Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has called on the European Union to create the conditions for a common foreign policy.

"The big countries - Germany, France, Italy - should use their influence in a common foreign policy that allows Europe to establish itself as a stronger voice in the world," said Rutte at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

So far, the European Union has not used the potential offered by its internal market as the world's largest economic power.

Gerald Braunberger


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Rutte's project for a more coherent and influential Union also envisages moving away from the unanimity principle in the European Council, more efforts for defense and strengthening economic strength through reforms, including on the labor markets.

"The problem is not that we keep negotiating late into the night because there are different views," said the Dutchman, "our problem is that Europe has been the playing field for others for too long." In the short term, Europe must help that the more than 40-nation coalition in support of Ukraine stays together.

With regard to the dependency on Russia in the energy supply, Eduard Heger, Prime Minister of Slovakia, said: "We sold our values ​​for cheap oil and gas." Now there should be no more compromises with Moscow: "We were far too afraid of Putin .

We must be brave.

If Ukraine falls, we'll be next in Slovakia.

That must not happen.

Ukraine must win the war.”

"The war in Ukraine showed us how convincingly Europe can act," said Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank (ECB).

The recent past has revealed weaknesses such as a particular vulnerability to disruptions in global value chains and dependence on unfriendly suppliers of energy and raw materials.

But when Europe make an effort, they form an impressive team - albeit one that occasionally scores own goals.

Lagarde advocated a more consistent competition policy;

Europe could also express its influence on foreign trade policy more clearly.

"Europe has surprised positively in the pandemic by acting together," said Prime Minister Micheál Martin of Ireland.

There was also an impressive level of agreement on the first round of sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war.