In an article in The Times daily on Monday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband writes that the European Union should welcome new members, including Turkey. He adds that the British commitment to and strength in Europe is good for Britain and good for Europe.
In an article in The Times on Monday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband wrote that the European Union should welcome Turkey as an EU member. Miliband’s article comes ahead of the two-day Brussels summit of EU leaders starting Thursday.
“Europe is far from perfect. It needs reform. But to get that it needs Britain,” read the article. It added that British commitment to and strength in Europe was good for Britain and good for Europe. “Our role in Europe magnifies the power of our ideas, and strengthens our international clout in Washington, Beijing and Moscow. Europe needs our hardheaded pragmatism and global mindset,” it read.
Miliband wrote: “Europe’s enlargement has been an important force for democracy in former dictatorships. We need further advance. The western Balkans, Turkey and Ukraine all want to join eventually. We should welcome them.”
The 27-country bloc has to prioritize its relations with Washington, Beijing and Moscow, wrote Miliband, who has repeatedly denied reports in recent days that he was touting his credentials for the newly created job billed as the EU's foreign minister.
“We need to step up European efforts to address global conflicts and crises. Europe has the world’s second-biggest aid budget, and armed forces and police doing vital work,” said Miliband. “Pakistan should be top of the list for a new drive on aid, trade and engagement. We need Europe to prioritize relations with the great and emerging powers: the U.S. on security, China on climate change, Russia on energy,” he said.
The United Kingdom has played an influential role in foreign policy, wrote Miliband. He said four factors were key in British foreign policy. “First, we embrace the internationalism of the modern world, with its new powers and new threats. Britain is a leading contributor of people and money in tackling the great challenges of the world,” he wrote.
Miliband believes the second factor in British foreign policy were British ideas. “[They] give us influence … They make us activists — sometimes a nuisance, but always seeking to be part of the solution,” he wrote.
“Third, our values set a high standard. Transparency, as well as ambition, are important factors in how others see us,” Miliband said.
“Fourth, Britain is at the heart of a unique web of international networks,” read the article. “In addition to these four areas, the British government is proud that our leadership in the European Union is an indispensable part of Britain’s global role. Margaret Thatcher said in 1975 that Europe ‘opens windows on the world for us that since the war have been closing,’” said Miliband. “I never expected to say this, especially on Europe, but she was right.”
Miliband sees these EU relationships not as being threats to Britain’s bilateral relations, but rather complementing them. “But we need Europe to step up and show it can be a strategic and serious partner, worthy of the world’s largest market and strongest regional alliance,” he said.
“The multi-polar world is here. Neither hubris, nostalgia nor xenophobia provide a guide. But we need to be internationalists for our prosperity and security; and we have a lot to offer. We gave up the empire a long time ago. Under this government, we have found our role. We turn inwards at our peril,” wrote Miliband.