European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the United States is “losing its leadership” position in the world, presenting an “opportunity” for the EU to become a “reliable partner” on the international stage.
“There is an opportunity for the Europeans and the European Union to position itself as a partner to all our interlocutors in the world, be it on the big global issues where maybe Washington is losing leadership,” Mogherini said at a State of the Union conference in Florence on Friday.
Mogherini said that during recent visits to China, India and Russia, she found a desire in these countries for closer ties with a “strong EU” not just in “economy and trade, but security and humanitarian development, climate change, and foreign policy.”
“People want to work with European Union, not because they always like us… But in this geopolitical dynamic, being predictable, reliable and strong is an added value we should use,” the top diplomat noted.
She argued that Europe could “occupy the space” being vacated by the US especially as tensions are rising over trade, immigration and funding for NATO.
Asked whether President Donald Trump’s “unpredictability” has put the US in an advantageous position in dealing with issues like North Korea, Mogherini said that it is not the EU’s approach.
“Sometimes you can play with unpredictability and predictability that can surprise… but sometimes you can also scare. And sometimes it’s too late to fix it. The European way is not that of playing,” she explained.
In response to a question about the US missile attack in Syria last month as well as its deployment of military personnel and equipment on the Korean Peninsula, Mogherini said, “There is not one single security threat in our world that can only be faced with military means.”
The EU has been frustrated with President Trump’s foreign policy including his support for Britain’s decision to leave the bloc.
“The newly elected president is delighted to see Britain leave the EU. If he carries on, I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in March.