‘EU must play more active role in world affairs’: Bildt

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who is seen as a potential candidate for EU foreign policy chief, said Wednesday there was strong demand for the bloc to play a more active role in global affairs.

'EU must play more active role in world affairs': Bildt
Photo: Pawel Flato

“I’ve been foreign minister a year now, and one of the things I’m impressed with the most is the demand for an increased role by Europe on the global stage,” Bildt said during a working visit to Athens for talks with Greek FM Dora Bakoyannis.

“Every time we meet with foreign ministers, be they from Asian or African countries, they demand that we should do more…they see us as an actor in a way that was virtually unthinkable 10 years ago,” he said.

The former Swedish prime minister denied that he himself is a candidate “in anything that I’m aware of, although there’s always speculation.

“There are no open positions”, he added.

Bildt has been cited as a potential successor to current EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, along with European Foreign Relations Commissioner Benita Fererro-Waldner and former Polish president Alexander Kwasniewski.

The position will be upgraded in power under the new EU reform treaty that will be signed in Lisbon in December.

“The reform treaty…will give the EU greater possibilities to be the actor on security, on peace and on global issues that I think is called for,” said Bildt, a former EU high representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina.