Policy Questions for HRVP-Nominee on Russia and China by European security experts

Spanien Außenminister Josep Borrell

As European specialists in foreign and security policy, we encourage the Members of the European Parliament to ask Josep Borell, the Nominee for EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, these questions:

On Russia:

1. Do you agree that EU sanctions on Russia should be maintained as long as Russia occupies Crimea and organizes and supports war in Eastern Ukraine?

2. Which individuals to do you expect to be your key advisors on Russia-related issues?

3. What steps and measures will you take to reduce the influence of illicit Russian funding to European political movements and parties?

4. What measures will you take to increase Europeans’ digital resilience to foreign state-sponsored disinformation campaigns?

5. How will you make sure that the Commissioner for Neighbourhood won’t be influenced by bilateral issues (e.g. between Hungary and Ukraine)?

6. As High Representative, will you be defending the five guiding principles of EU-Russia relations? If you believe they should be modified, then in what way?

7. As the EU has a new cyber diplomacy sanction toolkit, have there already been instances where you believe it should have been applied?

8. Which strategies and measures will you propose to deter and raise costs for malign activity against the EU conducted by Russian entities?

9. As High Representative, will you explicitly criticise Russia when it spreads malign disinformation against the EU, its representatives, members, or policies?

10. Do you believe that Nord Stream 2 increases European energy security?

11. Will you allow your advisers to provide interviews to known disinformation outlets such as RT?

12. As High Representative, what safeguards would you attach to EU support of Syria’s reconstruction in order to ensure that our funds will not be used for repressive purposes?

13. The Government of Spain in the past has granted Russian naval vessels transiting to Syria access to its refuelling facilities in the Mediterranean. As High Commissioner, do you believe that the EU requires a policy or set of principles regarding indirect support of Russian military operations abroad?

14. Which specific measures from the EU Action Plan on Disinformation do you consider unsatisfactory, and which additional measures are you proposing for countering what the European Council calls “pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns”?

15. Your predecessor was sometimes criticised for prioritising visits to the Southern Neighbourhood over the Eastern Partnership states. How will you apportion your visits between the two?

16. What is your plan for securing the withdrawal of Russian forces from eastern Ukraine, Crimea and Georgia?

17. Would you support efforts provide a NATO Membership Action Plan for Georgia, and would you favour reiteration of the Bucharest Summit commitment that ‘Georgia and Ukraine will become members of NATO’?

18. Do you agree with EU Ambassador to Russia Marcus Ederer that EU should perform “sweeping expansion of engagement with Russia in fields including 5G communications and personal data protection”?

On China:

19. How do you envision the future of intelligence sharing with NATO allies who raise legitimate concerns about cybersecurity and espionage? Should European 5G infrastructure depend on China’s technology?

20. What will be your response if China exerts pressure on individual EU member states?

21. How will you react if China decides to pressure or blackmail a single EU member state to coerce compliance with its policies?

22. How will you respond if China arbitrarily takes an EU citizen hostage for political reasons?

23. How will you support Canada in the matter of its two nationals’ arbitrary detention by Chinese entities?

24. Would you sign the letters currently signed by 22 nations criticizing China for its network of concentration camps for Uighurs in Xinjiang?

25. Which individuals to do you expect to be your key advisors on China-related issues?

26. How do you believe that the EU should support human rights lawyers in China, especially those who have been detained or prosecuted for demanding China’s compliance with its own constitution?

27. How can the EU give more substance to the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue? Will you urge the PRC to send more senior representatives to this forum? What specific topics should be on the agenda?

28. How can the EU counter Chinese policies in Africa that amount to ‘state capture’?

29. Do you believe that tech companies with known complicity in espionage on behalf of Chinese entities should be granted contracts in European telecommunications networks?

230. As High Representative, will you establish a strategic communications team at EEAS focused on China?

Coordinator:

Jakub Janda, Executive Director of European Values Center for Security Policy,  janda@evropskehodnoty.cz

Co-signed:

  • Willem Aldershoff, Former head of unit, European Commission, NL
  • Lukas Andriukaitis, Associate Director,  Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council, LT
  • Jessikka Aro, Investigative Journalist, Finish Public Broadcaster YLE, FI
  • Erkki Bahovski, Editor of Diplomaatia, International Centre for Defence and Security, EE
  • Kamil Basaj, Director, Info Ops Poland Foundation, PL
  • Eto Buziashvili, Digital Researcher, Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research, GE
  • Roland Freudenstein, Policy Director, Martens Centre, BE
  • Paata Gaprindashvili, Director, Georgia´s Reforms Associates (GRASS), GE
  • Gustav C. Gressel, Senior Policy Fellow and Acting Director of the Wider Europe Programme, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), AT
  • Rebecca Harms, Former MEP, DE
  • Pavel Havlicek, Analyst, Association for International Affairs, CZ
  • Marcel Van Herpen, Chairman, The Cicero Foundation, NL
  • Sorin Ionita, Senior Analyst, ExpertForum (EFOR), RO
  • Jakub Janda, Executive Director, European Values Center for Security Policy, CZ
  • Matej Kandrík, Executive Director, STRATPOL – Strategic Policy Institute, SK
  • Tunne Kelam, retired MEP, EE
  • Péter Krekó, Political Capital Institute, HU
  • Marius Laurinavičius, Senior Fellow, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, LT
  • Juraj Mesík, Climate and Energy Advisor, SFPA, SK
  • Samantha North, Analyst, The Global Disinformation Index, UK
  • Vít Novotný, Senior Fellow, Martens Centre, BE
  • Bjarne Kim Pedersen, foreign policy analyst, DK
  • Dmytro Potekhin, Founder & CEO,   FakesKiller.com, EE
  • Giedrius Sakalauskas, Director, Res Publica, LT
  • James Sherr, Senior Fellow, Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the International Centre for Defence and Security, Estonia
  • Alice Stollmeyer, Executive Director, Defending Democracy, NL
  • Radu Tudor, Defence Analyst, RO
  • Andreas Umland, Senior Fellow, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, DE
  • Cécile Vaissié, Professor of Russia studies at Université Rennes, FR
  • Volodymyr  Yermolenko, Editor-in-Chief,  UkraineWorld.org, Ukraine
  • Ilya Zaslavskiy, Head of Research, Free Russia Foundation, RU

Sign under these questions: