Sunday

25th Feb 2024

Solana report: EU foreign policy a failure

In a confidential report from the EU high representative Javier Solana, the foreign policy of the European Union is criticised for being window dressing without any real effect, writes the Danish daily Information. Mr Solana's states that the EU's attempts at getting a stronger international profile so far have failed.

The seven-page report from Mr Solana, who is the EU high representative of Foreign and Security Policy, will be on the table today, when the EU foreign ministers meet for the first time in Brussels during the Swedish EU presidency.

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The Danish daily Information has obtained a copy of the report and according to Information Mr Solana is less than impressed with the EU's efforts at creating common foreign policy strategies. The EU, following the method that common action is stronger, has tried to focus the power of the 15 member states on different areas or themes. This was the intention with the establishment of a common foreign and security policy as provisioned by the Treaty of Amsterdam.

But Mr Solana is, according to the report, far from impressed with the results of EU's foreign policy. He is very critical of the choice of Russia, the Mediterranean region, Ukraine and the Balkans as target areas, areas where the EU already had established detailed policies. The use of a new foreign policy strategy is those areas, is according to the Solana report, not easy to see. And what is worse, the new strategy has clearly failed at helping the EU to solve an important and specific matter like the Chechnya conflict.

Another criticism is that the foreign policy strategies where created for public use. This has resulted in smoothly worded diplomatic texts that cannot be used for anything in the reality of foreign policy. The Amsterdam Treaty does not offer any guide to what it was the EU heads of states and governments intended to do with the common strategies, therefor it has been left to the EU foreign ministers and the rotating EU presidencies to maintain the focus of the strategies. However, the real result has been a lack of focus and this has, according to Mr Solana, resulted in a foreign policy marked by national interests.

The report ends with a piece of advice from Mr Solana to the EU's fifteen foreign ministers. In the future the EU should target a few and very clearly defined issues, not nations or regions. Success has to be identifiable. And last, but not least, Mr Solana recommends less publicity and in some cases perhaps even keeping the contents of the strategies secret.

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