Tag Archives: Josep Borrell

Borrell’s undiplomatic offensive

European Commission has been confronted with questions of journalists over a Twitter micro blog embarrassing message, mounting up to “malfeasance in office” by its next EU top diplomat and incumbent Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, who posted a sensitive document from UK authorities on his feed.

The document, not meant for public release, related to a Spanish request for the arrest and extradition from Britain of a Catalan politician, Clara Ponsati, who is engaged as an academic at a Scottish university.

It contained a British query, made through an EU police cooperation database for the Schengen free movement area called SIRENE, asking for more information to support the Spanish warrant and revealed some of Ponsati’s personal data.

Borrell posted it to his Twitter account on Wednesday and later deleted it — but not before its was screengrabbed and triggered a complaint from a Catalan MEP, Diana Riber, who demanded Borrell be barred from taking up his job as the next EU High Representative for foreign affairs.

A spokeswoman for the European Commission told reporters Friday that “there are very clear rules in place regarding access to and use of the Schengen Information System… and we would expect that everyone shall respect the letter and spirit of these rules, notably any confidentiality requirements.”

The spokeswoman, Mina Andreeva, said it was a Spanish matter and should not affect Borrell’s future post in the Commission.

“This tweet was posted by Mr Borrell in his capacity as acting foreign minister. It is now for the national competent authorities to look into this matter,” she said, passing the buck to Madrid.

Claiming to be Catalan, Borrell, 72, is endorsed to become the EU’s top foreign policy official in the Ursula von der Leyen Commission.

That new team was scheduled to start working this month but has been delayed by at least a month because some of nominated commissioners failed to receive their consent. 

Spain’s European arrest warrant against Ponsati is part of Madrid’s crackdown on Catalan independence movement.

Josep Borrell faces MEPs scrutiny

Anna van Densky from Brussels The MEPS of Foreign Affairs Committee questioned Josep Borrell, Spanish candidate for High Representative/Vice-President for foreign affairs and security policy.

Political groups’ coordinators from the committee will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of Josep Borrell, candidate EU top diplomat job.

During his introductory speech  Borrell stressed his intention to engage in reforms in the Western Balkans, support democracy and the integrity of Ukraine, address the challenges in the southern neighbourhood, develop a new strategy towards Africa, work on political relations with Asia, step up cooperation with Latin America and reinstate transatlantic relations (US-EU). “The world has changed for the worse…There are few agreements, more vetoes”, he said.

MEPs enquired how he intends to reach consensus among member states on decisions regarding e.g. Russia or generally related to security and defence. “We need shared strategic culture and empathy to understand the different points of view”, he replied. MEPs also asked about the role the EU could play in creating global security, when non-proliferation agreements are being breached. They also raised the issue of protecting EU maritime interests worldwide.

Asked about Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Borrell replied that negotiations have lasted too long and Europe has to engage in helping Kosovo and Serbia out of the deadlock. His first visit as High Representative/Vice-President would be to Pristina, Commissioner-designate announced.

MEPs also asked how he intends to achieve a more strategic and coherent union, as announced in the Mission letter of the Commission President Borrell said that the EU has tools for foreign policy, such as a powerful common trade policy or diplomatic power. “The EU has to learn to use the language of power”, he stressed.

Mogherini meets disgraced Borrell with open arms

Today the Foreign Affairs Council started with a discussion on current affairs, allowing ministers to review pressing issues on the international agenda.

The Ministers are expected to include into discussion the situation in SudanEthiopia and Venezuela.  Ministers are  also supposed to discuss Turkey‘s current illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean off Cyprus shore.

Federica Mogherini will debrief ministers on the EU-Ukraine summit on 8 July and the EU-G5 Sahel ministerial meeting.

The meeting started by Mogherini, the EU top diplomat literally greeting with open arms disgraced Josep Borrell,  incumbent Spanish Foreign minister, who is put forward by the EU Council as a candidate to “heir” her job. Borrell is a former president of the European Parliament, he has been forced into resignation over his last EU top job in a scandal of conflict of interests, ending in abandoning his post of the President of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. While leading the prestigious EU scientific establishment, he was receiving EUR300 000 year salary for promotion of interests of Spanish energy company Abengoa.

Spain warns no-deal “catastrophe”

Leaving the European Union without a deal, or so called ‘hard’ Brexit would be catastrophic, Spain Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said, while confirming that there were contingency plans in place.

Britain’s exit from the bloc on March 29 is uncertain as Westminster is highly likely to vote against a proposed by Theresa May cabinet deal, opening up a way to a disorderly retreat to.

A hard Brexit would be a catastrophe for everyone,”  Borrell, Socialist politician and former President of the European Parliament said during a conference in Madrid.

EU27 foreign ministers hope for orderly Brexit

Although officially Brexit is not on the Foreign ministers Council agenda, and it can’t be, because until the end of March 2019 the UK is a full-fledged member-state of the bloc, – many urgent issues of international agenda fade overshadowed by concerns of ‘hard Brexit“.

“This is the best deal we can have,” Spain Foreign minister Josep Borrell told press at doorstep of the meeting. “This is the best deal and approving this deal would be a good thing, but for sure it’s up to them.” His opinion is an echo of the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who repeatedly warned that those, who hope for ‘better deal‘ would be disappointed: “that is The Deal“, he said.

Former European Parliament president appointed foreign minister of Spain

Former European parliament president (2004-2007) Josep Borrell Fontelles has been nominated as Spain’s foreign minister in new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist government.

Borrell, a 71-year-old former leader of Spain’s Socialists, has accepted Sanchez’s invitation to join the team, making him the first confirmed member of his cabinet, according to Spanish media reports.

Borrell will replace Alfonso Dastis, a career diplomat, who occupied the post under ousted conservative premier Mariano Rajoy.

Newly appointed ministers curriculum reached its low, when he was accused of conflict of interests and forced to resign as president of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence facing allegations of a conflict of interest.

“Borrell is being paid €300,000 a year as a board member of the Spanish sustainable-energy company Abengoa, a post he has held since July 2009, when he left the European Parliament. The EUI apparently only became aware of this in recent weeks, after comments in the Spanish press” POLITICO newspaper wrote back in 2012.

In spite of the fact Borrell’s reputation is far from being flawless,  Sanchez, a 46-year-old economist with no government experience, is obviously interested in cooperation with such an political heavyweight as Borrell, who has functioned in top positions in Spanish and international politics.

Sanchez was sworn in on Saturday, a day after defeating Rajoy’s minority conservative government in a no-confidence vote in parliament sparked by fury over a corruption scandal.

Although from Catalan origin, Borrell and has been vocal critic of the Catalan independence, he served as deputy finance minister, and then public works minister, under former Socialist prime minister Felipe Gonzalez, who was in power between 1982 and 1996.

 

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