All tagged European Commission
◢ Josep Borrell, the current foreign minister of Spain, is a worthy nominee to replace Federica Mogherini as the EU’s top diplomat. His views on Iran suggest continuity with Mogherini’s pro-engagement policy and willingness to push back on the Trump administration’s unilateralism. But as the crisis over the JCPOA accelerates, the situation Borrell will inherit in a few months may prevent him from keeping the EU engaged in constructive dialogue with Iran.
◢ Technical work on Europe’s SPV for Iran trade continues to move forward. Meanwhile, the Iranian government seems content to exercise “strategic patience” as it waits for the new mechanism to come online. But while this patience is commendable, Iran should be taking a much more active role in shaping the SPV to suit its needs.
◢ This month, the European Commission approved an initial tranche of EUR 18 million in development funding from an larger package of EUR 50 million that has been allocated to support projects in Iran. This represents a highly significant, “first-of-its-kind,” intervention to support Europe-Iran trade and investment. However, the funding is not primarily intended as an attempt to mitigate the effect of returning U.S. secondary sanctions. As made clear in the “action document” which details how the development funding will be distributed, the European Commission has allocated the funding “in line with the European Consensus on Development” to provide “targeted support in the areas of Prosperity, Planet and People.”