|European Defense: the Added Value |
European Defense: the Added Value
Reply by Alain Richard, French Minister of Defense, to a question in the National Assembly. Paris, October 25, 2000. Source: French Embassy in Washington D.C.
This is a most appropriate moment to review progress on this major issue, on which the government enjoys broad and constructive parliamentary support.
The list of units and assets which will constitute the rapid reaction force was adopted two weeks ago; each nation's contribution was fixed and the decision will formally be taken on 20 November; France's share should be about 20%. The first elements of this crisis management instrument, defined by common agreement by the Fifteen, should therefore be in place during the first half of next year.
As regards Eurocorp's role in Kosovo, I shall summarize things: mission accomplished. As I said in Strasbourg at the time of the ceremonial parade on the troops' return, we can see for ourselves the considerable progress made, thanks to their presence, in restoring normality to this territory. It's proof of the added value provided by the European method.
At political level, I note a convergence of our fifteen nations' approaches, particularly vis-à-vis the Atlantic Alliance - and the Americans themselves now accept the idea of Europe organizing its own defense dimension. Major progress has also been made in the harmonization of rules with a view to facilitating joint programs. This is how Europe will in the future be able to make an autonomous response to the crises which will inevitably occur./.