Common Foreign and Security Policy: EU should develop robust strategic alliances
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Common Foreign and Security Policy: EU should develop robust strategic alliances

Balancing the promotion of values and the defence of interests

Accelerating enlargement while reforming decision-making procedures

Reinforce multilateral forums as the EU’s format of cooperation of choice

The EU has absolved itself of the need to proactively define and defend its interests in the world for too long. This needs to change, warn MEPs.

In their annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, MEPs stress that the EU needs to come of age as a geopolitical actor, with its external action guided by the values and principles that inspired its own creation, development and enlargement.

Accelerate enlargement and reform decision-making processes in response to new geopolitical setting

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is a human tragedy on a scale not seen in decades in Europe, stress MEPs in the report adopted on Tuesday by 41 votes in favour, 8 against and 7 abstentions. The war has sparked a series of economic shocks in the global economy and added significant destabilising pressures on the countries in the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership, they say. As this jeopardises the EU’s security, the report calls on the EU to reform its neighbourhood policy and accelerate the enlargement process, whilst moving forward with institutional and decision-making reforms. MEPs call on the EU to improve its capacity to act in response to, as well as to pre-empt, global crises, underlining that better crisis management also necessitates a stronger role for the European Parliament.

Address the increasing relevance of alternative fora of cooperation and reinforce inclusive forms of multilateral governance

As the competition between the United States and China is redefining the global balance of power, MEPs express their concern about the increasing relevance of more exclusive formats of cooperation. In this context, the report emphasises that traditional multilateral forums, chief among them the UN and its agencies, should be considered the EU’s format of cooperation of choice. Accordingly, MEPs call for inclusive forms of multilateral governance to be strengthened and encourage stronger inter-institutional cooperation with multilateral organisations that are integral to the international rules-based system..

The report emphasises the significance of stronger bilateral and regional partnerships that enable the EU to assert its interests globally. From its closest neighbours and allies to those far away but the most in need, the EU should cooperate with partners to defend the rules-based-order and to maintain a principled position vis-a-vis those who challenge EU values and principles. In the long term, principled and selective engagement with China will constitute the most pressing challenge, the annual report stresses.

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The rapporteur David McAllister (EPP, Germany) said: This is the final resolution on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy in this legislature. As such, the text could act as a guide for the priorities of the next Commission and High Representative. The stakes are even higher this year than in previous ones, and so is our level of ambition. The EU must complement its traditional raison d’état as a normative power with that of an external security provider that is capable of doing both: defending our values and asserting our own geopolitical interests.”

Next steps

The report will now be submitted to a vote in the European Parliament as a whole at one of the next plenary sessions.