Towards a European Global Strategy: three levels for EU external action

spain logoA report recently published outlines three levels for EU external action, making proposals such as: building four global partnerships with the US, Turkey, Russia and China and jointly working toward global governance reform; developing the external dimensions of EU single market and energy policies; and re-engaging with the strategic neighbourhood.

The report, entitled Towards a European Global Strategy has been produced by four European think tanks, following the initiative put forth by the Foreign Ministries of Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

According to the report, the EU should forge a new Atlantic community with the US, on the basis of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which should be rapidly implemented. This partnership should be politico-strategic in nature and tailored to jointly address the main issues on the international agenda. The EU should offer Turkey a wide-ranging, enhanced political partnership, without awaiting the conclusion of the accession process, which should be successfully completed in the near future.

The strategic neighbourhood is a geopolitical space that goes beyond those states whose geographical proximity connects them to the Union, and also include broader areas that are functionally linked to vital European interests, such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and North Africa (?), Central Asia, the Arctic and adjacent sea-lines.

The EU should consider states in the strategic neighbourhood as potential partners, and initiate a political dialogue with them in order to agree on common priorities and actions, by abandoning the logic of mere conditionality. The EU and its member states should advance comprehensive security in this area by being prepared to undertake the full spectrum of civilian and military missions in order to manage crises which threaten vital European interests.