Wednesday

18th May 2022

New EU foreign policy think tank created

  • Europe should be stronger on foreign affairs, the group says (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

A group of European politicians and intellectuals have started a new think tank aimed at pushing EU capitals to creating a "more coherent and vigorous" foreign affairs policy in an attempt to make Europe a stronger player on the global stage.

The new think tank - European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) - was launched on Tuesday (2 October) by fifty founding members such as former prime ministers, presidents, European commissioners, MEPs and ministers as well as intellectuals, business leaders, and cultural figures from the EU member states and candidate countries.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

They include Martti Ahtisaari, former Finnish president and current special UN envoy for Kosovo; Joschka Fischer, former German foreign affairs minister; Gijs de Vries, former EU counter-terrorism coordinator; Timothy Garton Ash, renowned professor of European studies; and Bronislaw Geremek, MEP and former foreign minister of Poland.

They call on European governments "to adopt a more coherent and vigorous foreign policy in support of European values and interests backed by all of Europe's power: political, cultural, economic and – when all else fails – military."

The centre will be based in seven EU capitals - Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Sofia and Warsaw - and headed by Mark Leonard - a writer and former director of Foreign Policy at the UK-based Centre for European Reform.

"Europe needs to come of age. We need to stop complaining about what others are doing to the world, and start thinking for ourselves. We want a can-do foreign policy, where European power is put at the service of European values," he said in a statement after the launch.

EU lobbies Hungary to break oil sanctions deadlock

After the EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's Budapest trip, Hungary suggested it wants EU funds to offset the extra costs from receiving different oil sources, and the increased energy prices the planned Russian oil embargo entails.

Political groups shun far-right pro-Kremlin MEP

French MEP Thierry Mariani from the far-right Identity and Democracy Group is spearheading a report in the parliament's foreign affairs committee. The socialists are boycotting it.

Opinion

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy

Granting EU candidacy status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will firmly anchor their ties with Brussels — and enable the EU to secure its place in the Black Sea region, connecting Europe to China and energy-rich Central Asia, bypassing Russia.

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. EU to protect Finland and Sweden until they join Nato
  2. Poland backs Hungary over frozen 'rule of law' EU funds
  3. EU to reduce size and scope of Mali military mission
  4. Band members testify about Bataclan attack
  5. German prosecutors want five years for alleged ex-Nazi guard
  6. UN urges Iran to halt execution of Swedish-Iranian academic
  7. EU: legal Russian gas payments possible, but not in roubles
  8. McDonald's to sell up and exit Russia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy
  2. Watchdog calls for tougher curbs on 'problematic' revolving doors
  3. Borrell: EU arms flow to Ukraine amid 'record' Russian losses
  4. UK and EU edge closer to trade war over Northern Ireland
  5. Rescue crew face 20 years jail for saving migrants
  6. Roma refugees from Ukraine face Czech xenophobia
  7. EU not doing enough to help Ukraine, Yellen says
  8. MEPs raise ambition on EU carbon market reform

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us