The joker in the pack – EU’s foreign policy

Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team 

Can the European Union be taken seriously when its foreign policy is being ridiculed across the globe? 

It is not just Europeans who are sharing jokes and images of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as a belly dancer entertaining President Erdogan and European Council President Charles Michel, it is also global diplomats. Such protocol humiliations are becoming common place as the Union struggles to define a cohesive foreign policy which is not only endorsed by all 27 member states but which is also implemented at EU institutional level. The European Union is more and more frequently being defined as an unreliable partner, through its application of frequent unilateral sanctions and its double standards which are jeopardising its principles and values. 

The EU’s joint foreign and security policy was designed to resolve conflicts and foster international understanding, and is based on diplomacy and respect for international rules. The objectives are to preserve peace, strengthen international security, promote international cooperation, and to develop and consolidate democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights & fundamental freedoms. 

The European External Action Service (EEAS) acts as the EU’s diplomatic service with a network of over 140 delegations around the world promoting and protecting the EU’s values and interests, however, the ultimate powers for most foreign and security policy decisions require the agreement of all EU countries which fall under the European Council. This is something regularly noted by the High Representative for foreign policy and head of the EEAS, Josep Borrell, “it will be for the member states to decide the next step”, as he dismisses himself from any competence or responsibility.

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