Declaration by the Franco-German Defense and Security
Paris, May 13, 2004.
Source: Embassy of France, Washington D.C.
I) France and Germany salute the European Union’s
significant progress on the European Security and Defence Policy over the past
few months. 2003 marked a milestone in its development:
the draft treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
endorses the principle of mutual assistance between EU members and provides
for important measures, in particular permanent structural cooperation;
the EU has adopted a European Security Strategy;
it has decided to create a European Agency for Armaments,
Research and Military Capabilities;
the European Union has carried out its first
crisis-management operations: police mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Concordia
and Proxima missions in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and
Artémis mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These operations have
enabled it to make an essential contribution to easing crisis situations.
On the basis of an agreement between France, Germany and
the United Kingdom, the European Union also decided at the December 2003
European Council to strengthen its capacity for planning and carrying out
operations. France and Germany reiterate the importance they attach to this
decision. They are calling for the rapid adoption of all the proposals made by
the Secretary-General/High Representative in order to implement them and allow
the European Union to have the capacity to mount an operations centre for 1
France and Germany will pursue their efforts to promote
further progress on European Defence. Both countries wish the European Union
to be capable of fully playing its role on the international stage. The
bringing-into-use of the instruments provided for by the Constitution
constitutes a milestone on this path. Our goal remains to complete the
building of a Europe of Security and Defence. In this respect, France and
Germany restate their commitment to the strategic partnership between the
European Union and NATO in crisis management. The development of the ESDP will
help strengthen the Atlantic Alliance as a whole.
II) In the framework of the EU's global policy
vis-à-vis Bosnia-Herzegovina, France and Germany are together contributing,
with their partners, to the preparation of a European Union operation in that
country. Our goal must be to contribute to the country's stabilization through
a comprehensive crisis-management operation based on a military component, the
relief of SFOR towards the end of 2004 with recourse to Atlantic Alliance
assets and capabilities (Berlin Plus), and a stronger civilian component,
mainly geared to making the country safe and secure. We are also pursuing our
cooperation within the Atlantic Alliance:
In Kosovo, France will this autumn take over KFOR command
from Germany. The latest events have shown the necessity of maintaining a
robust military presence to prevent any resurgence of ethnic violence. Against
the background of a still-difficult regional situation, we are calling on our
Allies to maintain their commitment to KFOR.
In Afghanistan, both our countries will participate in
the Eurocorps HQ which will take command of ISAF from next August.
III) The Franco-German Brigade (FGB) created in 1988
is a concrete example of our two countries' cooperation in defence. We wish to
deploy the FGB, operating within Eurocorps, to Afghanistan, in the second half
of 2004. The FGB HQ will take command of the Kabul Multinational Brigade.
We wish to speed up the upgrading of the FGB’s capacity,
logistics capabilities and the legal basis on which it operates to enable it
to contribute to the European Union's rapid reaction capacity. On the basis of
decisions taken at the Summit on 23 April 2003, we also intend to define a
common vision of the FGB’s development over the next few years. We are going,
inter alia, to launch discussions on doctrine and equipment so that the FGB is
capable of using the new digital technology for high intensity combat.
We are supporting the European Union's efforts to meet a
new 2010 capabilities Headline Goal. The objective is to achieve the complete
interoperability of the forces called on to work in a coalition.
In this framework, France and Germany have proposed, with
the United Kingdom, that member States develop several “Battle Groups” [also
referred to as “Tactical Groups”]. Our objective is to set up by 2007 coherent
1,500-strong rapid reaction forces, including the identification of the
appropriate support elements and necessary strategic transport capabilities
capable of being deployed within ten days of an EU decision to launch the
operation. France and Germany intend to make the FGB the nucleus of one of
these battle groups.
The continued strengthening of civilian capabilities
remains essential for the development of the ESDP. Both our countries will
ensure the pursuit of the necessary efforts.
In January 2003, France and Germany took the initiative to
relaunch the European air transport command project. On 1 July 2004, the
current coordination unit will become a European strategic air transport
centre. We wish to see this centre rapidly become a European strategic air
transport command with, following its entry into service, the A 400M, as its
Europe must strengthen its intelligence capacity. We shall
pursue the coordination of the two countries' satellite reconnaissance systems,
SAR Lupe for Germany and Hélios II for France. The two systems complement each
other and are capable of forming the nucleus of a coordinated European
satellite reconnaissance capability.
France and Germany will continue to contribute to the
establishment in 2004 of a European Agency for Armaments, Research and
Military Capabilities under EU Council authority. Our goal is to increase the
coherence and efficacy of Europeans’ defence efforts by means of an Agency
with a genuine capacity for action. At the instigation of the defence
ministers, the Agency is thus destined to become the key instrument of an
ambitious and effective European armaments policy in the context of the ESDP.
At the European Union Council, the defence ministers will
decide on and control the Agency's work in the capabilities and armaments
France and Germany welcome the establishment of a General
Affairs and External Relations + Defence Council in the military capabilities
and armaments sphere.
IV) France and Germany want to promote the
development of a European security and defence culture. Our two countries will
step up training exchanges between officer cadets in the different armed
forces. We shall also pursue the establishment of joint training centres like
the existing helicopter training schools.
We are also helping set up a European Security and Defence
College. In September 2004 a pilot session will be organized by seven
countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain and Italy)
to which senior civilian and military authorities from the 25 EU member States
will be invited. After the EU's adoption of a European Security Strategy, it
is indeed important to disseminate widely and strengthen the components of
this European security and defence culture.