Green light for EU Red Sea mission

The EU foreign ministers approved plans for a naval mission in the Red Sea on Monday. Led by Greece, the mission — supported by German, Belgian and French frigates — is intended to protect cargo ships from attacks by Houthi rebels from Yemen. Some commentators see the mission as a major test

RFI România (RO) /

Europe practicing common defence

The mission represents a first step towards more cooperation in defence matters, says journalist Ovidiu Nahoi on the Romanian service of Radio France International:

“According to a European source, Greece will assume overall command and Italy operational command at sea. The mission’s mandate is purely defensive. ... In this way the Europeans hope to defend their commercial interests without contributing to an escalation in the region. This large-scale mission, which is not without risk, can also be seen as an important exercise in cooperation, with a view to a genuine common European defence, which is increasingly under discussion in Brussels and in the EU member states.”

Ovidiu Nahoi
BNS (LT) /

Where is the EU’s defence commissionar?

The EU must finally take the defence of Europe into its own hands, urges Edward Lucas, journalist and politician with the British Liberal Democrats, in BNS:

“France, thanks to political and presidential idiosyncrasies, is not fully trusted in Europe’s east. Germany could, in theory, play such a role, but not soon and not easily. That leaves the European institutions, chiefly the Commission. Much mocked in the past, it is now the best (albeit alarmingly slender) hope for coordinating the continent’s defense. The mooted new post of a European defense commissioner ... has not yet been agreed, let alone filled. But problems are already piled, smoldering, on the newcomer’s desk.”

Edward Lucas