February 02, 2003

Hand-Wringing in Le Monde Laurent

Hand-Wringing in Le Monde

Laurent Zecchini's broaches quite a few topics in his piece about the new European division regarding a position on Iraq. There is much grumbling about "the Eight" (the signatories to the letter [discussed here on January 30th] from various European leaders supporting the Bush/Blair approach to Iraq), Bush using "divide and conquer" tactics, the dangers of being "vassals" to Washington D.C.

The key point, however, for any Francophones: "Le fait que la présidence grecque de l'Union ait été mise au courant de l'initiative des "Huit" mercredi 29 janvier au soir seulement est symptomatique de l'inanité de ces présidences européennes tournantes, accessoirement du peu de considération accordé ą la diplomatie grecque. A quoi bon, d'autre part, ces grandes considérations de la Convention européenne sur la nécessité d'un "ministre des affaires étrangŹres de l'Europe" et d'un président du Conseil européen qui incarnerait la voix et l'autorité de l'Union sur la scŹne internationale, dŹs lors que l'"esprit européen" n'est pas suffisamment fort pour écarter la tentation du fractionnisme?"

Back to the old Kissinger line: If I want to call Europe, what number do I call? We are indeed far from a Minister of Foreign Affairs for Europe that would be able to present a cohesive European policy on a major security issue of the day.

Zecchini's piece also intimates some French misgivings about their joint approach with the Germans. There is some concern that Paris not get overly sucked into the pacifist strain of German policy (Schroder/Fischer era). I'm still betting, pending the efficacy of Powell's February 5th presentation to the UNSC, that the French come around to the U.S. position.

Posted by Gregory at February 2, 2003 04:22 PM
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