The European Union confirmed on Wednesday (17 November) that it would provide support and aid to the French military missions in the wake of the brutal terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday (13 November). France invoked a part of the EU treaties that had not been previously used, which EU countries unanimously backed. Paris specifically used a relatively unknown article in the Lisbon Treaty, which ensures solidarity in case one of the Member States is attacked.
“Today France demanded the aid and assistance of the whole of Europe. And today the whole of Europe replied in unison ‘yes’,” EU’s chief of diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, said and added that “it is an article that has never been used before in the history of our Union.” The French government now said that it was about to have talks with individual Member States to see what help they can offer. “I felt a lot of emotion from my colleagues” over the Paris attacks claimed by ISIS, which killed 129 people, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. He added that many of his counterparts had spoken to him personally in French to express their condolences and pay their respects.
In further expressions of solidarity, EU leaders suggested leniency when it comes to French budget after the country hinted that it might be difficult to meet its deficit obligations as it is strengthening security following the bloodshed. The rules of the stability pact do not stop Member States from defining their priorities. We understand that the priority is security,” EU Economic Affairs Commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, commented. Article 42-7 of the Lisbon Treaty is sort of an equivalent to the NATO’s Article 5, which the United States activated following 9/11 attacks. France has shown little interest and willingness to open Article 5 but it has been looking into other options of international aid beyond the NATO clause.