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EU priorities in the world: security and values


13 Apr 2016


EU Priorities 2020
Global Europe

"The era of the peace dividend has come to an end. The EU has to recognise this reality and adapt to it. This is why one of the most important goals of our global strategy on foreign and security policy is to enhance the defence capabilities of our Union. Moreover, the European Security Strategy of 2003 described a security environment which no longer exists today. This is why a new global strategy which will respond to how the EU should address the most pressing security challenges has become more important than ever", commented EPP Group Vice-Chairwoman Sandra Kalniete MEP, whose Report on 'The EU in a changing global environment - a more connected, contested and complex world', was adopted today by the European Parliament.

The Report prioritises EU security, defence and resilience, focuses on stabilising Europe's wider neighbourhood and on becoming a stronger global rule-maker in a strategic alliance with the United States of America. “I believe that a principal objective of the strategy should be to move towards joint defence forces, the framing of a common defence policy which should ultimately lead to a European Defence Union”, stressed Kalniete.

While the United States is the EU’s key strategic partner, Europeans must undertake greater responsibility for their collective security and territorial defence, having to rely less on the United States, especially in Europe’s neighbourhood. Therefore there is an essential need to strengthen the EU's strategic autonomy regarding defence capabilities and EU-NATO cooperation.

The Report outlines that the primary objective for the EU is to promote peace, its values, defend its interests and the well-being of its people, while ensuring the security of its citizens and its territory. "There are those who believe that Europe should have big global ambitions. I would like point out that Europe should set standards and export good governance to the world. But our first and most important task is to be a global power with a regional focus. If we are not able to stabilise regions around Europe, then our ambition to be a global player has no credibility. A very important issue in the coming decades will be demographic explosion in Africa. This will make the migration crisis we are now experiencing seem like child's play. Therefore it is important to establish effective development cooperation and invest efficient sources in our external relations", concluded Sandra Kalniete.