EU to adapt its foreign policy to react quickly to crises, cut reliance on other partners

The European Union is rethinking its foreign policy to better adapt to crises like the ones it faces in Ukraine, Russia and Syria without having to be overly dependent on allies like the United States.

EU enlargement chief Johannes Hahn said Wednesday that "Europe should resolve its problems in its proximity, by itself, and not rely on partners or others."

The plan is to revamp the bloc's so-called European Neighborhood Policy toward the countries that lie in an arc from Eastern Europe through the Middle East and around the Mediterranean basin to North Africa. Policy would be driven more by highlighting shared interests, focusing on those nations' needs and reacting faster to changing circumstances.

The EU has been criticized as reacting slowly to new Russian policies under President Vladimir Putin.