>CER – palliative care for EU foreign policy

> Another interesting briefing from the Centre for European Reform.

Charles Grant and Mark Leonard ‘How to strengthen EU foreign policy, CER, 30 May 2006

http://www.cer.org.uk/pdf/policybrief_forpol_30may06.pdf

A cogent diagnosis of the woes of EU foreign policy (lack of a common strategy or effecrive forum for reaching one – CFSP is essentially reactive and often takes form of crisis management; member states’ lack of ownership of the policy that does exist and EU foreign policy institutions that try to implement it; failure to co-ordinate policy areas; over rigorousness of financial controls on aid and democracy promotion budgets – this might being a smile to a eurosceptic’s face) focusing on lacking well co-ordinated and clear institutional mechanism to implement it (split between EU Presidency, High Representative and Commissioner for External Affairs troika; inefficiency of rotating Presidency; poor co-ordination and turf wars between Council and Commission).

The ‘solution’ sans EU Constitution – the nubs of the problem the paper addresses – and its proposed streamlining reforms according to the paper to a byzantine set of ad hoc, informal arrangement aimed at better co-ordination: more space for discussion/strategic big thinking, and ad hoc streamling through the use Commission or High Rep as an unofficial Foreign Minister in external, creation of more ‘contact groups’. I note with interest reference to Polish-Lithuania contact group on Ukraine and the suggestion that EU spending on European Initiatve on Democracy and Human Rights managed by the Commission should be diverted into a new European agency (another one!) modelled on the US NED or German Stiftungen.

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