On September 30, 2016, The European Parliament Information Office, the Representation of the European Commission in The Netherlands and The Hague Institute for Global Justice co-convened a public panel on the EU’s new Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy entitled Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe.
[Listen to the audio below]
On 28 June 2016, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini presented the new EU Global Strategy to EU leaders. The strategy, which came shortly after the Brexit referendum, is supposed to set the agenda for the EU’s foreign policy and serve as a document which expresses the Union’s shared vision for common action. It is the result of a year-long process during which High Representative Mogherini consulted with experts, member states, civil society and other stakeholders. This process included an expert consultation last December, organized by The Hague Institute and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to inform the Dutch input statement in the strategic review process.
Like any good strategy, it seeks to set goals and objectives, and identify the means that the EU can use to achieve them. But the new Strategy comes in a time of growing uncertainty and insecurity. The UK has voted to leave the European Union, the Syrian civil war still shows few signs of abating, terrorist attacks keep making thousands of casualties across the world, and a failed coup attempt in Turkey is increasing concerns over the direction the country which once hoped to join the EU might take, with all its possible consequences for the EU-Turkey migrant deal. Such a troubled international environment begs the question of whether this new document will serve as a lodestar in stormy waters, or will suffer the fate of so many strategies before it, ending up in a desk drawer to never see the light of day again. And if it is to be this lodestar, what would be the next steps in the implementation of the strategy? What recommendations should be made to the EU Council in October? What obstacles need to be overcome?
Following welcome remarks by Ms. Maria Silvia Gatta, Head of the political department of the Representation of the European Commission in The Netherlands, and Dr. Abi Williams, President of The Hague Institute, the following experts engaged in a debate on the EU’s new Global Strategy and its relevance in a troubled international environment:
- Ms. Farah Karimi, CEO, Oxfam Novib
- Mr. Alfredo Conte, Head of Strategic Planning, European External Action Service
- Ms. Lise Gregoire-van Haaren, Head of Political Affairs Unit, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Prof. Dr. Joris Voorhoeve, The Hague University of Applied Sciences and former Defence Minister of The Netherlands
- Moderator: Dr. Joris Larik, Senior Researcher, The Hague Institute and Assistant Professor, Leiden University
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