An inter-parliamentary conference on the EU’s common foreign and security policy, held in Ljubljana as part of Slovenia’s EU presidency, heard calls for the bloc to take a united and assertive approach to global challenges on Thursday (9 September).
Speaker of the National Assembly Igor Zori said the EU needed to use its strength as an economic giant and the world’s greatest contributor of development aid, emphasising that no one member state could deal with global crises like terrorism or pandemics alone.
A shared approach to crises, according to National Council President Alojz Kovca, is also an expression of unity amongst member nations.
President Borut Pahor emphasized the need for the EU to react quickly and efficiently, saying that this could only happen if integration increases and the EU’s autonomy is enhanced. The EU’s strength and appeal will dwindle if it stays essentially a collection of nation-states.
According to Pahor, the EU bears responsibility for resolving global issues. One such conflict in Afghanistan, which offers one of the most serious threats to the bloc’s single foreign and security strategy.
The EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy, Josep Borrell, believed that the Afghanistan situation may serve as a spur for strengthening the bloc’s foreign policy.
Borrell emphasised that the EU would not recognise Afghanistan’s new administration, but that negotiations and coordination, particularly on humanitarian supplies, were important because Afghanistan is suffering a “humanitarian crisis of Biblical proportions.”
Both Pahor and Borrell suggested that the EU’s strategic resilience needed to be improved across the board, including better defence and cybersecurity capabilities, digital autonomy, and key infrastructure security.
The hybrid conference will feature panels on the EU’s foreign policy priorities, the role of the EU’s foreign policy in a multipolar world, and regional collaboration with the Western Balkans, as well as delegations of parliaments from the EU, member states, and NATO nations.