EU needs to improve its ability to act in foreign policy
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EU needs to improve its ability to act in foreign policy

The European Union urgently needs to improve its ability to act in foreign, security and defence fields, MEPs point out in a Recommendation voted on today in Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Co-authored by David McAllister MEP, Chairman of the committee, this Recommendation provides a set of measures for strengthening the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The peace and security architecture in Europe has changed dramatically after Russia’s unprecedented war of aggression against Ukraine. This brutal war, at our EU borders, further accelerates the need to improve our common foreign, security and defence policies. What we need is a real political will to make genuine progress in order to achieve the level of ambition as recently defined in the Versailles Declaration”, McAllister said, referring to the conclusion of the latest EU Summit on 11 March which outlined the Union’s plans for „bolstering defence capabilities.“

“We need more, not less, EU action on the global scene and we need more, not less, multilateral governance and rules-based cooperation. We should ensure that the EU’s objectives are aligned with NATO priorities in order to increase our strategic complementarity”, he continued.

In the Recommendation, MEPs want to make strategic autonomy an overarching aim in all areas of the EU’s external action. It is about being able to act alone when needed and with partners when possible, to weigh on the international stage. They call to establish a regular EU Defence Ministers Council and to introduce qualified majority voting in certain areas, like the adoption of personal sanctions, and strive to extend it to foreign policy in the Council. They also agree that the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should be present ex officio in all the meetings led or initiated by the Member States.

“We can only unfold our full potential on the international stage if we are united and work together”, McAllister concluded.