Friday

28th Feb 2020

Call for Eurocorps to take over in Afghanistan

The Eurocorps - consisting of soldiers from France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain - could take over NATO's operations in Afganistan in the summer.

The idea - proposed by French President Jacques Chirac to NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at a meeting earlier this week - will be discussed at a crucial NATO meeting today in Munich, which will also be attended by American defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

NATO currently commands the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, which is mainly based in the capital Kabul.

In turn, Germany is running the NATO operation in Afghanistan but will be succeeded by Canada on 10 February.

However Canada intends to reduce its forces in the country from 2000 men to 500 men from August, which has prompted President Chirac's suggestion that the Eurocorps take over.

The Eurocorps consists of over 50,000 men and has already undertaken peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo. However, Afghanistan would be a much riskier undertaking.

Washington is said to be favourable to the proposal and if the mission proved to be a success, the credibility of European defence could be bolstered.

President Chirac will make an official announcement on the subject after meeting UK prime minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in Berlin on 18 February.

WHO on coronavirus in Europe: 'be prepared'

The European Commission also urged EU member states to review their pandemic plans and to inform it about their healthcare capabilities in response to the outbreak.

Frontex hits activist pair with €24,000 legal bill

Two pro-transparency campaigners received a €23,700 bill from the EU's border agency Frontex after having lost a court case. Frontex's budget for 2020 is €460m. The campaigners refuse to pay, saying the agency doesn't need the money.

'Fragmented' Slovakia goes to polls amid corruption woes

Saturday's elections in Slovakia could herald the rise of the far-right People's Party Our Slovakia, or the emergence of a populist anti-corruption candidate, in a country wracked by mistrust since the assassination two years ago of an investigative journalist.

Opinion

EU development policy needs a fresh start

As the European Commission meets the African Union in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday, prior to a new EU-Africa strategy, the obsolete donor-recipient mentality must be junked, writes European Parliament development committee chairman Tomas Tobé MEP.

Feature

Coronavirus: voices from a quarantined Italian town

Panic-buying, plus resentment at the media for fuelling the panic, are the paradoxical responses of residents of the Italian towns of Vicenza and Vo', where Italy's first victim of the coronavirus died last Friday.

Greek island riots require measured response, says EU

Residents on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios have been met with riot police, following protests against plans to erect new migrant detention camps. The European Commission says measures by Athens' authorities must be "necessary and proportionate."

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  2. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December

Latest News

  1. WHO on coronavirus in Europe: 'be prepared'
  2. Frontex hits activist pair with €24,000 legal bill
  3. Turkish jets keep violating Greek airspace
  4. 'Fragmented' Slovakia goes to polls amid corruption woes
  5. EU development policy needs a fresh start
  6. EU critical of China on Swedish dissident publisher
  7. NGOs urge EU to tackle meat consumption 'problem'
  8. Coronavirus: voices from a quarantined Italian town

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us