Frederica Mogherini (newly appointed EU High Representative for External Affairs) Hearing at the European Parliament 02.09.2014
What: Exchange of views on crisis in the EU wider neighborhood (Iraq, Libya, Gaza and Ukraine)
Where: European Parliament – Room: Jozsef Antall (2Q2)
Organizer: Committee on Foreign Affairs-European Parliament
Date: September, 2nd 2014
Speakers: Federica MOGHERINI, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- “Jordan is – together with Lebanon – one of the most affected countries by the current crisis in the region, a fact becoming obvious while personally visiting the refugee camps. The refugee situation puts massive pressure on these countries. Nevertheless Jordan is a stable country.
- In Kurdistan a referendum is not a good idea, we need an inclusive government in Baghdad, the country’s strength can only be built on a sustainable government, but nevertheless a response on the ground is inevitable and the real solution to the threat that ISIS poses.
- Libya: It is a question of dialogue with the proper institutions and leaders, but it is obviously up to the Libyans to tackle the existing problems, but we need to focus on supporting them in every way we can to face the current crisis, which also affects the neighboring countries.
- How to best fight ISIS: there might be some military responses, but the real long-term answer has to be a political one.
- The role of the Arab league is very important, we need to have a day-to-day contact and exchange of information and find ways to facilitate dialogue.
- On Syria: In this current situation in the Middle East at large from Turkey to Egypt we have a whole area of instability and how to tackle it with coherence. We need to develop an initiative to facilitate a regional dialogue among the actors in the region.
- The fight against ISIS has to be strong also in Syria, which doesn’t necessarily mean cooperating with Assad.
- Russia: The strategic partnership with Russia is clearly over. It would definitely be in our interest to re-establish these relations but right now by choice of Russia the existing partnership is obsolete.
- The most important question is: how to support Ukraine and the democratic process within the country.
- Russia stays a strategic player but it definitely isn’t a strategic partner anymore, which is something I would change from the presidency agenda set up in the beginning of summer.”
There was a brief mention for a long peace between Hamas and Israel to secure a safe Gaza and a note about the necessity to push for continuation of the Peace Process between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Replacements at the European External Action Service
The appointment of a new EU High Representative for External Affairs will implicate a new composition of strategic positions within the EEAS and the Cabinet. We know that the new Head of Cabinet will be German (name still to confirm) replacing Pierre Vimont. We also know that Helga Schmidt might lose her importance as a key player in the service; however, she will probably maintain her position in the corporate board (if her status as a fonctionnaire is confirmed) or go as an EU Ambassador post abroad. Other names might role as well, especially the one of Mr. Christian Berger.
In any case, the idea is to refurnish the key positions at the EEAS until September 2015 and to change it every 4 years. We also know that Mrs. Ashton will continue to be involved with the Iran Nuclear talks if the talks at least until November.
September 3, 2014
Nuno Wahnon Martins