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Published on Jul 10, 2016
I have long been a proponent of the benefits brought to our continent through the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and common security and defence policy (CSDP) agendas. The UK-led anti-piracy operation, EU NAVFOR Atalanta, has proved not only that there is a need for a CSDP-led missions, but that they can be hugely successful. The breakthrough anti-nuclear deal with Iran and Russian sanctions have been greatly helped by Europe’s ability to work closely together. These are successes that we must point to when advocating the benefits of closer cooperation in Europe.
Whatever the future relationship post the Brexit referendum result between the United Kingdom, my country, and the European Union, the one thing of which I am certain is that strong cooperation in the fields of foreign policy, security and defence will continue.
The shifting world order, conflict in the Middle East and North Africa, an aggressive Russian expansionist state, global migration patterns, the effects of climate change, international jihadist terrorism as we recently saw in Dhaka – all of these are shared threats and will continue to be so. As for the strategy, targets aimed at Member State level to commit 20% of defence spending to procurement and to research and development, for instance, are very welcome. Focusing on initiatives such as the energy union and investment in cyber security are also very positive steps.
We are still seeing the infancy of the CFSP and CSDP, but I continue to believe that they are the instruments for securing a strong voice for Europe in the world ahead, which is ever more dangerous. So, Madam High Representative, my congratulations for all that you have done for us whilst leading in these areas and for your global strategy on EU CFSP and CSDP strategies.