Rosenthal: EU needs to put its own affairs in order
If Europe wants to be effective when it comes to foreign policy, it ‘first needs to put its own affairs in order’. This was foreign minister Uri Rosenthal’s message following the fourth Future of Europe Group discussion on EU foreign policy, attended by Mr Rosenthal and 10 of his European counterparts. Mr Rosenthal believes that, at the moment, the emphasis should be on enhancing competitiveness and thus economic growth within the EU.
‘We need to tackle today’s issues, with the economic situation as our priority,’ he said. ‘The first step is fulfilling our agreements by tackling the problems in the eurozone through structural reforms. The Netherlands sees no need for the EU to discuss the further transfer of national powers, certainly not where pensions, the employment market and social security are concerned. I do, however, believe that protecting the EU’s external borders serves our common interests. Particularly when it comes to halting the influx of unwanted migrants from outside of the EU.’
‘What’s more, we must listen more to other global players,’ Mr Rosenthal added. ‘The EU increasingly needs to look to emerging markets such as Brazil and India as it perfects its internal market.’
Earlier this year German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle announced proposals to increase the EU’s democratic legitimacy and thus people’s trust in it. To this end he invited 10 fellow foreign ministers to discuss the future of Europe in a number of meetings on different themes.