Brende: Europe should act more globally
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 4 October 2016 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - Europe is facing new challenges affected from global extreme poverty, economical-political problems and unsolved ethnical-religious conflicts. Therefore Europe and its partners have to strength their foreign and security policy and to take more responsibility to prevent future difficulties. This was the main messages from a briefing “Delivering security in a turbulent world - Norway and the EU” which was co-hosted by the Mission of Norway to the EU and the European Policy Centre (EPC).
The main speakers in the event were Norway’s Foreign Affairs minister Børge Brende and EU’s Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS). Brende took part in the meeting in the framework of his visit in Brussels on the occasion of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan during which Norway announced 80 million US dollar a year aid for Afghanistan, in the period 2017 to 2020.
Talking to over 100 guests in the Norway House in Brussels, Mr Brende underlined that Europe is facing many new challenges resulting from other local and regional conflicts in the world. “Now Europe has to strength its foreign and security policy and to take more responsibility to prevent future difficulties”, said Mr Brende.
Both Norwegian Brende and EU’s Christian Leffler agreed that conflicts across North Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan, the war in Syrian and in Iraq, the humanitarian disasters in the region and large migration flows, pose new challenges to European security and should be addressed with new tougher tools.
Minister Brende highlighted: “We are at a crossroads in foreign- and security policy, and Europe must take more responsibility for its own security. We see a different security landscape today than only a few years ago, and we need to use tougher tools to solve these issues. What happens in Libya today will have consequences in Europe tomorrow”.
During the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Norway’s Foreign Minister Brende announced that his country will maintain the current level of aid to Afghanistan, approximately NOK 700 million a year, in the period 2017 to 2020.
“Our aim is for Afghanistan to be stabilised and to gradually become less dependent on aid. This will take time, and it will require clear and united leadership on the part of the Afghan Government”, Mr Brende said.
According the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the support provided by Norway goes towards both long-term development and humanitarian aid efforts. Norway has increased its support for education for girls, and this will continue to be a priority in the time ahead.
After the Brussels Conference, the total sum committed by the international community to Afghanistan is US$15.2 billion. Now, the main question is, would Afghani-government fight against serious corruption in country ?