Faced with the war in Ukraine, the European Union must rethink its energy model, organise solidarity with refugees and give Ukraine a European perspective, says Czech MEP Dita Charanzova, whose country will chair the Council from 1 July.
The war in Ukraine is jeopardising the world's supply of grain and fertiliser. For the European Union, the world's leading agricultural power, the situation calls for a rethink of its policies, which could result in production cuts at a time when global needs are increasing.
In the competition with the United States and China, the European Union lost ground by adopting an overly restrictive policy after the financial crisis. The macroeconomic efforts made during the pandemic must become more structural than cyclical. The European Union must now articulate its welfare state with maximum growth macroeconomic management, enabling it to strengthen European domestic demand, balance the continent's trade balance, rebalance its overdependence on exports and, in this way, place itself in a position of strategic autonomy.
The 6th EU-African Union Summit, taking place on 17-18 February, is an opportunity to move towards a closer alliance in many areas, such as infrastructure, health, education, climate transition and migration.
Recognised and respected for its economic weight, the European Union must also be able to influence maritime security issues which are strategic for it and its partners throughout the world. It has a key role to play in securing areas of common interest, through its naval operations, its capacity-building and governance programmes.