‘Wind is blowing against the West’ – Borrell

19 Feb, 2024 14:02 / Updated 4 months ago
The EU has proven too slow to respond to military challenges arising from policy misadventures by Western states

The EU’s rules stand in the way of it acting as fast as it needs to, the bloc’s security and foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told an audience at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday.

Member states need to “act together, quicker and better” because they are “in a war situation”, the commissioner said. Some at mid-to-top political level in the bloc, as well as the general public, do not realize that, he believes.

“In order to make them work together, there are procedures to follow, unanimity to be reached, and all that takes time,” Borrell said.

“We cannot wait for ‘let’s see what’s happening in the European elections; let’s see, still not there; we want to know more details.’ This is for another dimension of politics.”

No, in three months things will be decided on the battlefield.

Though Borrel is a vocal supporter of helping Ukraine fight Russia with all that EU members can offer his remarks were not specifically related to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. He was answering a question on whether the EU has “the capabilities, the funding and the political will to be able to be credible.”

The official discussed major challenges that the EU is facing, including Ukraine, the conflict in Gaza, and the relationship with the Global South. 

“It is clear that the wind is blowing against the West, it is blowing against us. And we have to win the battle of narratives,” he said.

Borrell warned that the global situation may morph into a scenario of ‘the rest against the West’ due to mistakes made by the US and its allies in the Middle East and Ukraine.

While the MSC was going on in Germany, Kiev’s troops were retreating from the strategic Russian town of Avdeevka. Situated less than 10km from the outskirts of Donetsk in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic, it was occupied by the Ukrainian military. Subsequently heavily fortified, the town was used as a launching ground for attacks on Donetsk, many of which targeted civilians.