During his lecture, Dr. Abu Khalaf discussed what the common foreign and security policy is, its objectives and operations. And in the second part of the lecture he opened the floor for discussion with students regarding the 2009 annual report from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament on the main aspects and basic choices of the CFSP.
Dr. Abu Khalaf shed light on the Maastricht treaty which established the EU and forms the basis of the Union. This treaty established areas in which common policies of member states are carried out. He emphasized that the CFSP is a unique phenomenon which, although it concerns the 27 member states, needs to be carried out while not impinging on the sovereign decision making of each country, enables Europe to speak in one voice at an international level. As a typical case, he explained how the Balkan crisis of the 1990s revealed Europe’s inability to face and deal with disputes, since given divisions among members, the decisive mediation had to come from the USA. Nonetheless, the CFSP covers all areas of foreign and security policy and promises greater convergence, under the provisions of the Maastricht treaty.
He then spoke of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) which forms an integral part of the CFSP. Due to the challenges the EU faces such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and regional conflicts, it has adopted a new security strategy for responding to new threats. Dr. Abu Khalaf illustrated the operations of the CFSP, as manifested in a unified institutional framework. He also referred to the main bodies of the CFSP which are: the Political and Security Committee, Foreign Affairs Council, the General Affairs and External Relations Council and European External Action Service.
During the second part of the lecture, Dr. Abu Khalaf opened the floor for discussion with students and analyzed the 2009 annual report from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament.