The European Union is evolving more than ever in an unstable environment. But, paradoxically, at a time when we need a clear and assertive common foreign policy, we are showing our weaknesses and shortcomings. Two regrettable episodes have not been to the credit of Europeans in recent weeks. In February, during his visit to Moscow, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs showed incredible naivety. In Ankara, three weeks ago, the European Union did not come out of the incident that attracted the attention of the international press during the meeting with President Erdogan.
Malik Azmani, first vice president of Renew Europe group said:
"A strong common foreign policy is more vital than ever. But the EU appears to be achieving the exact opposite. While Putin was mobilising troops on the Ukrainian border, the EU’s response was insufficient and in Turkey, where fundamental rights are blatantly disregarded, the response from the EU is weak and divided.”
The Conference on the future of Europe must take up this essential subject. But until the conference has delivered its conclusions, the EU should act more boldly and more with one voice now. Meanwhile, we expect the current players to do better with the current rulebook.
Malik Azmani concluded:
“The harsh reality is that the players of a game are only as good as the rules of the game they play. And the EU can never win with the rules it plays by. The EU must reform. The Conference on the Future Europe that Renew Europe initiated is the place to decide what reforms are needed with direct input from EU citizens.”
Hilde Vautmans, Renew coordinator for Foreign affairs said:
"Incidents such as the sofagate cannot happen ever again. It has further harmed the EU's geopolitical credibility and has exposed disunity between the European institutions. It is clear that words alone will not get us that geopolitical Union. We need the political will to develop the right structures and more coherence and unity both in our external policies and representation. It is high time to become more autonomous so we are less prone to traps, blackmail or threats by autocratic leaders. That also means we need to dare to say that this Turkey cannot join the EU.”
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