Mogherini: ‘The EU is a superpower’

Federica Mogherini [Unión Europea en Perú/Flickr]

The EU is a superpower with unique tools to deal with some of the world’s most dangerous crisis, according to High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini.

In a wide ranging speech given at Chatham House in London, Mogherini said by the end of her five year term she wanted to see “Europe speak with one voice and one flag” on issues of foreign affairs.

Mogherini said the major crises in the world were happening in Europe’s neighbourhood. This heightened the need for cooperation as no one nation can “survive alone in this complexity”.

When taken as a bloc, plus the influence of the individual member states, the EU is a superpower by almost any measure, said Mogherini. Around the world, the EU is still regarded as a model of regional cooperation and success, she added.

The UK has a central role to “help the EU look outward, not inward”, said Mogherini.

In a wide ranging speech that called for more European engagement with the Middle East peace process, and for internal dialogue in Libya, the situation in Ukraine dominated.

Mogherini described the Minsk cease fire negotiations as “exhausting, hopefully exhaustive, but not exhausted”. She also said that nearly a decade after the EU’s neighbourhood policy was implemented, there would be a review to ensure it was still fit for purpose.

Speaking earlier in the day, Mogherini said a European-brokered ceasefire deal remains the only way to secure peace in Ukraine.

>>Read: Normandy quartet agrees to reinforcement of Ukraine OSCE mission

“We have to make it succeed. This is the only agreement that was signed by the parties, it has been supported by UN Security Council resolution, and it is the only way we have to make peace possible in Ukraine,” Mogherini told BBC radio during a trip to London.

Fighting between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels has continued despite a week-old truce, intended to end fighting that has killed more than 5,600 people, putting the deal under pressure of collapsing.

“There is a lot of fighting still going on. There are some other places where the ceasefire is working. We have to make this diplomatic effort work,” she said.

“We have to try even harder. The only thing that can work is that mix of diplomatic pressure and economic pressure also.”

The position of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was established by the Treaty of Lisbon.

Federica Mogherini is the second person to hold the position after Catherine Ashton of the UK. 

The crisis in Ukraine erupted after its former President Viktor Yanukovich cancelled plans to sign trade and political pacts with the EU in November 2013 and instead sought closer ties with Russia, triggering protests that turned bloody and drove him from power.

Fighting has continued in Eastern Ukraine between national forces and Russian backed rebels

A ceasefire came into affect on 15 February, but the situation has remained volatile.

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