Josep Borrell: “Part of the world perceives that for the EU, the lives of Ukraine are worth more than those of Gaza” | International | EUROtoday

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The political magnetism of Josep Borrell (La Pobla de Segur, 77 years outdated) has at all times been defined by his skill to talk clearly and inform the reality – or at the least, his fact – with out detours. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy now provides to that braveness the gathered wealth of greater than forty years in political and public life. There was an nearly twilight air, of the top of the cycle, within the classes he gave this Friday at St. Antony's College of the University of Oxford, a number of months earlier than his time period ends.

Invited to present the Dahrendorf Lecture, an annual occasion through which the Center for European Studies invitations related thinkers, Borrell has offered a disturbing picture of the state of the world and the challenges dealing with Europe, but additionally an formidable response plan . “Europe facing two wars”, he wished to title his discuss.

“We need to make a clear assessment of the danger that Russia poses today. “Russia is today the most important existential threat facing the continent,” she warned. For years, it was thought that constructing interdependencies with Moscow or Beijing would assist impose optimistic modifications in these societies, recalled the top of European diplomacy. “It neither brought changes, nor brought peace. Quite the opposite. In the case of Russia, our energy dependence ended up becoming a weapon,” he defined.

Unlike the struggle in Ukraine, the place the EU has been ready, with its ups and downs, to present a agency and united response, Borrell admits that, within the case of the struggle between Israel and Hamas, Brussels has been unable to supply an answer joint. Some nations, reminiscent of Spain or Ireland, have opted to acknowledge the Palestinian State – and the High Representative agrees on the nice symbolic worth that this gesture would have -; others contemplate it a counterproductive transfer, he admits.

The “double standard” of the EU

It appears rather more related to Borrell to level out the notion that a lot of the world has that Europe applies a double customary. “And I have always told my team that diplomacy is the art of knowing how to manage double standards,” Borrell mockingly identified later, in an already severe tone, that “the perception we have is that the value of lives of civilians in Ukraine is not the same as those in Gaza.”

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It proposes a three-pronged resolution to face the challenges of a world “that in recent years has suffered a growing tendency towards confrontation and fragmentation”: the EU should clearly set up what its ideas are, and defend them all over the place. It should encourage cooperation. And it should improve its strategic and safety energy. “In the past, when we talked about a European defense pillar within NATO, it was interpreted as an attempt to weaken or suppress the alliance. The funny thing is that today it is the United States that encourages us to fully develop our military capabilities,” stated Borrell. For him, Europe's safety can’t rely “on whoever occupies the White House every four years.”

The development of a brand new “strategic responsibility” should be undertaken in a geographical, and never simply institutional, framework. The EU is “the backbone” of Europe, nevertheless it doesn’t embody your complete continent. The United Kingdom can also be Europe, as is Norway or Ukraine. Borrell defends more and more intense cooperation with the United Kingdom in issues of safety and protection, as a preliminary step to a common enchancment in relations, so deteriorated lately, between London and Brussels. “The United Kingdom was the first to offer help to Ukraine. We started by offering them helmets, now we send them F-16s,” he factors out.

Cooperation with the United Kingdom

That is why it celebrates that the subsequent assembly of the European Political Community, that undertaking promoted by Emmanuel Macron that encompasses almost fifty nations on the continent, to face frequent challenges, will happen at Blenheim Palace, within the county of Oxfordshire, north of London. Winston Churchill's childhood residence will probably be “an apt symbol and message to authoritarian regimes of EU and UK cooperation.”

The Anglo-Saxons use the expression “put your money where your mouth is,” to point that phrases should be reciprocated with actions. Borrell, who has made a honest hymn of the ideas and values ​​which have pushed European development for a decade, has left a transparent lesson on the University of Oxford: “In order to lead the world with these principles, we must demonstrate that we always respect them. everywhere. Is that what we are doing? I'm afraid not always,” he indicated, recalling the EU's lack of motion within the face of the Gaza tragedy.

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