European Union External Action


Mogherini addresses European Parliament on Foreign Policy Priorities

12/03/2015 - 00:00

Foreign policy debates were a focal point of this week's plenary meeting of the European Parliament. In almost six consecutive hours, the High Representative addressed key issues such as the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the state of democracy in Russia, the Annual Report on CFSP, the Annual Report on Human Rights, and the situation in Libya.

Federica Mogherini at the European Parliament

"Russian citizens deserve no less than an open and democratic Russia"

During her first address to this week's plenary, the High Representative strongly condemned the murder of Boris Nemtsov and underlined the unity of EU member states in mourning his loss. "We shall remember Boris as a strong advocate of an open Russia" she said. The murder of Nemtsov provided an opportunity to highlight the sorry state of democracy in Russia and call on Russia to honour their commitment to strengthening freedoms and supporting the consolidation of democracy.

"We must place individual & human rights at centre of EU external relations"

In her comments on the Annual Report on Human Rights, the High Representative highlighted the importance of supporting democratic transitions around the world as a central pillar of promoting human rights. "Protecting freedoms of belief , economic, social, political rights is vital" she said, stressing also the role of civil society in upholding human rights around the world. During her address the High Representative also announced the extension of the mandate of EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis.

"If EU member states want to master their fate, they must act together"

The High Representative commented on MEP Elmar Brok's report on the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. In her address she outlined four priorities for her work:

  1. tackling the crises on the EU's doorstep,
  2. strengthening partnerships with key partners and regional organisations,
  3. equipping the EU with the strategic tools for effective global action (strategic review on its foreign and security policy, review of its neighbourhood policy as well as it’s common security and defence policy) and
  4. improving the working methods of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy.

"Libya needs a government that works with all people of Libya – and gives people the country they deserve"

Speaking on Libya, Mogherini stated that she would make the situation in the country her top priority alongside current events in Ukraine. She expressed deep concern about current developments in the country and implications for regional as well as global stability. "Threats from Libya threaten all of Europe not just southern European countries" she said. The High Representative reiterated her strong support for Bernadino Leon, the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Libya.

Before her appearance in plenary, Mogherini also briefed the European Parliament's Committee on External Affairs on the meeting of EU Foreign Ministers on 16 March FAC. 

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