•  
    •  
    • Press Contact

    • For information regarding BCSP activities please contact our Communications Officer

      Dragana Belanovic +381646479097

      dragana.belanovic@bezbednost.org

       

    •  
    •  
    • Info BCSP

    • Sign up to receive our e-bulletin.
    •  
    •  
    •  
     
    • The difference between internal and external security is no longer relevant

    •  
    • Date: 15 January 2012
      Ambassador Francois Xavier Deniau spoke on France’s security and defence policy in a talk organized in the BCSP library.

      "The traditional difference between internal and external security is no longer relevant," believes French Ambassador to Serbia François Xavier Deniau.

      Ambassador Deniau speaks of France\'s five basic security policy principles
      Ambassador Deniau speaks of France's five basic security policy principles
      Speaking in the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) on Thursday, January 12, Ambassador presented key developments of French security and defence policy since the publication of the White Paper in 2008. Also discussed was NATO intervention in Libya; current state of relations between France and NATO; the necessity to develop coalition of the willing in order to fulfill one mission’s mandate; and recently signed Franco-British defence agreement. In the Q&A session that followed, Ambassador was asked to present his thoughts on Iran-Israel relations; he stressed the need for reconstruction of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and in particular, commented on the establishment of the Centre of Emergency Situations in Nis.

      Since the last White Paper was published in 1994, the circumstances have changed significantly, which is why the revision of the French defense strategy became necessary. A new version of the White Paper demonstrates an increased awareness of changing relationships, and recognition of weaknesses and shortcomings of previous documents. Growing importance of non-military threats, the threat of terrorism, organized crime, natural and industrial disasters all present France with new challenges. This is why Ambassador opened his address by stressing the importance France has as a permanent member of the SC.

      Speaking about the content of the White Paper, Ambassador singled out five strategic functions of defense and security of France. In addition to the importance of knowledge and anticipation, emphasis was placed on prevention, deterrence, protection, and intervention. Ambassador spoke on this last function in the context of the recent intervention in Libya. It also served as a test of the Franco-British cooperation. No one should be forced to participate in the security cooperation, instead we should seek to create a coalition of the willing, said the Ambassador.

      After 42 years France returned to NATO's integrated command in Strasbourg-Kehl summit in 2009 (De Gaulle withdrew France from NATO's military structures calling for more autonomy back in 1966). However, Ambassador Deniau pointed out that the return of France into NATO integrated command does not stand in contradiction to its principles.

      Over 40 guests were present at Ambassador\'s Deniau presentation in BCSP on January 15, 2012
      Over 40 guests were present at Ambassador's Deniau presentation in BCSP on January 15, 2012
      One year later in 2010, facing the need to decrease defence spending, France and Great Britain signed two agreements. These agreements provided for joint participation in missions and technological cooperation between the two countries. Ambassador Deniau believes that against the backdrop of a weak transatlantic link, it becomes more necessary to strengthen the European defense capacity. With innovative elements brought by the Lisbon Treaty, new institutions, new missions, creation of the European Defence Agency, there is an opportunity for deeper cooperation for all countries that are interested.

      Summarizing the address of the Ambassador, BCSP Director Sonja Stojanovic stressed how France wants to remain a global player, but does not want to jeopardize its autonomy of action. The key difference from the practice before 2008, is that increased importance is being attached to intelligence and understanding of the changes which have redefined the concept of security.

      After the lecture, the Ambassador responded to questions from the audience. Explaining his view on Germany's unwillingness to participate in the intervention in Libya, Ambassador reiterated that every country in the EU has the freedom to decide whether it would participate in an operation or not; and that this is precisely why creating “coalition of the willing” should be pursued. The Ambassador said that he supports the expansion of UN Security Council, but in a way which guarantees its representativeness.

      The audience was also interested to hear Ambassador’s take on the Centre for Emergency Situations, as well as Iran's nuclear program. Center for Emergency Situations is the basis for civil protection and as such it does not prevent the problem of France, said the Ambassador. In its relations with Iran, France has been very engaged in trying to find a way out of the crisis. Through tougher sanctions being imposed on Iran, France is trying to jump start the negotiations, because now, there is a serious risk of outbreak of war.

      Finally, Ambassador advised future decision-makers in France and Serbia to always strive for pragmatism.

      by Milos Resimic, BCSP intern

    •  
    • Post a comment

    •  
    •  
    • See all comments

    •  
    •