European foreign policy

Current issues of the Common European Foreign and Security Policy and the further institutional development of the European External Action Service were the focus of the talks between Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy on 1 February. Following the talks, Westerwelle stressed the necessity of a European foreign policy. He issued the following statement:

"We need more Europe"

 "Each individual European state, including Germany, a relatively large country in Europe, will, in relative terms, lose influence in an increasingly globalized world if we in Europe do not cooperate more closely and also closely coordinate the strategic lines of our foreign and security policy. Instability in our neighbourhood is on the rise. For this reason we need more Europe and more European cooperation in foreign policy, too. That will lend us the clout, authority and influence we need to help ensure that developments in our neighbourhood and in the world move in the right direction."

"Europe's strength is based on a networked approach"

"Europe’s strength is based on the broad networking of our foreign and security policy capabilities – both in civilian and military terms. Europe is the biggest donor of development aid worldwide. We provide civilian reconstruction assistance, also by seconding police officers and judges. We thus export not only stability but also European values and the rule of law. For what is true of German foreign policy is also true of European foreign policy: it is a policy guided by our interests and values which we jointly promote."

Thanking Catherine Ashton

At the press conference following the talks in Berlin

At the press conference following the talks in Berlin
© picture alliance / dpa

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At the press conference following the talks in Berlin

At the press conference following the talks in Berlin

At the press conference following the talks in Berlin

Westerwelle thanked Ashton for the good cooperation. He emphasized “her excellent work in specific issues facing the Europeans” and her “very strong commitment” in the Western Balkans where the European states closely coordinated their action and where Germany played a special role, as a partner in the transformation process south of the Mediterranean and in the Horn of Africa. He added that Catherine Ashton was a highly regarded chief negotiator in the talks between Serbia and Kosovo, which had been intensively discussed, and in the talks with Iran. Westerwelle went on to say that Germany “vigorously” supports this leading role played by, and political authority exercised by Europe and Ashton.

Afterwards Catherine Ashton met Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Click here for more information on the CFSP and the EEAS.

Last updated 01.02.2013

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