12/10/2015 Ref: EU15-431EN
Summary: 12 October 2015, Brussels - High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini gave a keynote address on the need for an EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy to guide the European Union’s external action in years to come.
Speaking to a crowd of policy makers, analysts and academics, as well as members of the security, defence and foreign policy communities at the Royal Brussels Academy of Science in Brussels, the High Representative stressed:
"In a world that is more connected, conflictual and more complex, strategy matters to provide us with a sense of direction; to help us navigate choppy waters; to be proactive in the protection and pursuit of our interests (…) We need to define where we can, where we must and where we want to make a difference.”
According to the High Representative, in a world that is increasingly connected, contested and complex the Union should be guided by three central principles:
First, engagement with the outside world. "Closure is not an option for our Union" she said. "Building walls, physical or psychological cannot protect us ... turning inwards will only make us more vulnerable... Closure also means missing out on the opportunities that our global links present. Be it in terms of trade, human mobility or technology."
Mogherini also called for responsibility in addressing conflict, in particular by working with local and regional partners on addressing root causes and finding long term solutions to crises.
Finally, she stressed the need to develop strong partnerships to tackle joint challenges collectively and with a joint sense of ownership.
The speech was delivered in the context of a two day conference organised by the European Union Institute for Security Studies to inaugurate the public consultation and outreach phase that will accompany the preparations of a Global Strategy for the European Union in the coming months.
During the conference experts and policy makers discussed different dimensions of the strategy from long term implications of current challenges in Europe's extended neighbourhood, to priorities for the Union’s Foreign, Security and Defence Policy, and the basic elements of effective strategy making.
In her speech High Representative Mogherini underlined the crucial role of an inclusive process: "Foreign policy does not only affect all of us. We also all have a role in shaping it. This is why we are gathering as many voices as possible to feed into the debate. Your ideas are crucial input to this debate”, she said.
Mogherini also stressed the important role of a strategy in helping the Union reach out to its citizens: "More people are beginning to care about what happens elsewhere. Think of the events in recent months and weeks: it is perfectly clear that ’out there’ often has a direct impact on the ’right here’” A Global strategy „opens a chance to show that Europe matters to its citizens. That our foreign policy is connected to our citizens’ needs, to their own priorities … I want a strategy that responds to the ideas, the fears and dreams of European citizens, especially the young.”
To read the full speech click here.