At the June European Council, EU leaders adopted ‘A new strategic agenda 2019 – 2024’, charting the way for the EU to strengthen its role in the rapidly changing global environment.
A new strategic agenda 2019-2024 provides an overall framework and direction for the European Union to shape the future world and promote the interests of our citizens and our values. EU’s action on global stage is one of its 4 priorities:
• protecting citizens and freedoms,
• developing a strong and vibrant economic base,
• building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe and
• promoting European interests and values on the global stage.
The Strategic Agenda underlines the importance of multilateralism, and stresses the EU will remain a driving force behind it. The EU will use its influence to lead the response to global challenges, by showing the way forward in the fight against climate change, promoting sustainable development and implementing the 2030 Agenda, and cooperating with partner countries on migration.
The EU will uphold the European perspective for European States able and willing to join, and will pursue an ambitious neighbourhood policy. It will develop a comprehensive partnership with Africa. Together with global partners sharing our values, the EU will continue to work towards global peace and stability, and to promote democracy and human rights.
Relations with strategic partners and emerging powers have to be a key component of a robust foreign policy, it was underlined in the Agenda. The EU can only engage with other global powers on an equal footing if it avoids a piecemeal approach and presents a united front, backed up by EU and Member State resources.
The EU leaders also stressed that the Union needs to be more assertive and effective. This requires us to be more united in our stances, and more determined and effective in exerting our influence. It also means better use of our resources, and giving a clearer priority to European economic, political and security interests, leveraging all policies to that end. An ambitious and robust trade policy is a central element in that respect.
Similarly, the EU also needs to take greater responsibility for its own security and defence, in particular by enhancing defence investment, capability development and operational readiness.