Josep Borrell can't be our European Minister for Foreign Affairs!

Josep Borrell can't be our European Minister for Foreign Affairs!

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Foreign Friends of Catalonia started this petition to European Parliament and

On 2 July, the European Council announced the proposed appointment of Josep Borrell to the role of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. We believe that appointing Borrell to take on such a diplomatically important role within the EU would be an abject disaster for Europe, and that the European Parliament must block this appointment.
 
In his long career in politics, Borrell has shown time and again that he cannot speak the language of diplomacy. He openly mocked the people of Switzerland for their advanced level of democracy, calling them “weird” and saying that they “vote on what time [they’re] going to buy bread”. He compared political opponent Oriol Junqueras to a fat priest and spoke of the need to “disinfect” Catalonia from people whose views he disagrees with.
 
He casually dismissed the displacement and indiscriminate extinction of Native Americans by saying that the path to independence for the US was very easy and “all they did was kill four Indians”. When last asked, he reaffirmed his opposition to recognising the state of Kosovo, despite them being recognised by the majority of the member states he will be representing on the world stage, and refuses to accept the overwhelming will of the people of Gibraltar to remain British, insisting the territory be returned to Spain.
 
As if to further prove his diplomatic credentials, earlier this year Borrell was interviewed on German network Deutsche Welle’s Conflict Zone, facing probing questions from journalist Tim Sebastian. When asked about constitutional reform, he accused Sebastian of lying and walked off the set, demanding they “stop this record”. His aides forced him to go back and finish the interview, but he demanded at the end of the interview that next time he be asked questions “in a less biased way”.
 
Beyond diplomacy, there is another disturbing side to Borrell’s chequered past, and that is the various financial scandals he has been embroiled in. After leaving the European Parliament in 2009, for example, he took up the post of president of the European University Institute, but was forced to resign over an undeclared conflict of interest, when it emerged he was also earning €300,000 a year as a member of the board of the sustainable energy company Abengoa.  And since becoming Spain’s foreign minister, Borrell has been fined €30,000 under insider trading rules for selling 10,000 shares in Abengoa on the basis of “privileged information on this company”. Borrell’s defence at the time was that it only represented eight per cent of his portfolio.
 
Josep Borrell’s appointment will be nothing short of an embarrassment for Europe. He is openly referred to as the European Union’s very own Donald Trump. His own chequered past involving alleged conflicts of interest and potential insider trading is more reflective of the much-maligned European past than the future it is striving for. And as for building bridges around the world, Borrell has shown time and again he is incapable of speaking the language of diplomacy required for such an endeavour. Now, more than ever, Europe needs renewal, but with Borrell at the helm of its diplomatic corps, it can only go backwards.
 
We therefore call on the European Parliament to reject any attempt to ratify the appointment of Josep Borrell as the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and instead urge the European Council to propose a more suitable alternative.

Sources for the above incidents, along with further information, can be found in this article: http://www.alancollinspdb.co.uk/blog/2019/07/04/for-the-good-of-europe-we-need-to-stopborrell/

Contact: foreign@foreignfriends.cat

 

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