Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Challenges for European Foreign Policy in 2014

The leadership of the institutions of the European Union (EU) will change during 2014. Whether that will coincide with a change of gear in EU politics and EU foreign policy remains to be seen. The elections for the European Parliament in May 2014 will be a stress test for Europe’s political system. The results may show growing frustration and discontent with the slow progress out of the crisis and enduring social and economic hardship in many member states. The vote might strengthen anti-European forces across the Union.
The new presidents of the European Council and of the Commission, as well as the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, will take office in a difficult political context. They will also have the opportunity to work with EU member states to change it. Now more than ever, the status quo is not an option for Europe. Not advancing in strengthening the Union’s economic governance and political cohesion, fostering growth and delivering jobs means running the risk of sapping the legitimacy of the European project and fostering nationalism. That would deal a serious blow to the very values at the core of the European project.

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