Asia Europe Affairs

Several recent speeches by the President of France and foreign ministers of Germany and UK (who are among the most significant net budgetary contributors to the EU) provide a sense of where future EU priorities may lie. And while each spokesman has a different nuance the common issues are:

  • tackling globalization in terms of trade (in face of fast growing significant Asia competition);
  • european security and defense;
  • securing energy supplies, energy efficiency, and emission standards; and,
  • bolstering transatlantic ties.

Other priorities seem to fall within the necessity to manage migration to and within the EU, reduce world proverty, and, strengthen and secure the food supply.

A more open, trade orientated and assertive EU seems to be the preference for the UK and Germany with France seeking mainly to ensure that the EU achieves a fair level of reciprocity with its trading partners. Germany sees the EU as a model governing structure that links economic success with social equality. While the French President sees Europe’s strength in policy development as being optimized through a process of constructive debate.

More specifics can be found at the following links.

UK 15 November 2007 to College of Europe in Bruges

Germany 9 November 2007 at European Council of Foreign Relations Berlin opening

France 16 November 2007 French President address to European Parliament

Timothy Garton Ash February 2007 speech (Source: Prospect)

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