Roadmap for the Presidency of the Council of EU
By Phidel Vineles
Amb Johannes Peterlik, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, spoke at an RSIS seminar on “The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union” on 12 November 2018.
Amb Peterlik outlined three main priorities for the Presidency of the Council of EU. The first is security and the fight against illegal migration by securing external borders. The second priority is maintaining the region’s competitiveness through digitalisation. And lastly, stability in Austria’s neighbouring countries by working towards EU accession for Western Balkan countries. He also said that connecting Europe and Asia is an EU strategy that aims to improve connectivity between the two regions through interoperable digital networks, energy, and transport. This strategy aims to further strengthen ties between the two regions for having a more cooperative approach towards global stability and regional economic prosperity.
Amb Peterlik said that the Asia Pacific region is important for EU. In fact, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) enhances relations and cooperation between the two regions, he added. The EU has also concluded a free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore and is presently negotiating FTAs with other ASEAN member states such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. These agreements are stepping stones to further promote economic relationship between the two regions, according to him.
The future of the EU relies on effective foreign policies and that is why it is important to secure external borders against illegal migration, according to Amb Peterlik. He iterated that coherent policies are needed to allow the region to move forward. In fact, a new council on foreign policy is being proposed to deal with important policy issues.
Last updated on 23/01/2019