Working closely with the European Union is a common dream of many young people, especially those who undertake a training course based on the study of international relations. Over time, in fact, the organization has formulated its own foreign policy, which is concretized - at the institutional level - in the figure of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
In this regard, the mandate of the Italian Federica Mogherini has just been fulfilled and the passage of witness will be in favour of Josep Borrell, a man who has passed from the university classrooms to the most prestigious European environments.
The Spaniard Josep Borrel Fontelles has just been appointed High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and will take office on 2 November, taking the place of Federica Mogherini. As High Representative, he will also be, according to Article 18 of the Treaty on European Union, one of the vice-presidents of the Commission, of which he will be a full member.
Born in La Pobla de Segur (Catalonia) in 1947, Borrell studied science, particularly engineering, economics and applied mathematics. Since 1972 he has been teaching mathematics at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and, in 1982, he entered politics, taking on the role of Secretary General for Budget and Public Expenditure in the government of Gonzalez, leader of the Socialist Party Obrero Español. In 2004, he took up a European post for the first time, first as President of the Parliament (until 2007) and then as President of the Parliamentary Development Committee (from 2007 to 2009). The following year he returned to teaching and only in 2018 did he return to the public scene, becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation in the socialist government of Sanchez.
In foreign policy, Borrell has in the past taken on critical positions towards Russia and the Trump Administration. At the European level, at his individual hearing on 7 October before the European Parliament (which examines each Commissioner individually), Borrell mentioned the management of the climate emergency and migratory flows as one of Europe's priorities. The Member States, according to the former Spanish minister, will have to act together to ensure that the Union does not become "irrelevant" on the international scene, learning to use the "language of power". Borrell then said that one should "imagine a Europe that is capable of defending itself while working for a multilateral world order that respects human rights and sustainable development objectives", clarifying the vision that will inspire his work as High Representative.
Author: Chiara Vona