As Constance Cumbey asked me to contribute from my "unique vantage points on all this", I will try to do so here:
It looks as if on the official level the concerned persons express themselves quiet more vaguely then they do in their intern meetings.
-An official statement first:
(please exuse the bad translation)
"Javier Solana knows anger and skepticism about the European policy, the common EU foreign policy in particular. The fact that the latter did not exist, but even more often only national foreign polies fighting against each other, is a not a uncommon heared accusation....
"Q: Shortly after your inauguration as EU-Foreign Representative you have said... the common EU Foreign and Security Policy develops almost at the speed of light. Would you still sign this statement? Solana: It is advancing rapidly. Think of the transformation processes in the new member countries. There have been big changes in the EU. Previously, the period between a decision and its implementation much longer. Look at what is in the common foreign and security policy, the EU crisis is happening on three continents: the political processes develop faster and faster. And we could certainly come forward faster if we had the European Constitution. That's why I am always fighting for the Constitutional Treaty... "
"How much power has the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy indeed?"
"Solana: Well, basically we can say that on the international stage is even more influential, the more votes ...The 27 countries in the EU are a key element of global politics."
"Among the 27 governments of the EU member states - is resistance against a common foreign policy greater than the efforts of such a policy?
Solana: It is often heared that it would be difficult with 27 joint decisions. But that is not true. We have a high level achieved for how our decisions. We think all on the same wavelength. That is so explicite that I have no example of this that I might tell you where due to the number of members we did not reach an agreement. It gets only difficult if the two EU countries, who are permanent members of the Security Council, have not the same view on an European issue."
(Of course he speaks of France and GB, same as in the 2004 Spiegel- interview from my first post)
"...Large major countries do not change the broad lines of its foreign policy so easy. What is important is the political will, to go away from the current standstill. In Europe it is not just principles. Our principle is to act. It is important that we implement our values and principles into action."
"...It is crucial that we implement institutional reforms. That should, in principle, with a bit of goodwill not so difficult....Nicolas Sarkozy expressed similar. The expectations are very high. There are many countries in the Union, which is now push in this direction."
"...Q: But Sarkozy has said during the election campaign that we should completely break off the negotiations. (farmer: with Turkey)"
"Solana: This is a proposal. Everyone has the right to make a proposal. What it is and what a President Sarkozy make of it, remains to be seen. "
- now to what's going on behind the scenes:
1.) They appointed the French guy General Henri BENTÉGEAT to be Chairman of the Military Committee of the European Union for a period of three years as from 6 November 2006. This guy is also the voice behind the French International military interventions. see here (in French) So what will be in Novemer 2009, who will follow?? It is also the date the actual appointements of Solana at WEU and EU come to an end.
2.)They created a new Paris-based institute out of the WEU: The ISS-Center.
(picture from Athena on their website, Athena is most commonly described as the daughter of Zeus. Which accords her special status: the weapons for which she is so famous are the thunderbolt and the aegis, which she and he share exclusively. She was born from the forehead of Zeus.)
"The weu iss track record:
On 13 November 1989 the ministerial Council of Western European Union (WEU) decided to create an Institute for Security Studies as a subsidiary body of the organisation, with the task of contributing to the development of a European security identity. Since the creation of the ISS-WEU in 1990 until its integration into the EU on 1 January 2002, the Institute and its Team have:
• developed a broad range of activities
• produced more than 80 publications
awarded two main types of fellowships."
from the WEU directors worked here:
Nicole Gnesotto,who is French, was the Director of the WEU-Institute from 1 October 1999 until 31 December 2001. An Agrégée de Lettres modernes, she studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and was formerly (1994-99) a professor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris (Sciences Po) and chargée de mission to the Director of the Institut français des Relations internationales (IFRI). A specialist in security issues, she was a member of the Institute’s research team from 1990 to 1993, after having been deputy head of the French Foreign Ministry’s Centre d’Analyse et de Prévision (policy planning staff) from 1986 to 1990. She is the author of many publications on strategic issues and European security. As the first Director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies, she remained in post from 1 January 2002 to 30 April 2007. She is currently a Special Advisor to the High Representative, Javier Solana.
John Roper was the first Director of the Institute, from April 1990 to September 1995. A former university lecturer and former member of parliament, prior to becoming Director he held a senior position on the staff of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA).
and Guido Lenzi.
and here we find also EU's Javier Solana with regularly contributions:
"On the civilian side, Member States have not yet fully addressed how to resource additional police, prosecutors, judges and penitentiary officials for external deployment, when they are usually in short supply at home. If we don't change this, then we have to face up to the fact that supply will notmeet demand, and ambition will be greater than the capability to realise it. Of course political willingness to act and take risks in support of our values is the most important capability of all. However, it is interesting that there is often more willingness when there is more capability
I just wanted to make a final remark: from Cologne, June 1999, no-one could have envisaged the
operational challenges we were asked to face. But we succeeded. As we look to the next seven years, it is likely that we will have to address as much – if not more – uncertainty in the world. We must make sure that we are clear about one thing – our willingness and our capacity to act, and to act successfully.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much.
(this speech was given in January 2007, when the 7 years of ENP started....)
Anyway the ISS is right in line with Solanas imaginations:
"As I begin my tenure as director, it seems appropriate that I should outline my vision for the EUISS and its role in shaping the European Union's foreign and security policy, by broadly recapitulating the ideas set out in the paper submitted at the request of the HR/SG for CFSP, Javier Solana"
"The Institute should cater, furthermore, to the increasing worldwide 'demand for Europe'. The fact that it is seen as an 'international public good' places a heavy responsibility upon the Union, testing its ability to lead the international community in facing the kind of world disorder that is causing such inordinate human suffering from Sudan to Iraq and the Middle East. The EUISS should devote particular attention to European peripheries where crises and turmoil counterpoint the desire to forge a common destiny with Europe. The debate on how to achieve the goals of creating a democratic and prosperous Euro-Mediterranean community set forth in Barcelona in 1995 is back on the agenda. "
"...In short, the EUISS must evolve in line with the spirit of 'unity in action' that led the European Convention to propose the post of EU Foreign Minister, and act (as its mission statement strongly suggests) as the Institute for foreign and security studies of the European Union...."
read the whole fascinating Speech "A European centre of excellence in tune with the world" (he means in tune with Solana) by ISS boss Álvaro de Vasconcelos, EUISS Newsletter Nº 23, July 2007
and this all leads to:
"It is time for Europe to change the rules of the game in its dealings with
the remaining Mediterranean countries, writes Álvaro de Vasconcelos,
director of the EU’s institute for security studies" (He became head of the Institute on 1 May 2007. Born in Porto, Portugal, in 1944, he headed the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (IEEI), of which he is a co-founder, from 1981 to 2007.
Over the past ten years, he has been much involved in the coordination of EuroMeSCo, the 50-member strong Euro-Mediterranean network of foreign and security policy research centres which constitutes a confidence-building measure and provider of expertise in the first chapter of the Barcelona Process.)
The debate about the future of the Euro-
Mediterranean partnership has been reignited with
an ambitious proposal to create a Mediterranean
union made by the new French president, Nicolas
"The talk today is about the need to overcome existing
gaps in the partnership by launching new initiatives that
either present an alternative to or complement existing policies.
This could lead to a revision of EU policy toward the
Mediterranean during the second semester of 2008 under the
French presidency. The affirmation of the central role of the
Mediterranean and the need to pay more attention to this
region is to be welcomed, but we must be clear about the real
problems facing the region and the already significant acquis
of the Barcelona process.
it ends with:
should be the common thread bringing together an array of
different initiatives, from the Barcelona process to neighbourhood
Are we surprised thaat the French ar pushing so much towards the south now?
French FM Kouchner was appointed with the task to push the "French" deployment to Dafour and to gather help from EU and UN...It looks for me more as an EUropean endaveour with French help, it's all interwoven.... and the AoC-Beast already lurkes around the corner...
"In an impassioned speech in Tangier this week, Sarkozy painted religious extremism and mutual suspicion between the north and south as aberrations for a region built on the mixing of cultures and crisscrossed by ancient trade routes. He said the Mediterranean must unite around a common project to stop the cradle of civilization from becoming the focal point for a clash of civilizations." http://tinyurl.com/22kk4p
see also Rich's link: "The Alliance of Civilisations: a global project or a key aspect for the European Foreign Policy?" http://www.ccis.aau.dk/GetAsset.action?contentId=2158460&assetId=2361376
in Herb's sense: stay tuned!