The Global Strategy: comprehensive but not local enough
The new Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy was just presented to EU Member States by High Representative Federica Mogherini on 28 June. It replaces the 2003 European Security Strategy and aims at achieving a stronger and more effective EU foreign policy.
PLATFORMA welcomes the fact that the Global Strategy, while retaining a strong security focus, is not merely about security. The need to adopt a comprehensive approach to tackle the root causes of conflict and State fragility, bringing in trade, humanitarian and development policies, is clearly spelled out and is consistent with the 2030 Agenda. There is also a reference to the importance of working with local authorities to engage with communities and feed external action with knowledge from the ground.
However, the role of local and regional authorities of partner countries remains very limited. As highlighted in our position paper, PLATFORMA would like to see local and regional authorities involved in the design of country-specific strategy papers or the bilateral action plans through transparent multi-stakeholder consultation mechanisms. The governance structures supervising the implementation of the Association Agreements between the EU and third countries should also be open to towns and regions.
Local authorities are already on the frontline when responding to challenges such as migration inflows, climate change and conflict. Only by localising the Global Strategy actions, these issues will be effectively addressed. A Global Strategy that fails to acknowledge this reality will be a recipe for failure.