Externe Publikationen

28. Sep 2021

Policy Recommendations: European Foreign and Security Policy

Spinelli Forum 2021


POLICY RECOMMENDATION 1: Foreign Policy Erasmus

To forge a more adherent Foreign Policy we need to introduce a Diplomats Erasmus. A 9-months exchange will allow to see the world.

Problem addressed

The EU currently faces a lack of coherence among member states and institutions, which is affecting the EU’s capacity to act, especially in Common Foreign and Security Policy. Member states often have a different assessment of a policy problem or face a lack of trust among each other. Existing processes and mechanisms that could bridge this gap are not adequate.

Policy Recommendation – Idea and Goal

In short: Diplomats exchange programme among EU member states in order to enhance coherence.

A structured 9-month exchange can help foster a common EU strategic outlook and culture as well as a more coherent policy, allowing diplomats and other foreign policy officials to spend time in other member states’ foreign ministries (incl. Embassies, PermRep) and defence ministries - financed by the EU budget. This exchange could help avoid unilateral policies, it would open up new communication channels and could be complementary to similar existing programmes.

The role of Germany and Italy

As founding members of the EU, Italy and Germany should have a leading role and encourage other member states. Both countries should map pre-existing exchanges and obtain political buy-in options.

POLICY RECOMMENDATION 2: TRIVIA – Transparency for Relevant Infrastructure Via Investment Assessment

In an ever-changing world where interdependencies on major infrastructures are currently affecting everybody’s life, the EU has to set clear standards and defend its own strategic interests. #FIDES

Problem addressed

Large infrastructure projects can create potential economic dependencies with authoritarian regimes. Major (critical) infrastructure investments require screening of security implications, which are currently not sufficiently in place.

Policy Recommendation – Idea and Goal

In short: Improve the existing “European framework for investment screening” mechanism

Establish a fact-based, transparent assessment whether the investments and the broader economic relationship between the EU and authoritarian regimes are benign and malign. An annual review of critical infrastructure projects could offer guidelines for member states. The review will offer benchmarks that can be used by national and subnational governments and can then be incorporated in other EU infrastructure plans. An expert group, selected by the European Commission would be authorized on the screening of FDI’s into the EU and to publish an annual report. This mechanism would help the EU protect its strategic interests while further reinforcing the EU's role as an international standard setter and becoming a model for third countries.

The role of Germany and Italy

Share the experience gained through national cases of strategic interests’ vulnerabilities to increase awareness. Employ the acquired skills to sustain Member States to anticipate in advance the scrutiny of investment projects. Be the initiative-drivers of common investment standards.