Growing global challenges, such as COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, conflicts and extreme poverty in many parts of the world, call for holistic solutions that can only come about through more effective multilateral governance and rules-based international cooperation. Multilateralism must be effective, fair and deliver results that serve both EU and global interests and values.

©Shutterstock - Working Together, Multilateralism

Multilateralism matters because it works. But we cannot be ‘multilateralists' alone. At a time of growing scepticism, we must demonstrate the benefit and relevance of the multilateral system.


High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President for a Stronger Europe in the World, Josep Borrell.

EU agenda for a renewed multilateralism

The European Union's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core, is a central element of the EU’s external policy. To respond successfully to global crises, threats and challenges, the international community needs an efficient multilateral system, founded on universal rules and values.

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The EU and the United Nations

The EU and the UN are the world’s leading proponents and defenders of the multilateral and rules-based global governance system. Cooperation takes place across a broad range of areas: human rights, sustainable development, climate change, digital, peace building, crisis management, disarmament and non-proliferation, humanitarian assistance, fighting corruption and crime,  advancing global health security, managing migratory flows and labour issues.

EU priorities at the United Nations

The EU adopts annual priorities for its relations with the UN and for the UN General Assembly. These make clear that the EU is committed to strengthening the United Nations and to playing an active role at the UN in all relevant areas.

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A stronger Europe through partnership

To change the multilateral landscape, we need a new generation of partnerships. The EU will continue to build new alliances with third countries, reinforce cooperation with multilateral and regional organisations, as well as other stakeholders, especially those with whom it shares democratic values and, with others, it will seek a common ground issue by issue. It will support partner countries in engaging more effectively in the multilateral system and ensure systematic follow-up of bilateral commitments with partners to advance multilateral objectives.