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Josep Borrell – Best man for a difficult job as Europe's top diplomat


08 Oct 2019


Following today's hearing with the members of the foreign affairs committee, the S&D Group expressed its full confidence in Josep Borrell’s suitability to lead European foreign policy in turbulent times of change. As former president of the European Parliament and Spain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell is best placed to be Europe's top diplomat.
The S&D vice-president for foreign affairs, Kati Piri, said:
“After today's hearing, nobody can doubt that Josep Borrell is the best man to lead the Union's foreign policy in the coming years, a man with a vision and the required diplomatic and political skills to shape EU's foreign policy in turbulent times. 
“His extensive professional career, and unparalleled experience in politics, will be decisive for promoting stability in the Middle East, nurturing a genuine partnership with Africa, resetting our transatlantic relations with the United States and fostering cooperation with Latin America, strengthening and reforming the multilateral institutions and promoting the EU’s role as a global actor for peace.
“Mr. Borrell already indicated his determination to use all the instruments in the EU’s toolbox. He committed to ensuring greater coherence between internal and external policies as well as amongst the different strands of the EU external relations, such as foreign and security policy, trade and development, and to mainstream climate diplomacy and gender equality into all EU external action. 
“Finally, as S&Ds, we totally share Mr Borrell’s ambition that Europe should play a central role in promoting and protecting human rights globally, as they are an integral part of all our policies, particularly migration, security and trade.”
Tonino Picula, S&D coordinator in the committee on foreign affairs, added:
“Josep Borrell gave a convincing performance, displaying the competence, experience and passion needed to contribute in making the EU a stronger geopolitical actor. His answers, explanations and commitments testify to his awareness of the challenges facing the rules-based international order, and an impressive command of the detail and vision of the EU as a defender of effective multilateralism. He asserted his intentions to engage on the reform and integration process in the Western Balkans, to support democracy and territorial integrity of Ukraine and to addressing the challenges in our Southern neighbourhood.
“In a world increasingly dominated by the US-Chinese geopolitical competition, the EU should reconsider its ‘silos’ approach. The stance of the current US administration emphasises the urgency for the EU to better align its foreign and economic policies to ensure the continued security and prosperity of its people - in a way that is consistent with our values. Principled pragmatism should guide all our external relations.
“We are fully confident that Mr. Borrell, who emphasized the added value of parliamentary diplomacy and the crucial contribution the European Parliament can make in shaping European foreign policy, will be able to deliver on the ambitions set out during today’s hearing. We are very much looking forward to joining forces with him, and the European External Action Service team, on promoting Europe as a key global force for peace, justice and sustainable development.”