COMECE EU External Relations Commission
Which priorities for the [post-]COVID-19 EU External Action?
The COMECE Commission on the EU External Relations gathered online on 29 September 2020 to discuss the most pressing issues for EU’s Foreign and Security Policy. In dialogue with EU and Church representatives, the Commission highlighted the important role the EU could play in leading global efforts for reinvigorating multilateralism.
Under the chairmanship of H.E. Mgr. Rimantas Norvila (Lithuania), the experts delegated by the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU focused their discussion on the EU priorities on the global stage during the ongoingCovid-19 pandemic and its aftermath.
Exchanging with representatives of the European Parliament, the COMECE Commission stressed the need for a people-centred and value-based approach in EU’s humanitarian, development, trade and security policies, having become even more urgent due to the socio-economic impact posed by Covid-19.
“The European Union has a key role to play – stated Mgr. Norvila – in order to prevent rivalries from regaining force and to lead efforts for the revitalisation of a true global community based on multilateral dialogue and trustful cooperation”. The experts also discussed possibilities for the EU to increase its engagement in creating conditions for the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Union’s neighbourhood, both at its Eastern and Southern borders.
In dialogue with Rev. Terwase Henry Akaabiam, General Secretary of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), the experts of the COMECE Commission built upon the recommendations contained in the recent COMECE-SECAM joint contribution and reflected on specific ways to put in place a fair and people-centered partnership between Europe and Africa ahead of the planned EU-AU Summit in 2021.
The Commission also exchanged views on the various challenges – ecological, socio-economic, human rights and geopolitical – the Arctic region is currently facing, in view of elaborating a contribution to the on-going EU public consultation on the future Arctic policy.