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Beyond the Union: a new platform for European cooperation

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Marta Foresti, Mark Miller, Suma Chakrabarti, Raphaëlle Faure

Hero image description: The night lights of Europe (as seen from space) Image credit:NASA/GSFC Image license:CC BY 2.0

The Covid-19 crisis is a reminder that international cooperation is needed to resolve collective challenges that do not respect national borders. The crisis has also reaffirmed the continued relevance of nation-states with often diverging interests and priorities. This requires new and pragmatic coalitions.

We propose the creation of a flexible platform for European cooperation on development and foreign policy: the European Platform for International Cooperation, comprising the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) members and the UK, in concert with regional development banks and development finance institutions.

Together these countries and institutions have a unique and complementary network of influence and significant combined financial power. The platform will enable them to coordinate and amplify their collective efforts by brokering pragmatic alliances, enhancing operational cooperation on development and pooling efforts to increase the effectiveness of investments.

Geographically, the focus will be on cooperation with the EU neighbourhood, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. Thematically, the platform would focus on shared policy challenges that require collaboration across countries, including climate change and environmental protection, global health, peace, security and governance.