At the 27th OSCE Ministerial Council on 4 December 2020, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 57 participating States appointed a new senior leadership for the Organisation.
I welcome the appointment of Ms Helga Maria Schmid as Secretary General, Mr Kairat Abdrakhmanov as High Commissioner on National Minorities, Mr Matteo Mecacci as Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and Ms Maria Teresa Ribeiro as Representative on the Freedom of the Media.
Let me start by extending warm thanks to the Albanian Chairperson-in-Office, Prime Minister Edi Rama, and his team for the excellent work done throughout an extremely challenging year for the OSCE, especially in the pandemic context. My best wishes also to the incoming Swedish Chairperson-in-Office. Also to Poland, for their Chairmanship in 2022, and later to [the Republic of] North Macedonia and Estonia [who have put forward their candidatures for Chairmanships] in 2023 and 2024.
02/12/2020 – HR/VP blog – Tuesday 1 December was a special day. It marked my first year in office as HR/VP and also the 10th anniversary of the EEAS. This was a good opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what has been achieved and where we go from here.
Today, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy put forward ambitious plans to promote gender equality and women's empowerment through all external action of the European Union.
Security now features as a political priority in many bilateral dialogues and the EU funds initiatives that help strengthening countries’ and societies’ resilience in the Neighbourhood regions. In a fast evolving environment, tackling security related issues efficiently requires joint efforts and a creative mix of tools and actions. The EU is working closely with its Eastern and Southern neighbours on the following security-related areas, while maintaining human rights and good governance at the center of this cooperation.
In the frame of the post 2020 EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation and the programming of the new financial instrument for development cooperation in 2021-2027 (NDICI), the European Union is conducting consultations with Azerbaijani Civil Society.
How has the European Union’s foreign policy evolved in the last years? What have been the main achievements? What are the biggest opportunities and the main challenges for the EU in a rapidly changing landscape?