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This week, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has adopted a report on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak.

MEPs regret the lack of global leadership and coordinated international response EU in the initial phases of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as tendencies to opt for isolationist solutions.

The AFET Committee calls on the European leaders, and in particular HR/VP Josep Borrell, to make the best possible use of the foreign policy tools it has to tighten bonds with allies. This implies establishing a more relevant presence in Africa and offering a more realistic membership perspective for the Western Balkans.

MEP Hilde Vautmans (Open Vld, Belgium), Renew Europe Group’s coordinator in the AFET Committee and rapporteur on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, said:

“The Covid-19 crisis shook up the world profoundly, and we haven't found the politics to cope with it yet.  The risks are undeniable: relations between great powers are tense - notably the US and China; the impact on multilateralism is huge. A strong and united EU could help rebuild the global rules-based system and is vital to defend our own interests. This report is a rallying call to the HR/VP, to foreign ministers and heads of state."

Photo by MPD01605, Wikimedia commons.