GMF brings together hundreds of policymakers, elected officials, academics, and business leaders from around the world to discuss topics from energy to migration, economics to security, urban growth to diplomacy.
European leaders handed HR/VP Federica Mogherini an impossible mission last June when they asked her to come up with an EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy (EUGS). While Mogherini’s advisors prepare the EUGS, most of the threats predicted by Javier Solana’s 2003 security strategy are hitting the EU hard: terrorism, organised crime, state failure, and regional conflict. The refugee crisis is one of the results,
with its disruptive effects and human suffering. In diverting energies into a new theoretical exercise, the EU risks fiddling while Rome burns.
There is unlikely, ever, to be a global strategy involving 28 member states except on paper. European states are too diverse to implement a common strategy. Spain will always be more concerned about Morocco than about Ukraine; Poland will always worry about the eastern neighbourhood and remain unmoved by the troubles of North Africa. Germany and Italy seek dialogue with Russia, when conditions permit; central European states emphasise deterrence.
France and Britain meanwhile are ready to use force in defence of national interests; Germany deplores military force for understandable historical reasons. France faces terrorist threats but is scarcely affected by the refugee influx. Compromise language and coalitions of the willing cannot paper over tangible divisions of interests.