To change the multilateral landscape, we need a new generation of partnerships. The EU will continue to build new alliances with third countries, reinforce cooperation with multilateral and regional organisations, as well as other stakeholders, especially those with whom it shares democratic values and, with others, it will seek a common ground issue by issue. It will support partner countries in engaging more effectively in the multilateral system and ensure systematic follow-up of bilateral commitments with partners to advance multilateral objectives.
The EU works very closely with and in other international organisations and entities, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organisation, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
To promote international peace, human rights and development, the EU works closely with Geneva based organisations to better tackle migration (IOM), to promote decent work for all (ILO) and public health worldwide (WHO), and to support a multilateral approach to security, disarmament and non-proliferation.
Finally, the EU seeks closer cooperation with other regional and multinational organisations such as the African Union, the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States, the Association of South-East Asian Nations or the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States to address common challenges and to work together at the international level. For example, the EU works very closely with the AU and the UN – trilateral cooperation –in areas of mutual interest with a view to promoting peace, stability and development in Africa.
The EU aims to build a more inclusive multilateralism. This is why it also engages with civil society as well as with the private sector, social and other stakeholders.
Cooperation with the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an important multilateral actor and a key strategic partner to the EU. Its standard-setting role contributes substantively to upholding the rules-based international order. The EU and the Council of Europe are built on the same vision, ambitions and values which have taken root firmly in Europe: human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The EU and the Council of Europe also share a common vocation to promote these values and spread them further. The Council Conclusions on "EU priorities for cooperation with the Council of Europe in 2020-2022" demonstrate this commitment to work together on upholding fundamental democratic values and norms.
Freedom of the media, social rights, Artificial Intelligence and environmental protection are also areas of common strategic interest. The pandemic has shown that values-based organisations like the EU and Council of Europe must act as a political and moral compass for policy-makers and citizens alike. The key importance of our partnership is further demonstrated by the negotiations for EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Since January 2011, the EU Delegation in Strasbourg has served as the permanent diplomatic representation of the European Union to the Council of Europe.