30 April, 2017

Exchange of Views on the Priorities and the Strategies of the EU in the area of CFSP and CSDP

During the second day of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), I took part in an Exchange of Views on the Priorities and the Strategies of the EU in the area of CFSP and CSDP.

The opening remarks were offered by Hon. Carmelo Abela, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security of Malta – the host country of the event, while the keynote speech was given by Mrs. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.

The following text reflects the intervention I held during this Exchange of Views:

As yesterday conclusions were underlying, our Union is one of the greatest achievements in European history. It has brought peace, stability and prosperity to 500 million citizens.

Still, this achievement is not something that cannot be undone – we have the recent troubling example of the Brexit. Also, it needs our full attention and determination to protect it from more or less clear threats that are coming both from outside and from within.

The landscape around EU changed drastically in the last 5-6 years and not only that we are surrounded by conflicts, but some of these pose a direct threat to our citizens. We still lack the proper defense mechanism and we are vulnerable to contamination.

It is not only about terrorism but also about new, unconventional hybrid threats that took a new twist, first using the Internet, and later the Social Networks.

We must focus our priorities on these new threats, especially because, they may not involve tanks and rockets, but they are rather much more insidious and dangerous. We just got glimpses of the potential threat coming from the manipulation and propaganda mechanisms owned by Russia, which most of the 500 million citizens are still completely unaware of.

This request of us determination, efficiency and, in no way positions like those that I heard in the European Parliament, questioning “who can have the authority to say what is true and what is false?”

I also believe that EU has profound interest in reestablishing UN Security Council functionality. Let’s not forget that United Nation was the global response to the atrocities witnessed by the first half of the 20th Century. The Security Council is the highest authority in what regards peace and security. Lately we saw it completely incapable of taking decisions regarding the situation in Syria because of the Russian opposition and vetoing.

EU is a global power and a responsible international stakeholder and must use its influence to convince Russia that, what today seems to be in the momentary advantage of Moscow, tomorrow can prove to be the exact opposite. On this matter, both EU as a whole and the Member States in their bilateral relations must have a single voice, backed by our immense resources of soft power and by our traditional allies, especially US.