Sunday, July 26, 2009

Who speaks for Europe?

Look what Antonio Missiroli, Director of Studies at the European Policy Centre has to say on who speaks for Europe.  And he recommends Solana's behaviour as a model to be followed by NATO! After praising all the many EU operations going on worldwide, he writes:

"...All this - not to mention the role the Union has played since 1999 in the Balkans, the Middle East or in dealing with Iran - would have been unthinkable without Solana and the way he has interpreted and shaped the HR role. He may have not given the outside world the single “telephone number” former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger allegedly (and ironically) asked for long ago, but he has certainly given a face, voice and active presence to Europe’s fledgling foreign policy. Solana is also likely to go down in history as the one and only true High Representative, especially if the Lisbon Treaty enters into force at last and creates the double-hatted HR who will also chair the Council’s foreign affairs meetings and be a European Commission Vice-President. There is no obvious candidate for this virtually impossible job, but there are indeed expectations and hopes that he or she will be instrumental in establishing at least a single ‘switchboard’ for the EU’s international partners...(farmer: single 'switchboard'? what's this? a new post??)....(...)

Solana’s parting advice

Maybe there is something here that Solana can suggest to Rasmussen and his team before he steps down. When faced with a comparable challenge - drafting the European Security Strategy (ESS) in 2003, just after the Iraq war - he decided to go it alone, without formally submitting any text to the Brussels-based inter-governmental bodies used to negotiating and amending every official EU document. He did consult informally with both capitals and experts, but he took full and exclusive responsibility for the final version. In the end, the ESS was a great success - both inside and outside the EU - and last year’s review, carried out using the same methodology, reconciled the potentially conflicting goals of representing consensus at 27 without limiting itself to registering the lowest common denominator.
The new NATO SecGen should arguably follow a similar path if he wants to make his mark and move the Alliance forward. "

from "Who speaks for Europe?-NATO and the EU: what a difference a decade makes",

by Antonio Missiroli
26 July 2009 - Issue : 844

stay tuned!


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