The discussion started with elaboration of national positions of the following EU member states towards Tunisia: Germany, France, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary and Slovakia. The participants contemplated national positions of EU member states from country to country, analysing the various levels of bilateral relations, foreign aid, civic cooperation programs and economic help offered to Tunisia.
The participants acknowledged that in order to provide efficient foreign development aid, prevent the misuse of the international funds, enable transparency, preclude corruption and double financing of the same projects, the structural coordination of foreign aid of the EU member countries should be established.
On Friday morning, the participants received a comprehensive explanation of EU foreign policy decision-making processes by Mr. Michal Vančo, an expert on European policies from the EU Foreign Affairs Department at the Political Section at the Ministry ofForeign Affairs of the Slovak Republic.
According to Mr. Vančo in some occasions it might be very complicated to find the consensus between 27 EU member countries that would be effective at the same time. “Consensus is the mantra of EU cooperation, at the end of the day everybody (each representative of EU member) should be happy with the formulation of policy. How do you draft the text, differs from how it is going to be interpreted by individual members,” declared Mr. Vančo.
At the end, Mr. Vančo gave the participants examples of recent policy conclusions on Yemen and Tunisia and explained the composition of such a policy conclusion. This knowledge and information helped participants later on in formulation of their Working Group conclusion, which they drafted at the end of the Working Group simulation session.
The next Working Group meeting is going to be on March 15-16 in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, and the participants will simulate the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in the process of the EU foreign policy drafting.
The “EU Foreign Policy Shaping: From Brussels to Tunis" project is organized in the framework of the Youth in Action Program of the European Commission. The project of the Slovak Atlantic Commissionis prepared in collaboration with Euro-Atlantic Centre, Corvinus Society for Foreign Affairs and Culture and Hungarian Atlantic Council. The project will introduce its promoters and participants to the way foreign policy is created on the European and implemented on the local level. For this purpose the project will use the specific example of Tunisia, which will be used to explain EU foreign policy decision-making process and implementation. The project will bring together 16 participants from Slovakia and Hungary (aged 18 – 25 years of age).
The “EU Foreign Policy Shaping: From Brussels to Tunis" project is organized in the framework of the Youth in Action Program with financial support of the European Commission.