Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 335

Consequences of Covid-19 on global order: multilateralism and democracy at risk

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 29 ottobre 2020

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee urges the EU to take responsibility in defending rules-based world order, stressing the need to change how decisions are made in EU foreign policy. On Monday, the Foreign Affairs Committee approved, by 49 votes in favour, 6 against and 12 abstentions a report on the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on EU foreign policy. According to Committee members, the COVID-19 pandemic is a “game changer” in international affairs. The EU has to strengthen its internal resilience, develop new partnerships, and foster its multilateralist vision on a global scale. The rapporteur Hilde Vautmans (Renew) said: “The European Union has yet to establish its place in the new world order, and this is a weakness for both the EU and for multilateralism. A unified and prominent European presence on the world stage could help restore the global rules-based order after the damage done in recent years. However, Europeans absolutely must defend their interests internationally.” A number of governments and political leaders across the globe are using the crisis as an opportunity to furnish themselves with excessive powers, pursue their own political agendas by limiting human rights, and undermine democratic standards, MEPs say.MEPs are particularly concerned about disinformation campaigns and external attempts to compromise the unity of the EU, notably from Russia, and the politicisation of humanitarian assistance. They also highlight that the current US administration seems to be withdrawing from the multilateral system.In order to protect the rules-based global order, the EU should move towards a stronger foreign policy, MEPs say. Effective measures include a stronger mandate for the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to speak on behalf of the EU, for example by establishing a European seat in multilateral bodies. Also, the unanimity rule should be replaced by a qualified majority vote in foreign policy decisions.Referring to China’s attempts to position itself as the dominant global player “with an alternative governance model”, MEPs call on the High Representative to review EU-China relations, making sure that the new strategy defends European values and interests. They also urge the Chinese government to fully cooperate with an independent international investigation into the origins of COVID-19.Finally, MEPs stress the urgent need for a global sanctions regime in order to combat human rights violations.

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