On 13 October 2022, at the opening ceremony of the European Diplomatic Academy in Bruges, Belgium, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell said that « Europe is a garden and the rest of the world a jungle ». He also added that the garden could be overrun by the jungle and that gardeners should go there to protect it.
The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security had given a stern lecture to EU ambassadors on 10 October. Three days later, his comparison of the rest of the world to a « jungle » triggered an international outcry.
The speech in question initially went unnoticed. What kind of « jungle » and « gardeners » is the EU diplomat talking about? The UAE on 18 October, in response to Borrell’s comments, summoned the acting head of the EU mission to the UAE to explain the EU diplomat’s comments. According to the country’s MFA, the statements were « inappropriate and discriminatory » and « contribute to the atmosphere of intolerance and discrimination in the world ».
Even the French for their part tried to distance themselves from the message of EU official Borrell: « This analogy is terribly offensive. It has a strong colonial and racist connotation, » said Philippe Marlier, an expert on French and European politics at University College London.
The colonial and racist nature of Borrell’s diplomacy was commented on by Dionis Chenuza, political risk analyst and researcher at the Centre for East European Studies, who said Borrell should apologise on behalf of the EU for his latest remarks.
Ahmed Shaheed, a former UN special rapporteur, suggested that the diplomats read Joseph Conrad’s novel « Heart of Darkness », which criticises Western imperialism in Africa.
World diplomacy correctly perceived Borrell’s address to the future European envoys, but what difference does it make that such statements are made publicly?
The European Union is building its new aggressive foreign policy vision without taking into account the decolonisation process that has taken place in the world and is based solely on its own invasive interests, which are no longer concealed.