Bratislava, June 8 (TASR) – Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (a Smer-SD nominee), who was one of participants in a panel discussion held on the last day of Globsec 2019 Bratislava Forum, said that Europe should be a more significant global player.
“Last five years weren’t good times for the EU,” stated Lajcak, recalling the migration wave that Europe was unable to react to adequately, as well as arrival of the new administration in the United States.
According to Lajcak, Europe is a leader when it comes to its inevitable interests, such as trade and global responsibility, where it sets trends in the field of climate. “Europe is a sole global player who is still talking about values and human rights,” he said. However, “no Europe exists” when it comes to foreign policy, added Lajcak.
Lajcak stated that Europe must be able to define its interests. “We need a simple Europe so that people understand it,” he said, adding we need Europe that is able to take care of people. He stressed a need for equality and rules that apply to all.
Europe should be a global player and should be able to address problems in its immediate vicinity, stated Lajcak, mentioning the situation in Ukraine and Balkans in this context. Problems can be resolved, but Europe must first realise that the global reality has changed and must be able to define its role.
Participants in the discussion also touched on the issue of the role of the USA and China in the world. Lajcak in this connection said the USA seems to be changing its strategic doctrine. “The United States followa its own interests and isn’t hiding it,” said Lajcak, adding that the USA wants to deal with matters it believes they serve its national interests, but doesn’t necessarily think it should follow any rules.
In reaction to this, other countries believe there’s a gap, an empty space they can fill. “Therefore, we see more assertive Russia, more confident China, Turkey, Iran and other players,” stated Lajcak.