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Wednesday, 02 April 2014

No development funds for interventions, says minister

"No development funds for military interventions, weapons and materials from the European Development Fund," German Development Minister Gerd Müller emphasised in an interview on Sunday (30 March). Müller is calling for a strict division between financing for development cooperation and security policy.  “That would be an attack on Europe's development policy," the development minister said firmly.
There are no military options for Europe in Africa, Minister Müller is convinced. Reconstruction, water, infrastructure or housing and settlement for refugees are not tasks of the military.
"We must move from networked security to networked development," said Müller, referring to the term "networked security" coined by the former German government. The concept is based on the idea that security should not be understood as a purely military task, but also a civilian one.
In the run-up to the two-day EU-Africa Summit in Brussels on Wednesday (2 April), Müller's words are a clear rejection of demands from France. Germany’s neighbour hopes for greater military involvement in Africa from Europe, but also particularly from the German Bundeswehr.
The development minister's views differ from those of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Ever since the Munich Security Conference, the two have been calling for a stronger foreign policy role for the Federal Republic, including a military dimension.
At a conference on troop levels over the weekend, the EU announced sending roughly 1,000 soldiers to the Central African Republic. The purpose of this initiative is to support an estimated 6,000 African, and 2,000 French soldiers, already on the ground, in stabilising the country.
The exact composition of troops is set to be determined at a special meeting on the periphery of the EU-Africa Summit. The German government has held out the prospect of sending one air ambulance, two Antonov (AN-124) transport planes and 10 soldiers. But there will be no combat mission for German soldiers, the government said.
Source: Euractiv

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