Walking the Strategic Talk. A Progressive EU Foreign Policy Agenda for the Future

For years, the pace and extensity of external change outstripped the steps that were taken towards enhancing and strengthening the EU’s capacity to respond effectively to the (f)actors affecting its principles and interests. The EU’s external action all too often proved despondent, fragmented and out-of-sync with the realities that Europe was facing. The unveiling of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) in 2016 by Federica Mogherini, the Union’s High Representative, constituted a tremendously significant effort to rectify this. Now, following three years of the Strategy’s implementation, and ahead of the 2019 institutional renewal of the EU, the areas of both substantial progress and considerable disappointment when assessing the performance of the EU’s external action under the influence of the EUGS are becoming clearer. As we look towards the next qualitative leap the Union needs to make to respond to a world that has become more tumultuous, a new FEPS-IAI report draws from and expands on the findings of a year-long research project to offer some insights in three key areas: (1) outlining some of the critical insecurity trends that have negatively impacted the EU’s capacity to navigate through the emerging realities of diversified threats and multiplying conflicts, both within and beyond European borders; (2) briefly taking stock of some of the EU Global Strategy’s greatest achievements and limitations in promoting a Europe that stands, speaks and acts together in its foreign policy; and (3) providing concrete recommendations in 10 critical areas where the Union needs to walk the strategic talk embodied in the Global Strategy – more boldly, with more unity and towards a more progressive direction.

Brussels, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and Rome, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), May 2019, 47 p.
Publication date: 

Executive summary
The insecurity trends

1. Differentiated (dis)integration
2. Internalisation of external insecurity
3. Externalisation of internal deadlock
4. The global slack
The EU’s response: the EU Global Strategy and beyond
1. Linking internal and external security
2. Achieving an integrated approach to conflicts and crises
3. Upholding multilateralism and reforming global governance
4. A joined-up Union
A progressive EU foreign policy agenda for the future
1. Adding flexibility into a coherent foreign policy mix
2. Balancing strategic autonomy and global agency
3. Transforming, not just defending, multilateralism
4. Relaunching peacebuilding
5. Getting the European defence architecture right
6. Financing our ambition
7. De-securitising and managing migration
8. Elevating Africa from a neighbour to a true partner
9. Preserving the legacy of the EU Global Strategy
10. Strengthening the European project

Research area