Tag Archives: Josep Borrell

EU: diplomatic appointments

Brussels 17.09.2022 High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell announced today the following appointments for senior positions in the European External Action Service (EEAS):

Hélène LE GAL as Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), starting in October. She is currently Ambassador of France to the Kingdom of Morocco. She was previously Ambassador of France to Israel.

Benedikta VON SEHERR-THOSS as Managing Director for CSDP and Crisis Response, starting in October. She currently serves as Security Policy Director at the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany. She was previously Head of the EU division and coordinator for the Ministry of Defence during the German EU Council Presidency in 2020.

Stefano TOMAT as Managing Director for Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC). He took up his duties on 16 September. He was previously Director for Integrated Approach for Security and Peace (ISP) at the EEAS. He was previously Head of Division for Integrated Approach: Methodology and Implementation and Head of Division responsible for the Political and Security Committee (PSC).

High Representative Borrell also announced today the appointment of two new Heads of Delegation of the European Union:

Pedro Antonio SERRANO DE HARO SORIANO as Head of the EU Delegation to the United Kingdom. He is currently Head of Cabinet of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice- President of the European Commission. Previously, he held a number of senior positions within the EU institutions, more recently Deputy Secretary-General of the EEAS for CSDP and Crisis Response.

Cristian TUDOR as Head of the newly opened EU Delegation to Qatar. He took up his duties on 1 September. He was previously Head of the EU Delegation to Kuwait and Ambassador of Romania to Qatar.

Borrell: Queen Elizabeth Il remarkable reign

Brussels 09.09.2022 “Queen Elizabeth Il’s remarkable reign oversaw key events of the 20th & 21st century. The EU pays tribute to her unique contribution to building peace & reconciliation” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell writes.
“While her loss will be felt around the world, our immediate thoughts are with her family & the people of the UK”

“In honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II, all EU delegations around the world will be flying the flag on half-mast. We stand with the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom in mourning Her Majesty’s passing”.

At the moment the Queen died, the throne passed immediately and without ceremony to the heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales.

But there are a number of practical – and traditional – steps which he must go through to be crowned King.

Borrell: Gorbachev era “vanished”

Brussels 31.08.2022 “Mikhail Gorbachev brought with Glasnost and Perestroika a wind of freedom to the Soviet block.
He helped end the Cold War and fundamentally change global security, ushering in an era of mutually beneficial cooperation. An era that vanished and is urgently needed again” wrote the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell, reacting upon news of Gorbachev,91, passed away.

However the EU diplomat has not expressed condolences to the family, closed ones or Russian people, altogether indicating the EU is not prepared to follow the path of peace Gorbachev perused all his life. At present the European diplomacy continues to outline three major goals: putting pressure on Russia; supporting Ukraine, and addressing the wider fallout of the armed conflict in Ukraine that affects the whole world. Moreover Borrell promised to address the issue of visa ban for Russian citizens, aiming at stripping Russian citizens from their right of free movement, bringing back the realities of Cold war and Iron Curtain.


Borrell welcomes Denmark EU defence prospect

Brussels 01.06.2022 “I welcome the outcome of the referendum held in Denmark yesterday. The Danish people have spoken. They have decided to abolish the 30-year-old opt-out clause related to EU defence. This is a historic decision that will allow Denmark to participate fully in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)” reads the Statement by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell on the outcome of the referendum on the opt-out in defence matters in Denmark. (Image: illustration)

“At a time when it is more imperative than ever for the EU and its Member States to reinforce their defence capabilities and capacity to act, this decision will bring additional strength and unity to our CSDP and defence initiatives.

“As soon as the Danish government will have formally informed the other EU Member States of its decision, in line with its constitutional provisions, we stand ready to swiftly take all the necessary steps to ensure that Denmark can fully participate in all aspects of CSDP”.

EU: Sweden moves towards NATO

Brussels 16.05.2022 “Let me stress my strong support to Sweden and Finland. Some minutes ago, I had a conversation with the Swedish Minister [for Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde], who was kind enough to call me, to inform that the process has started, that they are going to inform the King, and that there is strong support for this decision inside the Swedish society and the Swedish political spectrum” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said at the doorstep of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Brussels.

“So, I think the European Union Member States will support this decision, and I hope we could override the opposition of some members of NATO,” he added.

EU diplomats: talks on food and energy price

Brussels 11.04.2022 “We are going to discuss about Ukraine, once again” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell upon arrival to Foreign affairs Council in Luxembourg.

“I will debrief the Foreign Affairs Council about the travel to Ukraine, together with the President of the Commission [Ursula von der Leyen]. We have witnessed what is happening there, the brutal aggression of the Russian troops against the civilian population. We came back really move after what we have seen. Really, you can go to Kyiv. Go to Kyiv as much as you can and witness.

“We have opened our Delegation there. We are going to discuss how we can support better the Ukrainian people and also how we can support the International Criminal Court [ICC]. I have just been meeting with the [ICC] Prosecutor, Mr [Karim] Khan. We will provide as much support as we can, through our mission, to the prosecutors, both the Ukrainian and the ICC prosecutors.

“We will also discuss about other issues. The Global Gateway, for example. How we can better partner around the world with our like-minded countries and how we can support them in order to face the economic crisis, which is coming. Because everybody will have to face the consequences of this war – not of the sanctions, but of the war – in terms of price increase on energy and food”.

“This is more or less what we are going to do today”.

EU top diplomats convene in Brussels

Brussels 11.04.2022 The Foreign Affairs Council will review recent events and current affairs, including the situation in Mali, Libya and Yemen.

Ministers will also discuss the latest developments concerning the Russian aggression against Ukraine, following the European Council of 24-25 March 2022.

They will then exchange views on the Global Gateway, the new European strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world.

Over lunch, EU foreign affairs ministers will hold an informal discussion with the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Anniken Huitfeldt, and the Icelandic Foreign Minister, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir.

Borrell visits Kyiv

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrel visited Kyiv on Friday, April 8, together with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, to reaffirm European solidarity with Ukraine and to announce additional support for its defense against Russia’s aggression. They met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal and visited the town of Bucha.

“There are two words to describe what is happening in Ukraine: failure and horror. Failure of the Russian army to overcome the courage of the Ukrainian people and horror over the indiscriminate killings and attacks against civilians,” High Representative Borrell said after the meeting with President Zelenskyy.

He stressed the EU’s appreciation for the bravery and morale of the Ukrainian people, as well as for the resilience of the authorities in maintaining the functioning of the state structures and the capacity to govern, despite the ongoing brutal invasion. With his Ukrainian counterparts Josep Borrell discussed in detail their current needs and acknowledged that their most urgent needs are weapons arms.

“We have already allocated one billion euro to provide weapons to the Ukrainian Army to defend the country and its people. In a couple of days, we will allocate €500 million more. We will make sure that these resources will be tailored to your needs, to provide you with the arms you need to fight to resist and to win,” stressed High Representative Borrell also at the meeting with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

In the wake of massacres by the Russian occupation forces in Bucha, he recalled the EU’s strong condemnation of the heinous crimes and widespread violations by Russian troops. He underlined that there cannot be impunity for war crimes and outlined the EU support to the ongoing national and international accountability efforts, including the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The High Representative said that the European Union will help, too, with documentation and prosecution of war crimes committed by Russian occupation troops in Ukraine.

“We will help the Ukrainian Prosecutor General to present the proofs in front of the International Criminal Court. Our civilian EU Advisory Mission will deploy their tools and capacities in order to support Ukrainian authorities in this task.”

The EU Advisory Mission will be supporting the Ukrainian Prosecutor General in providing training and donating equipment to ensure safe investigation and collection of evidence on the ground. The EU is also launching a dedicated €7.5 million euro project to support the investigations with ensuring large data collection on missing and disappeared persons.

During his visit in Ukraine High Representative Borrell [europa.eu/!tWtJHj]announced the return of the EU Delegation back to Kyiv, after its temporary relocation to Rzeszow in Poland. In talks with Prime Minister Shmyhal they agreed to accelerate preparations for the next EU-Ukraine Association Council, to take place in the near future.

EU adopts Strategic Compass

Brussels 21.03.2022 Today the Council has formally approved the Strategic Compass, at a time when we witness the return of war in Europe.

The Compass gives the European Union an ambitious plan of action for strengthening the EU’s security and defence policy by 2030.

The more hostile security environment requires us to make a quantum leap forward and increase our capacity and willingness to act, strengthen our resilience, and invest more and better in our defence capabilities.

The strength of our Union lies in unity, solidarity and determination. The objective of the Strategic Compass is to make the EU a stronger and more capable security provider. The EU needs to be able to protect its citizens and to contribute to international peace and security. This is all the more important at a time when war has returned to Europe, following the unjustified and unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as of major geopolitical shifts. This Strategic Compass will enhance the EU’s strategic autonomy and its ability to work with partners to safeguard its values and interests.

A stronger and more capable EU in security and defence will contribute positively to global and transatlantic security and is complementary to NATO, which remains the foundation of collective defence for its members. It will also intensify support for the global rules-based order, with the United Nations at its core.

The threats are rising and the cost of inaction is clear. The Strategic Compass is a guide for action. It sets out an ambitious way forward for our security and defence policy for the next decade. It will help us face our security responsibilities, in front of our citizens and the rest of the world. If not now, then when?
“The Strategic Compass provides a shared assessment of the strategic environment in which the EU is operating and of the threats and challenges the Union faces. The document makes concrete and actionable proposals, with a very precise timetable for implementation, in order to improve the EU’s ability to act decisively in crises and to defend its security and its citizens” said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Compass covers all the aspects of the security and defence policy and is structured around four pillars: act, invest, partner and secure.

In order to be able to act rapidly and robustly whenever a crisis erupts, with partners if possible and alone when necessary, the EU will:

– establish a strong EU Rapid Deployment Capacity of up to 5000 troops for different types of crises

– be ready to deploy 200 fully equipped CSDP mission experts within 30 days, including in complex environments

– conduct regular live exercises on land and at sea

– enhance military mobility

– reinforce the EU’s civilian and military CSDP (Common Defence and Security Policy) missions and operations by promoting a rapid and more flexible decision-making process , acting in a more robust way and ensuring greater financial solidarity

– make full use of the European Peace Facility to support partners

In order to be able to act rapidly and robustly whenever a crisis erupts, with partners if possible and alone when necessary, the EU will:

– establish a strong EU Rapid Deployment Capacity of up to 5000 troops for different types of crises

– be ready to deploy 200 fully equipped CSDP mission experts within 30 days, including in complex environments

– conduct regular live exercises on land and at sea

– enhance military mobility

– reinforce the EU’s civilian and military CSDP (Common Defence and Security Policy) missions and operations by promoting a rapid and more flexible decision-making process , acting in a more robust way and ensuring greater financial solidarity

– make full use of the European Peace Facility to support partners

In order to strengthen its ability to anticipate, deter and respond to current and fast-emerging threats and challenges, and safeguard the EU’s security interest, the EU will:

– boost its intelligence analysis capacities

– develop Hybrid Toolbox and Response Teams bringing together different instruments to detect and respond to a broad range of hybrid threats

– further develop the Cyber Diplomatic Toolbox and set up an EU Cyber Defence Policy to be better prepared for and respond to cyberattacks

– develop a Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference Toolbox

– develop an EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence

– strengthen the EU’s role as a maritime security actor

Member states have committed to substantially enhance their defence expenditures to match our collective ambition to reduce critical military and civilian capability gaps and strengthen our European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. The EU will:

– exchange on national objectives on increased and improved defence spending to match our security needs

– provide further incentives for member states to engage in collaborative capability development and jointly invest in strategic enablers and next generation capabilities to operate on land, at sea, in the air, in the cyber domain and in outer space

– boost defence technological innovation to fill strategic gaps and reduce technological and industrial dependencies

In order to address common threats and challenges, the EU will:

– strengthen cooperation with strategic partners such as NATO, the UN and regional partners, including the OSCE, AU and ASEAN

– develop more tailored bilateral partnerships with like-minded countries and strategic partners, such as the US, Canada, Norway, the UK, Japan and others

– develop tailored partnerships in the Western Balkans, our eastern and southern neighbourhood, Africa, Asia and Latin America, including through enhancing dialogue and cooperation, promoting participation in CSDP missions and operations and supporting capacity- building

EU focus on Strategic Compass

Brussels 21.03.2022 “Today is going to be a very long day. We are going to have a joint meeting with the Defence Ministers in order to approve – I hope – the Strategic Compass. Which is not the answer to the Ukrainian war, but it is part of the answer. We have been working on that for two years, and when we started working, we could not imagine that it the last moment of approval, the situation would be so bad, and that Europe was going to face such a big challenge,” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said upon arrival to the Foreign ministers Council in Brussels.

“This is the moment to rethink the future of European capacities to face challenges like a war. That is why the European Union Member States will have to increase their military capacities. [And to] do it in a coordinated manner. As responsible for the Common Security and Defence Policy, we will be working to make us stronger militarily and use our capacities in a more coordinated way.

“We are going to continue providing support to Ukraine – with the second tranche of the European Peace Facility providing more financial support. We are going to have a meeting with the [Deputy Prime Minister] and Foreign Affairs Minister of the [Republic of] Moldova [Nicu Popescu]. Moldova is providing incredible support to the Ukrainian refugees. And then we will have a video-conference with the Defence Minister of Ukraine [Oleksii Reznikov], who will talk about the war situation.

“Russia is really committing a lot of war crimes – that is the word, we have to say it. What is happening in Mariupol is a massive war crime. [They are] destroying everything, bombarding and killing everybody in an indiscriminate manner. This is something awful that we have to condemn in the strongest terms. This is a war crime, a massive war crime, what is happening in Mariupol. The city will be completely destroyed, and people are dying. We will continue working and supporting Ukraine, with all of our resources. We will continue talking about what kind of sanctions we can think of again, more – especially related with energy. And we will see from [our discussions with] the Defence Minister of Ukraine, what is the situation there and how we can continue supporting them.

The enhancement of the EU defence plans is due to the France Presidency of the Council of the European Union. President Emmanuel Macron has ensured that his goal is to “to move from being a Europe of cooperation inside of our borders to a powerful Europe in the world, fully sovereign, free to make its choices and master of its destiny.” The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell clarified that it is means the EU should be “learning the language of power,” and being willing to act more rigorously to defend its interests wherever they are threatened.

The France Presidency has an ambition to upgrade the European defence to become fully operational. That is why the Strategic Compass has been promoted as the first White paper on the EU defence, becoming the major achievement of the French presidency. The document will lay out a common strategic vision for EU security and defence, and set the practical objectives in accordance with the timetable, or a roadmap.

There will be strong incentives to follow up on the commitments included, the EU diplomats ensure, as the document will be endorsed by the heads of state and government and will leave room for potential adaptations. The Strategic Compass will be a barometer for both member states’ and the bloc’s ambitions to make the EU a leading security provider for its citizens on the continent and beyond.

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