Europe was built as project to ensure peace by creating economic links. The European Union in that regard has to be considered a success. However, the world around Europe paints a different picture. Crises, conflicts and war are at our doorsteps and their effects are also felt within the European Union. And while Europe is used to act internally, the geopolitical stage often sees the European Union in awkward or even regrettable situations. We only need to remember Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel travelling to Turkey and fighting for the lone chair provided to them. Whether it's France being ousted during the Aukus affair with Australia preferring to purchase submarines from the US or the migration "deal" between the Netherlands, Italy and the European Commission, whether it's Europe's silence during the explusion of the Armenian minority from Haut-Karabagh to not put in question our gas purchases via Azerbaidjan or member states presidents each having their own foreign policy agenda - Europe's foreign policy today is far from a single voix or a canon: we are a cacophony of 27+1 often pulling in 28 different directions and, in sum, not getting anywhere.

We cannot continue like this. In a world of geopolitical blocks, individual member states matter less and less and until we all realise that only by joining forces towards a common European "block" and foreign policy, we can live up to the expectations and the play the role that Europe has to play on the international stage.

This role for me is one of promoting peace and stability. During my mandate in the European parliament, I want to therefore push for the European Union to develop a foreign policy that gives a perspective to our neighbouring countries eager to join the Union while working to uphold peace and stability everywhere else: on the Balkan, in the Mediterranean, in northern Africa and in the Caucase.

My foreign policy elements:

  • Enlargement

    Moving to a EU accesion process in different steps rather than a Europe of different speeds. We need to make the EU more accessible by defining a path to accession which at every step gives access to "a bit more of Europe", but also can revoke this access in caes of regressions

  • Credibility

    Rebuild the credibility Europe as lost on the international stage. We cannot point fingers at other countries for violation of human rights and look the other way whenever it suits us. This requires Europe speaking up in conflicts and using it's economic influence and accesion perspectives for a "smart" foreign policy. It will require Europe to become much more resilient in many sectors, from energy to foreign influence and also find solutions to stop other countries exploiting our internal divisons.

  • Pragmatisme

    Try to build consensus for a European military disaster and catastrophy intervention unit as a precoursor of an actual European army. Whether internally or externally, such a military branch will not run out of missions and we should use this path to try and build the structures that we will eventually need.

I'm fully aware, that even defining the contours of a European foreign policy will be a paramount task. It can only be undertaken by paneuropean political parties and a european perspective, because national parties in the parliament will under most circumstances refuse any initiative to delegate foreign policy competences to the European Union. I would like to start turning the tide.

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