• The Daily Telegraph

    , a British daily, argued on Wednesday that Emmanuel Macron could leave France's seat on the UN Security Council to the EU in exchange for support for a European army plan.

  • The Elysee immediately denied wanting to cede this strategic seat, reserved for five countries in the world.

  • France has no interest in leaving the Security Council in view of the importance it has from a diplomatic point of view, underline the specialists interviewed by 

    20 Minutes


Does France intend to give up its precious seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council?

The question returned to the carpet on Wednesday, with the publication of an article in the British newspaper

The Daily Telegraph


According to the conservative daily, Emmanuel Macron could leave the seat to the EU, in exchange for support from the 27 for a French plan to create a European army.

The Elysee immediately affixed a firm denial: “Contrary to the assertions of the English tabloid

Daily Telegraph

relayed this morning, no, France has not offered to leave its seat on the United Nations Security Council.

He is in France and will remain so.

It should be noted that the


does not belong to the tabloids.

Contrary to the assertions of the English tabloid Daily Telegraph relayed this morning, no, France has not offered to leave its seat on the United Nations Security Council.

He is in France and will remain so.

- Elysee (@Elysee) September 22, 2021

The debate had already arisen in 2018 and 2019. At the time, German leaders had supported the idea of ​​an EU seat on the Security Council, a proposal which had been interpreted in part as being at the expense of the EU. French headquarters.

An idea already ruled out by French diplomacy.

A withdrawal "unsaleable to public opinion"

To give way to the Security Council, "this has never been considered by France in an official or unofficial manner", abounds with

20 Minutes

Alexandra Novosseloff, who edited the book

The Security Council of the United Nations *


Sitting there, "it's a way of being part of the greats of this world," she adds.

“We don't sell off our family gems.


Such a withdrawal would also be "unsaleable to public opinion" in France, underlines Franck Petiteville, professor of political science and international relations at Sciences Po Grenoble, while the campaign for the presidential election of May 2022 begins.

"That France echo more European diplomacy"

The question of the reform of the functioning of this Council, while the world balances have shifted since the end of the Second World War, nevertheless arises. But obstacles stand in the way: the members of the Council are States, which the European Union is not. Having a seat that represents 27 member states also runs the risk of slowing down the decision-making process of this small body. "The initial objective was for this small body to be able to take decisions quickly on peace and security," recalls Alexandra Novolessoff.

The European Union has been present at the UN since 1974. Since the Treaty of Lisbon, it enjoys enhanced observer status.

This means that “it can participate in debates at the General Assembly but cannot vote on a resolution,” recalls Franck Petiteville.

How, in this case, to leave a little more room for France's European allies within this Council, especially since France is the only representative of the 27 since Brexit?

"The conceivable thing would be for France to echo more European diplomacy, for France to design its headquarters more systematically as the mouthpiece of the EU", analyzes the professor, who adds that there is already a diplomatic coordination work between the EU and France.

A Council which "decides on peace and security in the world"

If France is so keen on this seat, it is because only four other states in the world sit permanently in this Council alongside France: the United States, Russia, China and the United Kingdom, the victorious countries of World War II. This Council "decides on peace and security in the world," recalls Alexandra Novosseloff. With a veto right, members can block certain military operations.

As for the plan for a European army mentioned by the

Daily Telegraph

, it is about a “sea serpent” which has been under discussion since the European Defense Community in the early 1950s, adds Franck Petiteville.

If Emmanuel Macron spoke out in 2018 in favor of a "European army", a French source then told AFP that it was a question, rather than creating troops under the sovereignty of the EU, of carry out coordinated actions between States.

He has not since re-used this term.


The United Nations Security Council, Between impotence and all power

, a work edited by Alexandra Novosseloff, published in September 2021 by CNRS Editions.


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