Public Appeal by European Security and Foreign Policy Experts:

Josep Borrell has a track record of accommodating the Kremlin’s positions over those of the European Union, and therefore should not lead EU foreign policy

In light of the Russian Federation’s ongoing aggression against Georgia and Ukraine, together with its interference in European democracies via malign disinformation operations, cyber-attacks, support for extremist groups, and even a military-grade chemical attack on EU soil, we have been disappointed by the weak performance of outgoing EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, who has consistently appeased the Kremlin during her time in office and failed to adequately confront its hostile behaviour towards Europe.

On Tuesday, July 2nd, the European Council nominated Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as the next EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy.

However, during his 12-month tenure as Spanish Foreign Minister, Mr. Borrell’s posture towards Russia has raised serious concerns at least on three separate occasions:

  • In November 2018, Mr. Borrell agreed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Spain and Russia would set up a joint cyber-security working group to address disinformation, ignoring the fact that Russia is the number one source of hostile foreign disinformation in Europe. Although the EU has an official counter-disinformation strategy and a dedicated team of experts devoted to exposing Russia’s disinformation efforts, Mr. Borrell instead chose to team up with the Kremlin, contradicting the positions of both the European Council and the European Parliament.

On these three occasions, Mr. Borrell has effectively sided with the Russian Federation on major geopolitical and security issues, in direct contradiction with the positions of the EU or Spain’s allies.

We believe that someone who has repeatedly failed to confront the Russian security threat to the EU and who has a track record of siding with Russia instead of EU allies should not be in charge of the EU’s foreign and security policy. If Josep Borrell becomes the new High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Russia will be encouraged, not deterred, in its hostile activities and attempts to destabilise Europe. Accordingly, we urge European leaders and the European Parliament to reconsider Mr. Borrell’s nomination.

Sign this Public Appeal: