Elmar Brok: Strong EU foreign policy vital to end crises in the neighbourhood

Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, called today for a strong EU foreign and security policy lead by a strong personality. “Bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the broader EU neighbourhood must be the first and utmost priority,” he said following a meeting of the Committee’s Enlarged Bureau with Commissioner Georgieva and the EEAS’s Executive Secretary General Pierre Vimont.

Mr Brok issued the following statement after the meeting on behalf of the committee:

“The current crises in the EU neighbourhood show once again that a strong, proactive and ambitious EU foreign policy is vital for each and every Member State of the EU. Bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the broader EU neighbourhood must be the first and utmost priority of this policy. This also requires a strong personality for the post of the High Representative, able to lead and put all the energies and resources of the EU and of the Member States at the service of the defence of our interests and values. We need a stronger coordination role and more initiatives at the EU level.

The many challenges in our neighbourhood cannot be solved without an active engagement of the EU, and of all of us.

We need to play a key role in ensuring the full and efficient control of Ukraine’s borders, without which the current crisis cannot be settled. We must keep all the options open with Russia, including further strengthening of sanctions while being open to dialogue. The EU has a central role to play in facilitating contacts between Ukrainian and Russian leaders with the aim to ensure peace and stability in both countries. We need a new, comprehensive policy towards Russia taking into account its actions over the last months.

The EU must also develop and put in practice a proactive and unified strategy towards Iraq, Syria and the whole region to face the ISIS threat. In Iraq, the EU must actively support the creation of an inclusive government adequately representing all ethnic and political components of the society and committed to a common vision of Iraq. The Iraqi State and the Kurdish Regional Government must be supported in all possible ways in their fight against ISIS, including through humanitarian aid and delivery of weapons by EU member countries.

In the Middle East, the EU must be at the forefront of new efforts to maintain the permanent ceasefire between the Israelis and the Palestinians and play a central role in the restart of negotiations for a two-State solution. This remains the only possibility for bringing a lasting peace, security and prosperity to all the people of the Middle East, including those in the Gaza Strip.

The situation in Libya is also a major source of concern for its population but also for the regional stability and for the EU itself. EUactions are urgently needed to foster political dialogue, state building and reform of the security sector.“ „

Elmar Brok will convey these messages to the EU foreign ministers during their meeting in Milan on 29 and 30 August.

The full committee is set to discuss the situation in the broader neighbourhood when it meets on Tuesday 2 September.

Kontakt: elmar.brok@ep.europa.eu