A stronger Europe in the world

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2019 LOOKAHEAD: Europe's security and defence coming of age – EURACTIV.com

What is it?

The current Foreign Policy and External Action Plan of the European Commission seeks to coordinate European member states in a wide range of policy areas in order to reinforce the EU's presence and voice in the world. The final objectives are a more secure, prosperous world where the EU is a global leader that sets the most ambitious climate, environmental and labour protections' standards.

What does it do? 

The plan coordinates several types of policy areas with specific aims, namely:

1) Foreign Policy

Aim - To coordinate the presence of the European Union in the world.

Example of initiative - The European External Service (EEAS) delegation throughout the world guarantee that European citizens can get diplomatic assistance from other European delegation.

2) European Neighbourhood Policy

Aim - To promote stability and cooperation in political, economic, and security terms in the region.

Example of initiative - The European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI). 

3) International Partnerships & Humanitarian aid, civil protection 

Aim - To promote economic and social stability in developing countries via aid and cooperation. To provide humanitarian aid with particular attention to the most vulnerable victims.

Example of initiative - The European Union has contributed over €1.1 B. to the Yemen crisis, including €692 M. in humanitarian aid and €393 M. in development assistance.

4) Trade policy

Aim - To guarantee that European businesses compete fairly, thrive and can get access to necessary investment.

Example of initiative - Presence of the European Union as an actor in the World Trade Organization (WTO) forums. 

5) Security and defence

Aim - To reinforce the EU's civilian and military capabilities to prevent and manage crises.

Example of initiative - Transatlantic EU-NATO cooperation in information sharing, coordinated planning and concrete cooperations.

6) EU enlargement

Aim - To invest in peace, security and stability in Europe.

Example of initiative - Montenegro's negotiation process of EU membership.

7) The European Defence Industry

Aim - To strengthen the competitiveness of the defence industry, including SMEs.

Example of initiative - The European Defence Fund (EDF).

Source: EC Website, 2021.