"We are a superpower", said Federica Mogherini, High Representative of EU's Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, at her October visit organized by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI), the Swedish Foreign Ministry and the European Commission representation in Sweden.
"We are a superpower... but we have to make full use of our potential to make the union work at its best", Mogherini continued in her statement.
The purpose of Mogherini's visit to Sweden was to discuss the implementation of the European Global Strategy (EUGS) with the Swedish government, the Swedish Parliament and with the Foreign and Security Policy Community in Sweden.
At the seminar, Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström presented the objectives of the strategy, of which Sweden was one of the initiating countries, and Björn Fägersten, Head of the Europe programme at UI moderated the discussion that followed.
As highlighted during the seminar, the strategy represents common values of democracy, rule of law and human rights including a coherent vision on how to develop and implement EU's global role. By taking action according to its vision, the member states aim to strategically work towards specific goals internally as well as externally.
Federica Mogherini declared that competent foreign and security politics is of high priority on the EU agenda due to the rapid worldwide developments as well as conflicts in our immediate neighbourhood. It was emphasized that peace stabilization is key target for EU global politics - and this target can only be reached through strong cooperation between inside and outside actors. It is now of great importance that the EU takes responsibility not only in theory but also in practice, such as in the complex issue of migration that might lead to further segregation of European citizens.
During the seminar, the question of timing was raised; if this is the right time to construct and implement a new ambitious strategy. However, Mogherini illustrated continuous common work between member states as crucial for the EU's ability to develop and strengthen its position as a strong actor on the global scene. Its unique approach and fundamental core must not be diminished or underestimated, especially in times of extensive tension and internal doubt.
Awareness is key
US Secretary of State John Kerry was quoted due to his statement suggesting that "Europe must believe in itself as much as we believe in you".
Due to this perception Federica Mogherini raised the question of awareness. She announced that we, as European citizens, must know of our strength to be able to use our tools. Our strength lies in the intertwined work between different countries, levels, actors and fields resulting in the biggest market in the world. Together, it is possible for us to influence and participate in global political issues. The collaboration between the United Nations and the EU, as a recent example during Colombian peace negotiations, is a vivid example of our foreign politics' impact. EU matters.
Federica Mogherini emphasized that what has typically been seen as challenges, could in fact be our assets. The combination of national and supranational decision-making in cooperation with civil society offers a resilient and integrated approach aiming to serve our common interests.
In these challenging times, both for Europe and globally, the strategy serves as a toolkit to hold common ground and presents a common way forward. In favour of the above mentioned approach, it is high time for following through with the implementation of the European global strategy. Member states must now take responsibility for transforming the ambitions into real political action.
Reported by Jessica Franzén,
intern at UI's Communications Department