A Moment of Truth for Europe's Foreign Policy
Leaders of the European Union's twenty-eight member states are scheduled to meet on August 30 in Brussels to pick the successor to foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, whose term expires in October. For the German Marshall Fund's Sir Michael Leigh, the appointment of a high representative comes at a crucial time as ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, and Libya threaten to undermine European security and economic interests. "This is a moment of truth when the member states of the EU have to decide whether they are ready to act together in tackling these unprecedented threats," he says. Leigh adds that "the success or failure of a common EU foreign and security policy will be determined in our own neighborhood," and believes that the next foreign policy chief should recalibrate the bloc's policies toward neighboring states in the east and south.
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Sir Michael Leigh is senior advisor to the German Marshall Fund of the United States.