Europe and the EU

Future of Europe Breakfast on EU budget and foreign policy
5 Jul 2018 08:30 - 09:45
Source: Studio Oostrum, The Hague

This event was co-hosted by the Representation of the European Commission and the Clingendael Institute. The full photo stream of this event can be accessed here.

During this 'Future of Europe' Breakfast, organised by The Clingendael Institute and the European Commission Representation in the Netherlands, Félix Fernández-Shaw, strategy director at DG International Cooperation & Development (DEVCO) and formerly a member of HR/VP Mogherini’s cabinet, discussed the new European Commission budget proposal for external action together with policy makers, private sector representatives, and experts. The future of Europe breakfast sessions address themes of key importance to the European agenda, providing a discussion platform in an intimate setting under the ‘Chatham House rule’.

Félix Fernández-Shaw, strategy director at DG International Cooperation & Development (DEVCO) and formerly a member of HR/VP Mogherini’s cabinet

The negotiations on the EU´s Multiannual Financial Framework post-2020 come at a time when the EU faces numerous challenges in the European neighbourhood. They  include irregular migration, state fragility and the growing influence of outside powers in Europe’s neighbourhood. On a global level, new and old powers increasingly challenge the existing order, raising questions about the future of globalisation and global governance. The breakfast discussion addressed the question how the EU can be better equipped to promote its interests abroad and what this means for its financing structure.

Participants during the debate

Following an insightful introduction by Mr. Fernández-Shaw, a discussion ensued on the rationale for EU external engagement with countries in the Southern Neighbourhood and sub-Sahara Africa on migration and development. Particular attention was paid to the EU’s use of conditionality and China’s role in Africa. The visibility and influence of EU external action was a key theme: though the EU and its Member states are collectively the world’s largest providers of Official Development Aid (ODA) and the main trading partners of many countries in the region, this does not automatically translate into European leverage in those countries. The possibility for increased coordination and cooperation between EU institutions and the Member States was explored. A further topic concerned the Commission’s proposal to create a single financing instrument for external action and the increased size of the external action budget despite Britain’s departure from the EU.