EduBourseActualitésJosé Manuel Durão Barroso President of the European Commission "The EC in...

José Manuel Durão Barroso President of the European Commission “The EC in Afghanistan: Ongoing Commitment and Future Priorities” NATO SummitBucharest, 3 April 2008

NATO Summit
Bucharest, 3 April 2008

Secretary-General, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

I am very grateful for the chance to speak today and share some thoughts on where we, the European Commission, are in Afghanistan.

In addition to today’s meeting, let me welcome the arrival of a new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Kai Eide and the forthcoming Paris Conference in June.

The time is right for the international community to reflect on what we, working together with our Afghan partners, can do to enhance our efforts. We strongly support the aims set out for ISAF of building an enduring, stable, secure, prosperous Afghanistan which respects human rights.

The European Commission’s relations with the South and Central Asian countries generally cover a broad range of issues from political, economic and trade development and security.

It is understandable that, for the time being, the international community in Afghanistan is primarily focused on the challenges of security and development. We believe that to fight the Taliban, we need soldiers, yes, but we also need doctors, teachers, judges, lawyers, police. That is why we, European Commission, are focusing in these areas.

Let me reassure you that the European Commission is in Afghanistan for the long haul. We need tenacity. After all, we are here assisting Afghanistan, defending our common values: freedom and democracy. We already have our strategy and our financial commitment in place until 2013 with at least some 610 Mio€ (952 Mio$) allocated in the initial period up to 2010.

We are strong supporters of donor co-ordination and ready to work to improve that. But a factor which will determine the success or failure of our efforts is the capacity and political will of the Afghan authorities to take full responsibility for the reconstruction and development of their country.

We increasingly look to the Afghans to intensify their work tackling key issues such as corruption and narcotics which threaten to undermine all our efforts.

So what of the Commission’s future role?

The Commission committed and spent €1 billion (1.5 Bn$) up to 2006. We have a new assistance strategy for 2007-10 with a budget of at least €610 million (952 Mio$).

As regards our priorities, we will maintain our long-term commitment to the health sector and, in the East and North-east to our rural development and alternative livelihoods programme.

For the future, our major priority is an increased emphasis on the rule of law and governance. Our approach has three elements:

Firstly, we will continue our support to the Afghan National Police through the Law and Order Trust Fund (LOTFA). The EC has already contributed €200 million. Such support must go hand-in-hand with substantive reforms of the police service. Here, the new EU police mission in Afghanistan which, at full capacity, will have 200 police advisers and mentors, has an important role to play.

Secondly, justice. The Commission has embarked on a new justice programme to help set in place the reform framework for the judiciary and prosecution service. At the Rome conference last year, we pledged up to €60 million for this over the next 3 years.

Trust in police and proper access to justice are crucial in giving people a sense of security and confidence in government, on which long term success in Afghanistan ultimately depends.

Thirdly, we support civilian activities of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) which are led or supported by EU Member States. We of course greatly value our cooperation with NATO and ISAF on this programme.

This programme can support local development which enhances governance and reconstruction efforts at the village, district and province level. Projects so far have included refurbishment of police stations and court houses as well as police training. This PRT programme has perhaps its greatest value in the more remote regions of the country where there is often a lack of other donor presence or resources.

To conclude

The Commission has put security and governance at the heart of its activities.

But for our efforts to succeed, we need to see strong political will from the Afghan Government. We thus wish to see enhanced Afghan leadership and responsibility. Without that, we will not be able, together, to address the remaining challenges and create a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.

I am sure that our discussions today and at the Paris conference to come will contribute greatly to mapping out the long road ahead.

One thing is for sure, we must all intensify our efforts, to the good of Afghanistan and the world at large.

Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Fondateur de Rente et Patrimoine (cabinet de gestion de patrimoine), Pierre Perrin-Monlouis est un analyste et trader pour compte propre. Il vous fait profiter de son expérience en trading grâce à ses analyses financières et décrypte pour vous les actualités des marchés. Son approche globale des marchés combine à la fois l'analyse technique et l'analyse fondamentale sur l'ensemble des marchés : crypto, forex, actions et matières premières.
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