Cooperation between the EU and the Arab world can provide an anchor of stability in an uncertain world, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas stated on Tuesday, speaking at the 3rd EU-Arab World Summit in Athens. Had such an initiative been undertaken sooner, he noted, many security problems and adverse consequences in the region might have been avoided.
As the multiple challeges faced by the EU in recent years had shown, he added, the principle of cooperation and faith in a multilateral system governed by the rule of law must also be the “fuel” for Euro-Arab cooperation.
Challenges such as the migration crisis, the Greek financial crisis, the rise of nationalism and populism and Brexit had also demonstrated Europe’s ability to withstand these pressures and proved the cohesive value of the 28 EU partners, he added: “Never before in the course of the 70-year history of European integration was it clearer that the European people are historically obliged to join forces. Either we swim together or each one of us will sink individually.”
Schinas went on to present three frameworks for EU- Arab cooperation: the Union for the Mediterranean, the strategic dialogue between the EU and the Arab League and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).
Finally, he stated that the EU’s main priorities for the Arab world in the coming years will focus on energy and climate, commerce, the migration crisis, the creation of an international “Juncker” plan for the EU’s international investments and ensuring that EU-Arab cooperation is human-centred.