Walking the strategic talk: A progressive EU foreign policy agenda for the future

Policy Brief

07/05/2019

Read the publication

For years, the pace and extensity of external change outstripped the steps that were taken towards enhancing and strengthening the EU’s capacity to respond effectively to the (f)actors affecting its principles and interests. The EU’s external action all too often proved despondent, fragmented and out-of-sync with the realities that Europe was facing. The unveiling of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) in 2016 by Federica Mogherini, the Union’s High Representative, constituted a tremendously significant effort to rectify this.

Now, following three years of the Strategy’s implementation, and ahead of the 2019 institutional renewal of the EU, the areas of both substantial progress and considerable disappointment when assessing the performance of the EU’s external action under the influence of the EUGS are becoming clearer.

As we look towards the next qualitative leap the Union needs to make to respond to a world that has become more tumultuous, a new report by Vassilis Ntousas, Senior International Relations Policy Advisor at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), and Nicoletta Pirozzi, Head of the European Union programme and Institutional Relations Manager at Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) draws from and expands on the findings of a year-long research project to offer some insights in three key areas:

– Outlining some of the critical insecurity trends that have negatively impacted the EU’s capacity to navigate through the emerging realities of diversified threats and multiplying conflicts, both within and beyond European borders;

– Briefly taking stock of some of the EU Global Strategy’s greatest achievements and limitations in promoting a Europe that stands, speaks and acts together in its foreign policy; and

– Providing concrete recommendations in 10 critical areas where the Union needs to walk the strategic talk embodied in the Global Strategy – more boldly, with more unity and towards a more progressive direction.

These recommendations delineate a progressive to-do list enabling the EU to transform itself from a regional actor in search of a global reach, to a global actor enjoying the confidence, coherence, capability and ambition the Union needs and deserves.

These recommendations are:

1. Adding flexibility into a coherent foreign policy mix

2. Balancing strategic autonomy and global agency

3. Transforming, not just defending, multilateralism

4. Relaunching peacebuilding

5. Getting the European defence architecture right

6. Financing our ambition

7. De-securitising and managing migration

8. Elevating Africa from a neighbour to a true partner

9. Preserving the legacy of the EU Global Strategy

10. Strengthening the European project

Read the publication

Network
Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)
Find all related publications
Publications
18/05/2024

Redefining European engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

From financial aid to institution building
13/05/2024

Toward a progressive geopolitical EU

FEPS YAN Series
19/04/2024

A New Global Deal

Reforming world governance
05/03/2024

A European feminist foreign policy?

The need for a progressive and transformative approach
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post
22/02/2024

Ukrainian democracy vs. the Russian war: how to increase resilience

22/02/2024

European integration in wartime: the EU’s imperative to preserve and rejuvenate Ukraine’s democracy

22/02/2024

War economy: how economic policy can help Ukraine win the war

Find all related events
Events
Upcoming
11 - 12/06/2024
Online

Progressive Migration Group meeting

Past
09 - 10/05/2024
Nairobi, Kenya

UN Civil Society Conference

FEPS panel: A New Global Deal to implement the SDGs
25/04/2024
Vienna, Austria (Expert meeting)

A new global deal to advance and implement the SDGs

Towards the Summit and Pact of the Future
Find all related news
News
16/05/2024

FEPS at UN Civil Society Conference in Kenya

15/05/2024

Notice of vacancy – Policy analyst on international relations

22/03/2024

FEPS attends the 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68)

18/03/2024

FEPS President on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

NATO extension, Portuguese elections, far-right and gender equality were the topics of the debate
Find all related in the media
In the media

FEPS President on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

by Euronews 16/03/2024
FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues discusses NATO expansions and elections in Russia and Portugal on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?‘

What are Hungary’s conditions for lifting its Ukraine Facility veto?

by Euractiv 12/01/2024
In this episode, Evi Kiorri asks Andriy Korniychuk, policy analyst and expert on Ukraine matters at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies: what are Viktor Orbán's conditions, and why is Hungary considering changing its position?

Une réforme de l’UE qui intéressera forcément les Suisses

by Le Temps 24/11/2023
'EU reform bound to be of interest to the Swiss', an opinion piece in Le Temps on EU Treaties changes by Maria João Rodrigues, FEPS President, Guillaume Klossa, Director of think tank EuropaNova and Daniela Schwarzer, Executive board member Bertelsmann Stiftung

« Le moment est venu de lancer un débat sur la réforme de l’Union européenne »

by Le Monde 22/11/2023
'The time has come to launch a debate on the reform of the European Union', an opinion piece in Le Monde on Eu Treaties changes by Maria João Rodrigues, FEPS President, Guillaume Klossa, Director of think tank EuropaNova and Daniela Schwarzer, Executive board member Bertelsmann Stiftung