Europe (finally) has a head of diplomacy

(B2) When Josep Borrell left the European Parliament’s hearing room on Monday (7 October), one thing seemed certain: European diplomacy had finally found its leader. It doesn’t mean that the man has promised everything. On the contrary, he has been cautious and realistic. He has, more specifically, brought the position of High Representative of the EU back to its proper place, which is about ensuring the joining of all the foreign policies of the Member States, trying to find common points and adding value to the European project.

Josep Borrell (left) after his audition at the European Parliament (© NGV / B2)

But, beyond words that may be commonly heard by diplomatic actors, the former President of the European Parliament has also shown that sometimes it was better to say things than not to say them. On Russia, on the United States, on the neighbourhood, on Syria, on Cuba, on the battlegroups… he was clear or at least as clear as he can be in his position, hitting the right mark every time. Apparently, diplomacy for him does not mean wooden language.

At the end of the hearing, many people came to greet the former J. Borrell, asking for a few more words, as if to prolong this moment. It’s rare during hearings. We had not seen such enthusiasm for a long time… The man lingered talking with everyone for a few minutes. It took nearly 30 minutes before the new ‘boss’ could leave the hall and then quietly walk through Leopold Park on foot with his team, relieved and smiling. Let’s hope…

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Read our audition report : Auditions : Josep Borrell passe son grand oral avec élégance. ‘Il faut retrouver le sens de l’initiative et de l’action’

Nicolas Gros-Verheyde

Rédacteur en chef du site B2. Diplômé en droit européen de l'université Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne et auditeur 65e session IHEDN (Institut des hautes études de la défense nationale. Journaliste depuis 1989, fonde B2 - Bruxelles2 en 2008. Correspondant UE/OTAN à Bruxelles pour Sud-Ouest (auparavant Ouest-France et France-Soir).