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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dancing with bears: Mogherini sketches future EU foreign policy

In a three-hour hearing in the European Parliament, Italy’s Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative-designate in charge of Foreign affairs and Security Policy, seems to have convinced MEPs that the Union needs a mix of hard and soft power, to lead in world affairs. “We are living in very difficult times,” Mogherini said, mentioning casualties not only in Ukraine, but also pointing to the Ebola crisis, and the huge influx of migrants from countries such as Syria and Iraq.

The 41-year old Italian Foreign Minister conceded that the EU cannot afford to choose between the East and South. “We have to pay to pay attention to both for the sake our people’s security,” she said. “We are one community. If a threat is perceived in one member state, it is a threat for all the others,” she insisted, winking at those Eastern European countries that criticised her nomination last August because of her lack of experience, especially in dealing with Moscow.

Being tested on her ability to face the ‘Russian bear,’ as UK MEP Richard Howitt put it, Mogherini showed leadership, contending that Europe needed a mix of assertiveness and diplomacy.

Source: euractiv.com