet been addressed at European level.

A European army, possible by 2030?

Bitterlich is absolutely confident in the idea that “lhe European defense project will [soon] cease to be a utopia ". " If the start-up works well – and we manage to attack this ambitious agenda in a parallel and committed manner – we will perhaps be able to talk about a European army in 2025 or 2030. »

Political cooperation to be reviewed

At the same time, one should not hesitate to engage in in-depth reflection on the common foreign policy. " We have not yet found the “magic formula” for cooperation between Brussels, the office headed by Madame Mogherini and the new external action service, on the one hand, and the diplomatic services and the Ministers of Affairs on the other. foreign countries of the Member States. »


Read on the site of All of Europe

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).