EU foreign policy chief Borrell: Taking Europe’s foreign policy into account

Status: 10/11/2022 7:17 PM

Cheap energy and goods, not a security concept: EU foreign affairs chief Borrell deplores the dependence on China, Russia and the US and draws a disastrous conclusion on European foreign policy.

Helga Schmidt, ARD studio Brussels

Josep Borrell has an illustrious title, he is the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Borrell would have preferred a simpler title. He would like to call himself Minister of Foreign Affairs of Europe. But so far this has always failed because of the Member States. The governments supply the foreign ministers, not Brussels – that’s how it goes from Lisbon to Warsaw. Borrell coordinates. That same Borrell has now effectively bankrupted this kind of European foreign policy.

Prosperity through cheap energy and products

“We Europeans are now confronted with the consequences of a process that has taken years,” said Borrell. In many European capitals, Europe has completely decoupled its prosperity from its security. “Our prosperity was based on cheap energy from Russia,” the High Representative continued. And when entering the Chinese market, for technology transfer and investment, and always with the aim of “getting cheap products”. Then Borrell added a phrase Europeans had previously heard from Donald Trump: “We’ve delegated our security to the United States.”

Europe can be defended by US soldiers, cheap gas supplied by the Russians and cheap products by the Chinese – this model has failed completely, Borrell concludes: “We have completely disconnected the sources of our wealth from the sources of our security.”

Head of 130 EU Embassies worldwide

The Spaniard made the unusual speech at the annual meeting with his ambassadors. As High Representative, he has his own ambassadors in some 130 countries, in addition to the embassies that the 27 EU member states have themselves in almost every country in the world. Borrell called on “his” diplomats to do their job better as ambassadors to Europe – because the time of turmoil has only just begun. “Events that we thought would never happen are now happening one after the other.” The black swan will become the norm, “white swans will no longer be in the majority”. In other words, Europe must be prepared for developments that nobody predicts in the coming years.

Dependent by economic ties

For Borrell, Putin’s attack has shaken the worldview of many – in EU capitals, at universities, among diplomats. Economic interdependence and the accompanying belief in a peaceful solution to the conflict have turned into dependency. Precisely this mistake should no longer be made in the desperate search for gas and electricity suppliers. “We must not replace one dependency with a new dependency”. Now Europeans may be relieved that liquefied gas is coming from the US:

But what would happen if the United States, with a new president, stopped being so friendly and cooperative with Europe?

Listen more in the future

Borrell warns against new dependencies and calls on all member states to become independent in their energy supply as soon as possible or, if necessary, to better spread the risk of imports. And Borrell once again warned his diplomats: they should not overestimate Europe’s role as the rule of law and democratic model for other regions of the world. Listen better in the future, that is his advice to the ambassadors.

“Send a telegram…quickly”

In the end, the High Representative became very practical. The EU representations, which are officially not embassies but “delegations” in order to better differentiate from national foreign representations, should keep him, the High Representative, better informed.

He often only gets news from the newspapers. “Actually I should be the most informed person in the world”, with all the delegations the EU has around the world. So please: “Send a telegram, an e-mail – and do it quickly”. More tweets are welcome, that is now becoming increasingly important.

Russia and China underestimated! Borrell’s fierce criticism of EU foreign policy

Helga Schmidt, ARD Brussels, 10/11/2022 6:27 PM

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