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New Challenges for the EU 26/11/2014 Ambassador Antonio Martins da Cruz

On Wednesday 26th November, 2014, IPLI's Senior Advisor, Ambassador Martins da Cruz presented his annual annual Symposium in Paris where he addressed three topics: the geography of Europe, internal affairs of Europe and EU foreign policy.

The geography of Europe is nowadays crystallized in a polemic debate: do we need more Europe or, on the contrary, more flexibility to fight the crisis? Different national solutions to the crisis are coming into a conflict with some of the foundations of the European system. Europe is facing, for instance, a very real risk of the United Kingdom leaving the Union. This situation raises the question of equality among states, on one side, and among levels of intervention (freedom of movement, free trade, financial availability, etc.), on the other.

At the start of this symposium, Ambassador da Cruz highlighted some the internal challenges of the EU structure. Through an analysis of Jean-Claude Juncker’s “10 points plan”, Ambassador da Cruz assessed that little appears to have changed regarding priorities for European policy in the last 20 years. Ambassador da Cruz noted that one of the biggest challenges in the near future will be to solve the polemic issue of immigration while building a shield against extreme right wing political shifts. Also, the European Union will have to strive for administrative simplification and modernization: there is today a massive glut of European bureaucrats and the new voting system of the European council is an extremely complicated.

As the final topic for discussion, the subject of European foreign policy was examined. Ambassador da Cruz remarked that EU foreign policy reflects what is allowed by the most powerful states, since most small EU countries don’t have a comprehensive global policy, but rather only some strategic alliances. Ambassador da Cruz suggested that the worldwide perception is that Europe has a strong corporate agenda but that it does not stand out in global geo-political negotiations. For this reason, Ambassador da Cruz suggested that one potential effort that Europe should make is to push for an "EU" veto power in the UN Security Council and to take an active position in international forums such as the G20.

On Wednesday 26th November, 2014, IPLI's Senior Advisor, Ambassador Martins da Cruz presented his annual annual Symposium in Paris where he addressed three topics: the geography of Europe, internal affairs of Europe and EU foreign policy.

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