Written by Suzana Elena Anghel (European Council Oversight Unit) and Carmen-Cristina Cirlig (Members’ Research Service)
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, France requested aid and assistance from the other Member States based on Article 42(7) TEU. This represented the first activation of the mutual assistance clause since it was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. Member States expressed their solidarity and political support to France instantly and unanimously. Within days, several Member States, including Germany and the United Kingdom, decided on a series of initial contributions.
More decisions are expected in the days and weeks to come from several other Member States, subject, in some cases, to parliamentary approval. This will allow France to reconsider its engagements and redeploy its military. Furthermore, it could contribute to enhancing intelligence-sharing and the stepping-up of counter-terrorism cooperation. There is also a window of opportunity to strengthen political cooperation, as Member States are expressing their full support for the Vienna process with a view to a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria.
Download the French or English version of the Briefing on ‘Activation of Article 42(7) TEU: France’s request for assistance and Member States’ responses’ in PDF.