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Franco-German Defence and Security Council (3)

Franco-German Defence and Security Council (3)

Source: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris. Communiqué issued after the Franco-German Defense and Security Council in Mainz, June 9, 2000.

1. France and Germany are determined to advance the development of the European security and defence policy.

2. The achievement of the military capability goals set at the Helsinki European Council is the priority for ensuring the credibility of the European Union's action. The implementation of the Helsinki European Council's goals as regards the strengthening of European military capabilities will be of special importance for the credibility of the EU's ability to take action in the security and defence spheres. The capabilities commitment conference, to take place in November, will in this respect be a test of the member States' will to translate the objectives adopted in Helsinki into concrete national commitments. The development of these capabilities, by strengthening the EU's operational assets, will also contribute to strengthening the Atlantic Alliance. In Toulouse, then Cologne, with their European Corps' partners, France and Germany decided to transform it into a rapid reaction force. Today, the HQ of this transformed European Corps, deployed in Kosovo, is an initial demonstration of the improvement of Europe's crisis-management capabilities. With the current deployment of the European Corps' HQ in Kosovo, the Europeans are proving that the multinational forces they have created can also be used effectively in Alliance missions.

3. France and Germany intend to achieve further progress in the area of European armaments policy, an integral part of the European security and defence policy. In this respect, they welcome the conclusion of the Letter of Intent (LoI) negotiations and the forthcoming signing of the framework agreement. France and Germany, in line with the decision taken in Helsinki eventually to form a strategic European fleet of transport aircraft, reaffirm their commitment jointly to purchase a new military transport plane. France and Germany jointly intend to strengthen their military air transport capabilities. This is why they - like the United Kingdom - have chosen the Airbus A400M as a future military transport plane. France and Germany confirm in their turn their decision to purchase the A400M, with their operational needs estimated at about 50 and 75 planes respectively. Our two countries wish the terms for the effective launch of this programme to be finalized in cooperation with our other partners over the summer. The launch of this programme is a decisive step in the development of the European security and defence policy, creating the conditions for the establishment of a coherent and extremely efficient joint European heavy lift capability. Moreover, France and Germany would like the firms involved in this programme to seek, in their various fields of expertise, opportunities for industrial cooperation with Russia and Ukraine. France and Germany also intend to establish an independent European satellite reconnaissance system. To this end, Germany is going to acquire an all-weather satellite radar system. France will contribute its optical satellite system. This bilateral initiative will form the basis of a European observation system, open to other European partners.

4. As regards the institutional aspects, France and Germany share the objective of providing the European Union, as soon as possible after the Nice European Council, with permanent structures giving it the operational capability necessary to take decisions and act in the face of crises.

5. The European Union's approach is open and transparent. France and Germany welcome the EU's plans for developing relations with NATO and the European countries which are not members of the EU.

6. France and Germany agree on the need to promote inside the EU a European security and defence culture and joint training of civilian and military leaders. To this end, concrete proposals for the establishment of a college will be drawn up with a view to their presentation to the EU partners.

7. The two parties emphasize the importance they attach to strengthening the EU's non-military crisis management tools so that the EU will have the full range of assets needed for crisis management.

8. The convergence of the defence efforts undertaken in our two countries, like the fact that they fully meet the European criteria laid down in Helsinki, are fundamental. France totally shares the objectives which Germany has adopted for the adaptation of its defence capability: better technological performance, greater ability to react in times of crisis and a harmonious contribution to both the European goals and Atlantic solidarity./.


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).