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Foreign and security policy: MEPs call for unity and strategic autonomy

The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for Europe, which needs a stronger, more united and more assertive foreign and security policy, MEPs highlighted on Wednesday.

The EU has to be able to defend its interests and values, and champion a rules-based international order that guarantees multilateralism, democracy and human rights, MEPs stress in their annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Strategic cooperation with third countries

Europe needs to work closely with its allies and establish more strategic cooperation with third countries based on trust and mutual benefit, they say, adding that transatlantic cooperation remains crucial in EU foreign policy. MEPs condemn in the strongest terms the “mob assault” on the US Congress by rioters, which was “incited by President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories and baseless claims that the presidential election of 3 November 2020 was rigged”, adding that they are alarmed by the rise of populism and extremism on both sides of the Atlantic.

Europe also has to work more closely with the UN and NATO, and jointly tackle regional and global security challenges such as conflict situations, health crises, hybrid threats, cyberattacks and disinformation. To increase the effectiveness of the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy, MEPs call on member states to urgently consider whether decisions should be taken by majority and not unanimity, at least on human rights issues and sanctions.

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