It reflects the true change in paradigm towards equal partnerships. There was no meaning to the adjective back then. Such a Commission will have a political agenda in which reinforcing the EU's role as a relevant international actor, and trying to shape a better global order through reinforcing multilateralism, is to become a key priority ('A stronger Europe in the world'). Forget about a geopolitical Commission with the ambition to project European values on the world stage; we cannot even agree on making value-based decisions in our immediate neighbourhood. As Europe enters 2020, the new “geopolitical” European Commission has declared its intention to make the European Union a more assertive player on … Latest news, analysis and comment on elections in Europe and beyond. A more geopolitically aware EU will need to tread carefully to avoid stirring up unwelcome memories in certain parts … A world that is green, digital and fair, with equal opportunity for all. At one point this summer Ursula von der Leyen said her Commission will be “geopolitical”, as opposed to the “political” Commission of Jean-Claude Juncker. COVID-19 makes a more geopolitical Commission more necessary than ever. We want Europe to be stronger in the world. Though recently derided as a vaccine protectionist, the EU is, in fact, an export powerhouse. Latest news, analysis and comment from POLITICO’s editors and guest writers on the continent. It also means promoting and protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law – the very foundations of our international cooperation. EU strategy and foreign policy. Key to his vision is the idea that the EU must become a political and strategic player with one voice and one purpose, first in its own neighborhood and then in the world. But if they neglect the international challenges Europe faces, they will only store up bigger problems for the future. The von der Leyen Commission is the current European Commission, in office since 1 December 2019 and is to last until the 2024 elections.Its president is Ursula von der Leyen, who directs a commission composed of one commissioner from each of the states composing the European Union, except Germany, which is von der Leyen's member state.. in the EU and internationally. It will do this by establishing and acting upon a new form of common “European sovereignty” — at once economic, military and strategic. Doing so will allow the EU to be the guardian of multilateralism, actively defending itself against the vagaries of U.S. President Donald Trump and competing economic and political models wherever they may be found. The EU still aims at building good or at least non-confrontational relations with all of the great powers: China, Russia, and the US. A geopolitical force already? Sure, the EU is not about to stand up its own continental army. The EU’s “geopolitical Commission” is squandering its vaccine diplomacy moment. But it risks serious confrontation with world powers that the EU is neither prepared nor capable to handle. The journey of the new ‘Geopolitical Commission’ started in December 2019. So let’s step it up, and make the most of our international partnerships to propel ourselves into a sustainable future. For many of us, this past year has been particularly hard. In her Mission Letter to her designated EU commissioners Ursula von der Leyen declared that ‘this will be a geopolitical Commission’. Building on the EU and Member States’ long-standing experience in international cooperation and development, my mission is to work strategically and effectively with international partners to build the world we want to live in tomorrow. The European Green Deal must accept the reality of our geopolitical age – an ambitious task for the new Commission. However, it will take steps toward using its large internal market to break down cross-border barriers to military trade and technological development. The EU’s “geopolitical Commission” is squandering its vaccine diplomacy moment. In-depth reporting, data and actionable intelligence for policy professionals – all in one place. In this ever changing, complex and competitive world, our generation is being tested by global calamities such as inequality, climate change and biodiversity loss, brought into sharper focus by COVID-19. European Green Deal The Commission’s ambitions to lead the world in action on climate change will continue to rub against member states’ imperatives to manage the economic costs. Recognising that the Union’s … Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Reddit VKontakte Odnoklassniki WhatsApp Telegram Share via Email. This is a timely and important moment. At the same time, there is a risk that the economic crisis and internal divisions will make member-states more inward-looking. It is of course good news that the EU seems ready to accept some cold hard realities. The EU’s pivot towards geopolitics only really materialised in March 2019 with the adoption by the Juncker Commission and High Representative Mogherini of a joint communication presenting the strategic outlook on China. In 2020 that seems likely to change. Latest news, analysis and comment from POLITICO’s editors and guest writers in Europe. 3 minutes read. Specifically, IDEA is responsible for contributing to the following Commission priorities: Geopolitics and Europe in the global order; Green Deal; Digital, technology and innovation; Social market economy; The future of Europe and the EU’s institutions The pandemic has shown us that we will only confront challenges and succeed by working together. Gender equality issues took center stage Wednesday in Brussels a day after Ursula von der Leyen, one the EU's most powerful executives, was treated like a second-rank official during a visit to Ankara. Rather than stepping into the growing space left by U.S. and Chinese unilateralism, the EU could overreach, advertising and brutally exposing its strategic shortcomings. Under Frans Timmermans, a team of Commissioners therefore have a huge task of putting together a European Green Deal. Latest news, analysis and comment from POLITICO’s editors and guest writers on French politics. | Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images. It is no coincidence that Macron believes that a proper EU defense policy is the key to his “sovereign Europe,” and that Thierry Breton, the French commissioner, now straddles a joint internal market and defense portfolio in Brussels. While large in size, the EU is lacking teeth when it comes to geopolitics; But the EU is waking up to a new reality. The World Economic Forum in Davos saw real friction between the U.K., France and the U.S. on the issue of “tech taxes.” Von der Leyen wants the EU to act alone if there is no global solution by the end of the year. The EU institutions are certainly not helping. National governments and the Commission also want to more effectively tackle the problem of “Chinese dumping” — competing with Chinese firms that have received state subsidies — and for China and the U.S. to open their public procurement markets to European firms, closing off EU markets to their firms if they don’t. French President Emmanuel Macron is the most important driving force behind this change. The swift response to the pandemic could indicate a change of heart; Germany would be a natural leader of the bloc, but lacks military force and a willingness to invest in it. It has extensive powers in some areas, such as competition and product regulation, but few in others. Log in to access content and manage your profile. With European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s ambition to lead a “geopolitical Commission,” the EU opens a new external front that could exacerbate internal splits — especially between Berlin and Paris — while simultaneously risking the bloc’s relations with the rest of the world. Two competing views are presently to be found emanating from the Commission’s senior leadership: (i) the idea that this Commission will be a “geopolitical commission” for an increasingly geopolitical world and (ii) a continuing commitment on the part of the EU, if the rhetoric is to be taken seriously, to the values of multilateralism and cooperative, collective action problem solving. New European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has a plan to boost the EU’s role on the world stage. As the new EU leadership is coming in, we must give punch to our strategy, and make sure we have the power to make our ideas work in the real world. On 1 December, Ursula von der Leyen will finally take office as president of the European Commission. However, I am optimistic for what the future holds. The new title, structure and mission statement gives DG INTPA a solid footing for contributing to the geopolitical ambitions of this Commission and supporting my work. | Olivier Hoslet/EPA, Campaigning, lobbying and political influence in the EU. Mujtaba Rahman is the head of Eurasia Group’s Europe practice and the author of POLITICO‘s Beyond the Bubble column. In fact, one could be excused for getting the impression that the EU already is a geopolitical … As Commissioner for International Partnerships, I drive this vision in our work with partners, leveraging the strength of our different policies abroad. Dave Keating is an American journalist based in Brussels covering European politics for France24. But seen from the U.S., this will be an affront, especially since few EU capitals have fulfilled and are likely to fulfil their NATO promises on defense spending. The “geopolitical commission” that President-elect Ursula von der Leyen announced implies, most importantly, that the EU has to adapt to a world of great powers. In 2020 that seems likely to change. Take trade. There is little meaning to it today. The Commission President wants the EU to lead international negotiations to raise the ambition of other major emitters by 2021, and has pledged to put forward a comprehensive, responsible plan to increase the European Union's emissions reduction target for 2030, from 40 % … The new European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, spoke of establishing a “geopolitical Commission.” (The term “geopolitical” as used by EU politicians usually connotes an approach to foreign policy focused on the distribution of military and economic power and the resulting power dynamics.) Like the tortoise who ultimately outpaces the hare, Europe’s reputation for slow, accretive but reliable policymaking may yet contrast favorably with the growing volatility of relations between the world’s two uncontested great powers. The position of the High Representative will gain further importance. He laid out the building blocks of his approach in an interview with the Economist last year. President von der Leyen entrusted me with the role of Commissioner for International Partnerships in my mission letter, and asked me to ensure that the European model of development evolves in line with new global realities. European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has presented her proposed team and the jobs she wants her Commissioners to carry out. Visit of Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner, to the "Centre de formation et d'insertion professionnelle", in Dar Naim, Mauritania – 25/02/2020, copyright European Union, Geopolitical Commission builds on International Partnerships, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). EU action on trade, tech and climate therefore risks provoking punitive tariffs on some of Europe’s more export-driven sectors such as autos and consumer goods, at a time when senior policymakers remain concerned, and have no immediate answers, over how to kickstart growth. The EU should be careful not to make promises it can’t keep. Even before the new European Commission took office, the credibility of the EU as a geopolitical player was called into question several times. First foreign trip of the new President: Ethiopia. Has Margrethe Vestager become too aggressive in her approach? Latest news, analysis and comment on security in Europe and beyond. By Lili Bayer. Indeed, in her Mission Letter to the High Representative the term ‘geopolitical Commission’ appears twice and in her speech at the Paris Peace Forum von der Leyen even spoke of wanting to foster a “ truly geopolitical Commission.” But the danger for Europe is that the process of U.S.-China decoupling — which predates Trump but has been accelerated by his arrival — risks hustling it into poor decisions. This now forms the basis of von der Leyen’s approach to trade, technology and defense. Over the past few years, the European Union’s major political fault lines have primarily arisen from internal challenges: Brexit; fears over Italy’s eurozone membership; rule of law problems across Central and Eastern Europe. Still, the adjective is growing on the Commission. The neighbourhood, natural zone for a Geopolitical Commission The European Neighbourhood Policy was launched in 2003 to establish stability and prosperity with six countries in the East (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and those on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, from Morocco to Syria. The journey of the new ‘Geopolitical Commission’ started in December 2019. DG DEVCO, the service supporting my work as Commissioner, has now officially become DG International Partnerships (‘DG INTPA’). President von der Leyen entrusted me with the role of Commissioner for International Partnerships in my mission letter, and asked me to ensure that the European model of development evolves in line with new global realities. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has set her stall out — but is it too ambitious? On tech, there is growing concern in the U.S. that the EU’s competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, is becoming too aggressive in pushing her regulatory lead. Latest news, analysis and comment from POLITICO’s editors and guest writers on German politics. , The “geopolitical commission” that President-elect Ursula von der Leyen announced implies, most importantly, that the EU has to adapt to a world of great powers. European leaders like to use the weighty language of geopolitics - but ultimately continue to stare doubtfully at the changing world. Campaigning, lobbying and political influence in the U.K. What’s driving the day in Paris, en français, The weekly digest of the best stories in U.K. politics. The makings of a ‘geopolitical’ European Commission Nov 28,2019 - Last updated at Nov 28,2019 She has promised to lead a commission that will avoid a scenario in which, as French President Emmanuel Macron recently warned, Europe might “disappear geopolitically” amid an escalating Sino-American rivalry. Macron wants to push for more binding EU-wide screening of Chinese investment into infrastructure projects via Beijing’s mega-Belt and Road project. EU’s foreign policy ambitions put at risk of overreach. We want Europe to be stronger in the world. The commission is an odd hybrid of executive, civil service and watchdog. News Post || Euro News: Though recently derided as a vaccine protectionist, the EU is, in fact, an export powerhouse. Team Las Vegas News 2 days ago. The EU should be careful not to make promises it can’t keep. Here are the highlights from her announcement. If they really want a geopolitical EU, then they need to be willing to allow for a powerful Commission, even if that means diluting their own power. This means working hand in hand with partners, setting agendas, taking initiatives and ensuring effective implementation of our actions for the ultimate benefit of people across the world. Explore the live extension of our journalism, The wonk's survival guide to the EU Green Deal, April 19 — Rewriting the Transatlantic Tech Playbook, April 20 — The coming shakeup of the EU Emissions Trading System, May 18 — POLITICO Virtual Interview: In Conversation With Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Meet von der Leyen’s ‘geopolitical Commission’, European Commission fears frenemy infiltration, POLITICO Pro Briefing Call: Loi climat française et Green Deal européen, What ‘Sofagate’ says about Charles Michel, European sovereignty has lost its biggest champion, How to fix Brexit’s Northern Ireland protocol problem. Latest news, analysis and comment on defense in Europe and beyond. Everyone talks about geopolitics, but apart from vague references to the need for a robust partnership with China, investing in international organisations, and support for Africa, they do not deliver. If the Commission wishes to be taken seriously as a geopolitical actor, it will first have to develop the institutional mechanisms to translate the EU’s theoretical power into actual power. These tensions will be exacerbated by what the EU wants to do on defense. If you do not have a login you can register here. The last month alone saw the Addressing these challenges alone is not an option. December 4, 2019 4:23 pm. Latest news, analysis and comment on migration in Europe and beyond. In her first Brussels press conference since taking over from Jean-Claude Juncker, von der Leyen said she will lead a … The EU intends to become more assertive in this area, for example, by making compliance with the Paris climate agreement a precondition for new deals and by retaliating in kind against punitive tariffs. The Commission By logging in, you confirm acceptance of our POLITICO Privacy Policy. All the different services and EU departments will have to talk to one another, and EU embassies and representations abroad will have to take on appropriately trained staff to streamline geopolitics and the energy transition. A few days after the global gathering, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested the U.S. could also retaliate against carbon taxes, which the Trump administration views as essentially protectionist. The evident and much-debated solution is the introduction of a system called qualified majority voting (QMV). This document set a precedent for the EU by characterising a superpower as a ‘systemic rival’ and an economic competitor, as well as a negotiation and cooperation … If the Commission wishes to be taken seriously as a geopolitical actor, it will first have to develop the institutional mechanisms to translate the EU’s theoretical power into actual power. Last year Ursula von der Leyen promised to lead a ‘geopolitical’ Commission. It’s time to get real on putting that into practice, argue Nicole Koenig and Nils Redeker. She has promised to lead a commission that will avoid a scenario in which, as French President Emmanuel Macron recently warned, Europe might “disappear geopolitically” amid an escalating Sino-American rivalry. With European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s ambition to lead a “geopolitical Commission,” the EU opens a new external front that could exacerbate internal splits — especially between Berlin and Paris — while simultaneously risking the bloc’s relations with the rest of the world.