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Home arrow newsitems arrow EuroCorps Franco-German ingoing+outgoing Commanders Kolodziej+Weigt to EF: Experience for EU Army+?

EuroCorps Franco-German ingoing+outgoing Commanders Kolodziej+Weigt to EF: Experience for EU Army+?

Written by ACM
Thursday, 05 September 2019

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*Strasbourg/Pavillon Josephine/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to "Eurofora"'s Questions at the Official Press Conference of EuroCorps' Leadership, on the occasion of the Bi-Annual "Change of Command", for 2019-2021, Chaired by German Army's Chief of Staff, General Eberhard Zorn, Both EuroCorps' Commanders, the out-going General Jurgen Weigt (Germany), and the incoming General Laurent Kollodziej (France), ensured on the Trasmission of a Rare Experience for the EU and NATO, and Highlighted the Perspectives towards an eventual Creation of a European Army in the Future :

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- Speaking on behalf of the Group of 5 Chiefs of Staff from Eurocorps' Framework Nations (See Infra), the Highest Body, the Chairing General Zorn, German Army's Chief, started, in a Perfect French, by reminding that he had served already at the Franco-German Brigade, as well as to the Allies' Chiefs of Staff (Headquarters) in Paris". ...

 - "For me, EuroCorps is the "Hard Core" for a Common Defense in Europe, but Also for serving NATO" here, "and I am Glad that we have Reached that level", he stressed from the outset.

- "Eurofora", invited to raise a Question, observed that all involved had Spoken Both about EuroCorps' unique Experience, as well as about its Future Perspectives for the EU and NATO. Thus, we Asked How they believed that this Valuable Acquired Experience could be Saveguarded, Transmitted and Valorized Both Inside EuroCorps itself, and throughout All Europe, as well as which Main, Short and/or Long-Term Perspectives they could Highlight for it in the foreseable Future, particularly in relation with European Defense, given also EU's forthcoming 2020 Debates on its Overhaul ("New Foundation").

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 - "My Reply is TwoFold : At First, I think that the Experience Acquired on the Spot (on the Theaters of Operations), and/or in the Preparations for NATO's Reaction Force, is mainly Incorporated into Each Individual Soldier, and, thus, Transmitted to the (Framework) Nations", observed Eurocorps' out-going Commander, the German General Weigt.

- And "I think that it has a Considerable Added Value, Both for Us, EuroCorps, and the Nations", he added. "Because, f.ex., the Soldiers who have been Living, Every Day, what Multi-Nationality means" in real practice, "it's even More Important than to simply describe Concepts, or form some centers of excellence, etc, because that's something which happened Once in the Past. Naturally, this Know-How should also be ReViewed and OverHauled in the Future. But, for me, the Most Important Memory's Added Value is the Individual Soldier, who has Acquired a know-how, and is able to Transmit it to his immediate environment".

 + "Moreover, all these operations, naturally have also consequences and leave their traces even on Basic Documents, the Tactics and the Concepts which Result from all those operational Experiences, and that we are Trying to Integrate into our Doctrine, which is made from our Everyday Practical Life", he added.

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- Weigt had Earlier evoked Also the Idea of a kind of "Network", Speaking in front of 5 Former Commanders of EuroCorps, with almost All of whom, "Eurofora" had already cooperated in the Past, (See, f.ex., among others, also : ..., etc).

+ And, concerning the Future, he had expressed the view that, in fact, "EuroCorps is More than just a Military Unit", because, "SInce its Inception, in 1992, it has been regarded (also) as a ...Symbol of Peace and ReConciliation in Europe", added to its "MultiNational Design, and ...Legitimacy", to the point that it could be also  "viewed as a Catalyst of Political - Military European Cooperation", particularly "at a Moment when Europe is in Need of Visible Symbols of Unity".

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 - "I have something to Add to the Reply (to "Eurofora"s Questions : Comp. Supra) given by General Weigt", intervened, afterwards, the French General Kolodziel :

- "He Described how this Eurocorps - Tool Develops its Expertise. Concerning the Perspectives about NATO and/or EU, this Tool is very Flexible and Multi-Facet" :

- "F.ex., it is Able to Work, Alternatively, for one Structure, or anOther. Knowing that the Procedures are, generally, the Same, and that it's the Political Framework of the Decision-Making, which will, finally, be Decisive", as he pointed out.

+ And, "at any case, Regarding that Issue of European Defense, this Tool (Eurocorps) is an Important Brick !", the French General stressed.

- "It's not the only one, and, when you place it on a Wider Perspective, and you Compare it with Other Initiatives, (such as, f.ex., the European Initiative for Action, the Structural Cooperation, the European Defense Fund, etc),  you understand that  the Building is under Construction) !", nowadays.    

- "Step by Step, since the Europeans are Numerous, and it's certainly Not Easy, in everyday life, but Steps are Made, and the Structures exist", he Optimisticaly advanced.

- "Eurocorps has Now, become Mature, (and) it's an Important Brick, in that overall Conglomerate, and takes its place in what we could Call, Today, an Arsenal   for the Benefit of Europeans, which Becomes More and More Interesting", he positively concluded.            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         + In Addition, he reacted affirmatively also to anOther "Eurofora"'s observation, of the Fact that, since the New Eurocorps' Commander, was also known for having received an Advanced Knowledge of Cooperation with the UK, in matters of Defense, (by having, f.ex., Studied and Worked in London, etc), in case of BREXIT, he might, perhaps, be Invited also to Contribute in a foreseen EU - UK Joint Security/Defense Policy in the Future :     

- "Absolutely. All this is still On the Making, in a Period of Changes", General Laurent Kolodziej Flexibly replied to "Eurofora" with a smile, without excluding anything of the sort, a priori.

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Earlier, he had indicated (as well as Weigt) that, on 2020, Eurocors is due to become a NATO's Reaction Force (NRF), while on 2021 it might be mandated by the EU for various Missions abroad.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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EuroCorps has already been used by NATO Twice in the Former Yugoslavia's area of Western Balkans : at Bosnia-Herzegovina and at Kosovo, as well as also Twice at Afghanistan, (including in order to assume the role of ISAF's Chief of Staff), etc.

Followed 2 EU Missions in Africa, initialy at Mali, and afterwards also in Central-Africa.      

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Composed mainly by 5 Framework Nations, (France, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium), EuroCorps is also Networked with several Other European Nations, paticularly via a Permanent presence in Strasbourg of "Liaison Officers", such as, f.ex., Poland (which had even thought to become a New Framework Nation, recently), Italy, Greece and Romania.

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Including More than 1.000 Men and Women, at its HeadQuarters in Strasbourg, (40O Staff and 650 Brigade), EuroCorps is a Multi-National and Multi-Modal body, Governed, each 2 Years, by a Commander General from its Framework Countries, on a Rotating basis, (Comp. Supra).

EU Parliament has, often, Strongly Supported EuroCorps, as the main ingredient for the creation of an "Autonomous" European Defense in the Future. 

Meanwhile, for the 1st Time in History, as New EU Commission's President, for the period of 2019-2024, has been recently Elected the former Long-Time Minister of Defense from Germany, Ursula von der Leyen.

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Today, the outgoing Eurocorps' Commander, German General Weight, symbolically gave its Flag for his successor, the incoming new Eurocorps' Commander, French General Kolodzej, for the period of 2019-2021, to whom it was Officialy transmitted by the Chairing, German Army's Chief of Staff, General Zorn,  during the Bi-Annual Ceremony for "Change of Command", attended by many Military and Political Invitees,

 

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whose presentation to the European/International Medias was carefully organized by the incoming and outcoming Chiefs of Eurofora's Press Service, Colonels Pfau and Decker, respectively, who had, previously, kindly debated with "Eurofora" about the Best practical way to deal with the details concerning the Press Coverage of this 2019 Event by the accredited Journalists, from Photos up to the Press Conference, etc., as well as possible Next Events in the foreseable Future.

 

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"Eurofora"'s co-Founder has followed and Published on "EuroCorps"' interesting developments and perspectives during Many Years, almost since its creation, already from the 1990ies, (in our initial, 15 Years work for "TCWeekly" Newspaper, as well as in parallel at "MPAgency", etc : f.ex., starting by one of the 1st Eurocorps' "PIO" Chiefs, Colonel ROGER's replies to our questions, etc), and, more Recently, at "Eurofora", during the latest 12 Years (2007-2019), among others, also, f.ex. :

- Several EUROCORPS' COMMANDERS Generals' Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions on various Topical Issues, as, f.ex., by: Spanish General Pedro PITARCH (2008) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/eurocorpsgets15.html ; German Lieutenant General Hans-Lothar DOMROESE (2009) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/lisbonrightsdefence.html ; French General Olivier DE BAVINCHOV, and ISAF's Chief of Staff (7/2011) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsinafganistan.html , and (1/2012) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsafghaistanlibya.html , as well as on 12/2012 (Replying Directly from Aghanistan's ISAF Headquarters) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsroleafterafghanistan.html ; but also Together with the Incoming new Commander, Belgian General Guy BUCHSENSCHMIDT (6/2013) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpscommandersoneuautonomytools.html ; Reply by Commander General, Belgian Guy BUCHSENSCHIDT to Our Question, in an EU Parliament's meeting (11/2014) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocoprschiefoneuropeandefense.html ; Spanish General Alfredo RAMIREZ (2016) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpscommanderreadytogoforeudefensepolicy.html ; German General Jurgen WEIGT (2017) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsandeumoves.html ; (etc).

+ See Also, f.ex., on EUROCORPS' 15th ANNIVERSARY (2008) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/eurocorpsgets15.html ; French JHA Minister, (+former Defense, Foreign Policy) Michelle ALLIOT-MARIE, on NATO Summit's preparations (2009) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/mamnato.html ;  Replies to Our Questions, by French Defense Minister, Gerard LONGUET (10/2011) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchdefenceministerlonguetoneupolicy.html ; and by Deputy Commander of Eurocorps' Staff, German General Walter SPINDLER (1/2012) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsinafghanistanpakistaniborders.html ; French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves DRIAN to "Eurofora" on Dual Civic-Military Policy (12/2012) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchdefenceministerondualpolicy.html ; Eurocorps' Chief of Staff, Belgian General Guy BUCHSENSCHMIDT's Reply to Our Questions (12/2012) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsroleafterafghanistan.html ; French Defense Deputy Minister Kader ARIF's (former EU Parliament's Rapporteur) Reply to Our Question (1/2013) ;  http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsandesdp.html ; Eurocorps' Press Chief PIO, Belgian Colonel Eddy BOOGHS' Replies to Our Questions (1/2014) ;  http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsflexibilityandplurimodalityrole.html ; French Minister of Defense, Jean-Yves DRIAN's Reply to Our Question on ISIS' Terrorism (11/2014) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchdefenseministerdrianonisis.html ; and by next Eurocorps' PIO Chief, Colonel DALMAU (12/2015) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsspokesmanoneusummit.html ; 25th ANNIVERSARY and a relevant Franco-German Summit (7/2017) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/francogermanmoveondefensetech.html ; Reply to Our Question by Eurocorps' German Press Officer Lieutenant-Colonel KIRCHENBAUER (9/2017) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsanddrones.html ; PESCO Event on Defense High-Tech. Research Funding at EU Summit in Brussels (12/2017) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euhistoricdefenceevent.html ; EU Defense emerges as No 1 Issue at EU Parliament after Terrorist Islamist Attack in Strasbourg (12/2018) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cyprusandeudefenseineuparliament.html ; New President of EU Parliament's Committee on Defense, former French EU Affairs Minister,  Nathalie LOISEAU on a Topical EU SDP Issue (7/2019) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eudefenseandcyprusenergy.html ; Ceremony with 3 Franco-German AirFighter Planes + Eurocorps (7/2019) http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eudefensecoopinstrasbourgandparis.html ; (etc).

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Pierre Pflimlin's visionary line : Honouring the Memory of the man who wanted to build Europe on the Mountains, based on Spirit !

 

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One of EuroFora's best inspirators is naturally Pierre Pflimlin :

We had a chance to personally meet the dynamic and experienced former President of both EU Parliament and CoE's Assembly, France's Prime Minister and Strasbourg's Mayor, only at his 90th anniversary, during an Historic speech at the Council of Europe, exceptionally full of people.

But his energetic figure looked more like a youngster of 19 years old, eager to win the Olympic games !..

Visionary, 2P was, from many points of view :

His daughter, Antoinette, Artist-decorator, and Senator Jung, President of a group of friends, confirmed us an Historian's revelation, that Pflimlin had initially the idea to build all European institutions (EU Parliament, Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, etc) at the spectacular heights of Oberhausbergen hills, with an eye-catching view of both French Vosges and German Black Forest Mountains, in the midst of a Forest : A real vision to create a brand New European Headquarters with a big ambition !

But, it seems, that "someone in Brussels" found that picture, precisely, too big for his taste, and threw a spanner on the works...

Pflimlin stroke back a Decade ago, at his Historic 1997 farewell speech :

He urged Europeans to find another, more substantial way, to lift Europe to more important Heights in Future :

- "On which basis can we imagine the birth of a great Europe ?", he asked.

"Certainly an Economic basis ! A solid market economy, meeting also the needs of social justice. A Political basis : Europe must become a strong Political Power, able to influence World's changes, naturally for Peace."

"But I believe that the essential foundation of a greater Europe should be of Spiritual nature : .... The great pacific Revolutions were Spiritual Victories" : They expressed "People's main motivation to live in a society with our Values of Liberty, Democracy, respect for Human Dignity".

"Then, the roadmap is ready : Yes, the foundation of the unity for a large Europe is the spiritual heritage, inspired by Christian Humanism and the Humanism of Renaissance, of Enlightenment, from which emerged a Civilisation focused on the Human person".

"Here is the task to be accomplished. It's very difficult".

"The Time approaches when I'll have to pass over the torchlight. God willing, this torch should enlighten the path of those who are going to build, tomorrow, the great Europe, marked by this Spirit".

 

(Extract from the Book "Pierre Pfilmin : Alsacian and European", 2007. Texts by Senator Louis Jung, by the long-time f. Director of Strasbourg's Newspaper DNA, Alain Howiller, and by f. EU Parliament's Press Director, Paul Collowald : See dedications, hand-written by the authors, the day the book for Pflimlin's 100th Aniversary was launched at Strasbourg's Press Club and European Parliamentary Association's headquarters, 13 April 2007).

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