EU's Borrell on Covid-19: 'We must further promote multilateralism'

By: Caroline DE CAMARET
19 min

Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, spoke to FRANCE 24 about the Covid-19 pandemic, which has particularly affected his home country of Spain. He also discussed the importance of multilateralism, plus the cancellation of Africa's debt, as well as the situation in Libya.

Speaking to FRANCE 24 from Brussels, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, focused on the impact of the coronavirus crisis. 

Given the global impact of the crisis, the EU's top diplomat reiterated his calls for states to cease "each for their own" policies, and return to multilateral solutions - indeed calling for bodies like the UN to be reinforced, not weakened. "If we want to really govern the world of the future we must further promote multilateralism, because the unilateral solutions are even worse," he explained.

The EU's chief of foreign affairs rebutted accusations that the EU has watered down a report into the extent of state-sponsored Chinese misinformation into the Covid-19 outbreak.

Borrell underlined his concern over the economic impact in Africa - which he fears could be even worse than the consequences to public health - and repeated his request to the IMF and G20 for Africa's debt to be cancelled, going further than the current situation where debt interest payments have only been suspended for six months.

He also outlined his concern over the conflict in Libya. Unlike in places like Yemen and Afghanistan, where the UN's call for a global ceasefire has been partially heeded, the EU fears that the fighting in Libya is actually getting worse.

Finally, turning to his home country of Spain, Borrell rejected claims that the Catalan authorities would have better managed the crisis had Catalonia been an independent country.