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Thursday, 15 March 2012

EU countries lack will for joint foreign policy

Can we speak of an EU foreign policy? Erkki Tuomioja,the Finnish foreign minister, has said EU countries are more divided than before the Lisbon Treaty came into force (2009).  These remarks were made by Mr. Tuomioja following talks with his EU counterparts in Copenhagen last week.
In a phone interview with The Euobserver, he said that "[t]he real problem is with member states and their willingness to work together - this should be a basic pre-condition when we start a discussion on this or that subject, there should be no red lines ... [But] the commitment to this is actually less than it was five years ago. The Lisbon Treaty has given us a new instrument but this is a matter of political will.”
The Lisbon Treaty in 2009 called for the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and a new EU foreign policy chief, a post later filled by Catherine Ashton.
Mr Tuomioja highlighted that nobody criticised Ashton at the Copenhagen event,. However he said that he saw that  they "[…] don't speak as openly to each other as we should, even behind closed doors."

Source:  The Euobserver