The purpose, even existence, of our Union is being questioned. Yet, our citizens and the world need a strong European Union like never before. Our wider region has become more unstable and more insecure. The crises within and beyond our borders are affecting directly our citizens’ lives. In challenging times, a strong Union is one that thinks strategically, shares a vision and acts together. This is even more true after the British referendum. We will have to rethink the way our Union works, but we perfectly know what to work for. We know what our principles, our interests and our priorities are. This is no time for uncertainty: our Union needs a Strategy. We need a shared vision, and common action.
The EU Global Strategy sets out the EU's core interests and principles for engaging in the world. It explains what the EU stands for and hopes to achieve in the world. A strategy will give the Union a collective sense of direction. We need to act united on the world stage to keep citizens safe, preserve our interests and uphold our values.
The strategic environment of the EU has changed dramatically over the past years. Challenges to our security today need a response that combines aspects of internal and external policies. The strategy will help us to be more effective in tackling challenges such as energy security, migration, climate change, terrorism and hybrid warfare. We need to stand together internally on security and defence and take responsibility in our surrounding regions to promote resilience and to address conflicts and crises.
None of our countries has the strength nor the resources to address the threats and seize the opportunities of our time alone. As a Union of almost half a billion citizens, our potential to contribute to peace and security in our region and in the whole world is unparalleled. The EU Global Strategy will guide us in our daily work towards a Union that truly meets its citizens’ needs, hopes and aspirations. To ensure that a wide range of views are included, the EU Global Strategy builds on input from numerous events, comments and analysis.
Our world today is more connected, contested and complex. This makes our global environment more unpredictable, creating instability and ambiguity, but also leads to new opportunities. In the European Union's neighbourhood a set of concurrent and heightened crises create an arc of instability. This will have implications for the Union and the wider world for many years to come. The European Union needs to take a fresh look at this uncertain environment, in which opportunities and challenges coexist. An EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy will enable the Union to identify a clear set of objectives and priorities for now and the future. On this basis the European Union can align its tools and instruments to ensure that they have the greatest possible impact. This will help promote the European Union's interests globally, and ensure our security at home and abroad.
Globalisation shapes our world for good and ill. It has given rise to an unprecedented degree of global connectivity and surges in human mobility. This has an impact on issues including migration, citizenship, development and health. On-line connectivity opens opportunities for political participation and business, but also for economic and financial crime, terrorism and trafficking. Markets are increasingly connected. Greater connectivity in Europe was highlighted by the Eurozone crisis. It shows how deeply linked we are and that we need to tackle economic problems together through deeper integration.
Nation states are under unprecedented strain. Fragile states and ungoverned spaces are spreading. Ideology, identity and geo-political ambitions drive tensions that can lead to instability and violence. To the East, the EU’s neighbours are vulnerable through economic, political and energy supply fragilities. In North Africa and the Middle East, ungoverned spaces enable criminals and terrorists to thrive. In Europe and beyond, new narratives challenge democratic values. Demographic trends, climate change and growing inequalities also threaten more tensions, while the rapid development of new technologies is changing the nature of conflict.
Global power shifts and power diffusion bring an end to single power dominance. Around the world, emerging powers are rising in global rankings; different regions display different configurations of power. Globally, power is spreading beyond the nation state towards a network of state, non-state, inter-state and transnational actors. Traditional multilateralism faces a delicate challenge: emerging countries want to reform the post-World War II architecture – yet opposing existing global governance mechanisms has been easier than creating new ones.