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We are still a player in search for identity: Josep Borrell

Borell acknowledged the fact that the EU is “facing a nationalist and populist comeback” that is threatening the foundations of a “multilateral rules based order” espoused by the EU. To address the rise of such authoritarian regimes, Borell made a call towards taking onus for shaping the future world order.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 10.45 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: Commonality does not imply uniqueness. This was the overarching message from the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

The EU, often understood to be a unifying body for Europe, has a fair share of challenges, he said in his valedictory address on the third and final day of the Raisina Dialogue 2020.

“We are still a player in search for identity,” he said. He elaborated that a nation’s foreign policy is often a means to project itself as a unified entity on the international stage, and that the diverse backgrounds and contexts of EU states makes this positioning increasingly difficult. He acknowledged the differing narratives of history of the EU member states that shape its diverse conceptions of an ideal future. In order to deal with these inherent differences, he advocated for economic cooperation as reflected in the common Euro currency and social cohesion through porous borders.

Borell also acknowledged the fact that the EU is “facing a nationalist and populist comeback” that is threatening the foundations of a “multilateral rules based order” espoused by the EU. To address the rise of such authoritarian regimes, Borell made a call towards taking onus for shaping the future world order.

Since its inception, the EU had built its image on not using brute power, he said. However, this trend must change and an enhancement rather than curtailment of power is necessary: “If we want to take destiny in our hands, we need to talk the language of power. Soft power is not enough.”

He criticised the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and said that it jeopardised the progress made towards a stable and peaceful global regime.

On climate change, he demanded the will to fight this menace. “Let's call it a green will,” he said while reiterating the EU’s commitment to be a carbon-neutral economy. With the EU contributing “only 9 % of global emissions”, Borell demanded other developed countries to step up.

The EU and India have converging interests in restoring the WTO and a shared commitment towards eliminating terrorism. These shared interests underpin this partnership.
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