Europe in the world: Towards a more effective EU foreign and security strategy Contents
Appendix 3: Call for Evidence
The House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Tugendhat, has decided to conduct an inquiry into the strategic review of the EU’s foreign and security policy. The Sub-Committee seeks evidence from anyone with an interest.
Written evidence is sought by Sunday 11 October 2015. Public hearings will be held from September 2015 until the end of November 2015. The Committee aims to publish its report, with recommendations, in early 2016. The report will receive responses from the Government and the European Commission, and will be debated in the House.
The December 2013 European Council invited the High Representative, in close co-operation with the European Commission, to “assess the impact of changes in the global environment, and to report to the Council in the course of 2015 on the challenges and opportunities arising for the Union, following consultations with the Member States.” The first phase of this work was a strategic review, which reported to the European Council in June 2015. The High Representative’s report notes that the EU is acting today in a changed global environment, which is more connected, contested and complex. The report prioritises five challenges and opportunities for the EU:
- European Neighbours
- North Africa and the Middle East
- Atlantic Partnerships
The report also suggested areas for reform in the functioning of EU external policy, including in direction setting, flexibility, leverage, co-ordination and capabilities, and recommended a ‘joined-up approach’ to EU external policy.
The second phase of the review is summed up in the invitation of the June 2015 European Council to the High Representative, to “continue the process of strategic reflection with a view to preparing an EU global strategy on foreign and security policy in close co-operation with Member States, to be submitted to the European Council by June 2016.”
The External Affairs Sub-Committee intends, through its inquiry, to contribute to this process of strategic reflection, and thereby to the preparation of an EU external affairs strategy.
The Committee seeks evidence on the following questions. You need not address all these questions in your response.
Changing global environment and EU interests
- Is the High Representative’s report the right basis on which to draft the strategy proper?
- The High Representative sets out a changed and more threatening global environment. In this new environment, what are the EU’s strategic interests? Do they coincide with the UK’s strategic interests?
- Is the EU ready and capable to respond to the new security environment? What are the opportunities that it presents for the Union?
- The High Representative, endorsed by the European Council, calls for an “EU global strategy on foreign and security policy.” Is the EU a global power? Is the High Representative too ambitious and if so, where, and on what, should the EU focus?
- Should the EU focus its resources more closely on its own neighbourhood? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?
- How would you assess EU policy in the neighbourhood? Are the foreign policy instruments in the neighbourhood fit for purpose? Should enlargement remain the major tool of in the EU foreign policy toolkit in the neighbourhood?
- What are the implications for the EU’s foreign and security policy of the Greek crisis?
Upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa
- What are the EU’s interests in the MENA region? How effective have the EU and Member States been in promoting them? What have been the obstacles to effective EU action in the region?
- Member States and the EU have been calling for a policy to address the “root causes” of insecurity and to offer “tailor made responses” to the countries in the region. What would that involve? Does the EU have the foreign policy toolkit to deliver on this policy?
Capabilities and Capacities
- What are the EU and Member States’ most effective and useful foreign policy instruments? Are they fit for purpose? Are they being used effectively? What structural reforms are required in order to make the EU’s foreign policy work more effective?
- What additional capabilities, if any, are required for the EU and Member States to act effectively in the new security environment, for instance in response to emerging threats to its cyber-security?
- How can the EU most effectively maximise its power–both hard and soft–in international affairs?
Is the EU an effective multilateral player?
- How would you assess the diplomatic and intelligence capacities of the EU and Member States? Does the Union have the expertise and capacity within its institutions and national foreign services to respond to a more complex and complicated security environment?
Member States and the EU
- How can the interests of Member States be more effectively translated into EU action? How can the links between national capitals and the EU be strengthened in external affairs?
- Is the practice of ad hoc groupings of Member States leading on foreign policy dossiers (as in the E3+3 negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme) a useful template for future EU foreign policy? How could it be strengthened? What are the disadvantages of this approach?
- How would you assess the flow of information between Member States and between national capitals and the EU? What are the hurdles to deepening intelligence sharing within the Union?
- How should the High Representative conduct the review? What would be the most useful outcome? How should the UK feed into the review?
- How should the review address the resourcing of the EU’s foreign policy strategy? Should the High Representative also outline the operational plans for advancing the EU’s foreign policy strategy?
- Can you give examples of where EU foreign policy has succeeded and when it has struggled? What are the causes in each case?