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The Future of EU External Action - Towards Integrated Policy Responses for Global Sustainable Development?

#ETTG2016 conference on #EUGlobalStrategy, Berlin 1-2 March 2016


  1. From 1-2 March 2016, the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) organised a high‐level conference to discuss and reflect upon the EU Global Strategy. The ETTG brings together five leading European international development think tanks, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales (Iddri).
  2. Background of the conference: The Juncker Commission together with the High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini have launched various strategy processes to reform both EU external and internal policies. These include the Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, the Review of the Neighbourhood Policy, the Trade Review, and a Review of Europe 2020. A Review of the European Consensus on Development is under consideration.
  3. Different views exist as to how the Global Strategy should evolve and what its main focus should be. Intensified by the migration crisis and the recent terrorist attacks, some argue for a narrow strategy that focuses on the EU's immediate security and defence. Others argue for a comprehensive strategy for the promotion of global sustainable development that combines foreign and security policy with all areas of EU external action.
  4. The main aim of the conference was to discuss and reflect upon the EU Global Strategy and related strategy processes against the background of the #2030Agenda and to identify a concrete course of action, combining perspectives from foreign and security, development, climate, environment, migration and trade policies.
  5. The first day of the conference was non-public and under Chatham house rule.
  6. 1 March 2016

  7. A vision for EU External Action 2020: Responding to internal and external reform pressure

  8. Dirk Messner, Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), underlined the importance of including the #SDGs to the #EUGlobalStrategy.
  9. "The 2030 Agenda as a universal agenda which addresses global goals implies that we need to implement the SDGs also in Europe." - See the full interview with Dirk Messner here:
  10. Currently, the EU is confronting huge challenges: The security of Europe is under threat - for rising terrorism, the war in Syria and Iraq and the Ukraine crisis, said a speaker. Moreover, the EU has to deal with global economic change, re-nationalism and the climate challenge.
  11. Consensus: We cannot solve problems if we are not willing to collaborate - even if we relinquish sovereignty.
  12. Kevin Watkins, Director of the Oversas Development Institute (ODI), asked for a joint-up respond to the enormous development and security challenges the EU is facing at the moment - e. g. including diplomacy and an engagement with Russia, the US and regional actors to get a peace agreement in Syria, effective financing and moreover shared responsibilities on the part of the member states to deal with the refugee crisis. For more details see our interview in full length: