June 23. 2024. 6:39

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Weimar Triangle pushes for aligned EU foreign policy as priority for next mandate

The Weimar Triangle countries Germany, France, and Poland agreed to make “speaking and acting with one voice” regarding the bloc’s foreign policy a joint priority for the EU’s upcoming cycle, the foreign ministers announced on Wednesday (22 May).

The joint push comes as EU member states are set to agree on a so-called ‘Strategic Agenda’ in June as well as on filling the EU’s top job for the next five-year term following June’s European elections.

“As we prepare for the next European cycle, we need to strengthen the efficacy of external action,” the three foreign ministers stressed in their joint document, dubbed the ‘Weimar Agenda’.

According to the blueprint, the three foreign ministers want to look into strengthening the role of the EU’s chief diplomat “with the aim of ensuring the coherence and efficacy of external action”.

They also hope to explore the idea of “an integrated EEAS/Commission sanction team” which would be “acting as a single EU point of contact for sanctions, for common analysis on both the impact of sanctions and sanction circumvention, and as a service provider to Member States when proposing listings or sectorial sanctions”.

“Such an integrated team would contribute to a more robust sanctions policy, in line with our CFSP objectives,” they added.

“Europe is under attack from the inside and the outside,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters.

Foreign policy is currently a member state competence, meaning that the EU requires unanimity to take decisions in this area, which can limit the EU’s ability to take swift action.

Especially, “in the Middle East, Europe has to make its voice heard more strongly,” French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné admitted, referencing global turmoil surrounding Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip.

One of the remedies that EU leaders have been discussing includes extending decision-making by qualified majority vote to foreign-policy matters.

The three foreign ministers pitched to establish a “Weimar Reflection Process” on external relations, which would “start a discussion on more long-term reforms, including on streamlining decision-making in CFSP in an enlarged Union and bringing together more closely policy and means in external action”.

The document’s other priorities towards more efficient EU security collaboration include building up the EU defence industry and increasing joint procurement. The three countries also specifically commit to advancing Ukraine’s and Moldova’s accession to the bloc.

The joint agenda marks the increasing importance of the Weimar Triangle as a format to coordinate EU policies among the EU’s largest economies – France and Germany – and Poland as the largest central European EU economy.

Ever since the Polish election brought EU-friendly Donald Tusk back into power, the Weimar Triangle format has seen a revival, with most key coordinating meetings now taking place in a trilateral setting.

Experts believe that the presence of Poland as a third actor can ease tensions that have emerged between Germany and France over the past few months.

A matter where such coordination also remains pressing is joint European support for Ukraine and Moldova. The foreign ministers were due to discuss this over dinner after the joint press conference.

Read more with Euractiv

Czech far-right splits with AfD, follows Le Pen

Czech far-right splits with AfD, follows Le Pen

The Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD/ID) said on Wednesday (22 May) it would not share the same European political group with the Alternative for Germany party (AfD), following the same move by the French Rassemblement National.

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