Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me start by thanking the
Today, I am proud to join you in inaugurating this centre of excellence, part of a network of ten such centres across the
I’ll begin by quoting a - slightly modified - document which you may be familiar with:
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for two peoples to strengthen the political bands which connect them to each other, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to this co-operation.
Of course I am not the first to try my hand at an EU/US ‘Declaration of Interdependence’. President Kennedy did an excellent job back in 1962. But it is important to ask: what are the causes impelling us towards closer co-operation?
I could start with the usual self-evident truths: our deep historical links; our shared respect for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law; our two-way direct investment stock, worth almost $2 trillion; the 14 million jobs on both sides of the
First of all, though, a word or two about events back home. There has been a lively market for euro-pessimists recently, thanks to
Sixty or seventy years ago, battles were being fought across the continent which killed millions of Europeans. Attempted genocide lead to the horrors of the Holocaust, a mass murder of Europeans by Europeans. Thirty-five years ago, dictatorships were still ruling many European countries, including my own. Just fifteen years ago the countries in Central and
First of all, we have refused to allow the current difficulties over the Constitution, regrettable as they are, to become an excuse for paralysis. The world will not stop while
Chief among these is the urgent need to boost growth and jobs, by injecting new vitality into
We are also agreed on the importance of
Having stumbled across such a successful formula for spreading peace and stability on our own continent, it is only natural to offer our know-how and experience to encourage peace and stability elsewhere in the world. And while the EU’s foreign policy architecture could hardly be described as streamlined, we have nevertheless been chalking up an increasing number of successes in recent years. Let me highlight one or two.
The EU’s commitment to rebuild and stabilize the Indonesian
Now the Commission is putting together a support package to sustain that peace process. One component of this will support reintegration of former fighters of the ‘Free Aceh Movement’. The other component will support the government and local authorities in implementing all aspects of the peace agreement related to governance, the judiciary and consolidation of democracy in the province. This means building up capacity in local and provincial administrations, training police, prosecutors and magistrates, and supporting preparations for local elections scheduled for next April.
Another example is our action in
The EU paid half the cost of last year’s Presidential election, and made a substantial contribution to the recent parliamentary and provincial elections. The European Commission is delivering on its €1 billion pledge for 2002-2006, supporting a combination of visible reconstruction, like a major road from
In this context, it is not surprising that
Our close co-operation on the broader Middle-East is also a major success story. We have common interests there and a shared vision of where we want to get to. The EU strongly supports the G8 BMENA initiative and the Forum for the Future. And that is above and beyond our unique contribution through the
As books like Deep Integration - edited by Professor Hamilton and Joseph Quinlan here at the Centre for Transatlantic Relations – show, the increasing integration and cohesion of the transatlantic economy is a key feature of the global economic landscape today.
But there are still many obstacles which prevent us from realising the full potential of the transatlantic market. By pushing forward the economic initiative which we agreed at the EU/US Summit in June, we will help prepare ourselves for the economic challenges coming from
A couple of priorities I raised with President Bush this morning were the need to finalise the open aviation area agreement, which will benefit both the industry and 40 million annual transatlantic passengers, and the issue of visa-free access to the US for the new EU Member States. All our citizens and businessmen and women need to travel freely to benefit from, and contribute to, the transatlantic market place.
Ladies and gentlemen,
With such a deep and broad partnership holding us together, with our long ties of shared history and kinship, what could I possibly have been referring to at the start of this speech when I spoke of the ‘even greater cause’ impelling us to tighten our relationship today?
Well, it is no exaggeration to say that this cause is the greatest political and economic phenomenon of our generation. It has already lifted millions of people out of poverty and it is changing the geopolitical map. It is, of course, globalisation. It is important to remember that this is not the first wave of globalisation the world has ever witnessed. But it is by far the broadest and the deepest. It is sustained by accelerating technological progress, and its transformation of the world is only just starting.
People standing on the threshold of social and technological revolutions should never make predictions. The chairman of IBM proved this at the dawn of the IT revolution when he said: ‘I think there is a world market for maybe five computers’. So I will not be so rash as to make any forecasts about the type of world which will emerge from the ‘globalisation revolution’.
But one thing I am sure of. The changes it is already generating are profound, rapid and, short of some catastrophe which no-one would wish for, irreversible. Look at
What does all this mean? It certainly isn’t something to fear. Globalisation is being driven by a very simple human desire – the desire of billions of people to take advantage of new-found freedoms to create a better life for themselves and their families. Who could criticise that?
And if some of our citizens fear globalization, perhaps it is because they think that wealth creation is a zero-sum game. That if someone else is now getting a slice of cake, their slice must be getting smaller. But globalization is a chance to increase the size of the whole cake.
We must challenge those who do not – or worse, will not – understand this. Did the emergence and rise of the
But globalisation does make the future more unpredictable. It makes it harder for any one country to go it alone. In these circumstances, it is in everyone’s interest to strengthen and support the international community’s multilateral, rules-based architecture. The stability and continuing economic development of the world could depend on it.
The EU and the
We should start with the WTO’s Hong Kong Ministerial in December. The Doha Development Agenda is the most important challenge we face in international economic co-operation. The days when deals were struck in the wings of bilateral EU-US agreements are over. But we do still have a crucial role and responsibility in responding to the aspirations the Round has aroused. And we need a success for multilateral co-operation.
The main area where the EU and US must show leadership is agriculture. In this respect, I very much welcome the recent, constructive steps by the
The Hong Kong Ministerial will also have to show to the developing world that we are serious in addressing their specific concerns. I therefore call on the
In the report of the bipartisan Task Force on the United Nations, Newt Gingrich and George Mitchell recognised how important it was for the UN to ‘reconfirm its place in today’s transformed international environment’, stating explicitly that ‘an effective United Nations is in the interests of the United States’.
The UN Summit in September was the best moment for that to happen. Unfortunately, the summit can at best be described, as I said at the time, as a ‘mitigated success’. The establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission was evidently a good outcome, and the progress made on development was more or less satisfactory, but the results clearly fell short of our ambitions regarding the Human Rights Council and the environment. Nevertheless, it is important to see the
The ultimate success of this process will depend on our actions in the months to come, including in the IMF/World Bank annual meetings this autumn on debt; at the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial as I mentioned earlier; and in the UN itself, during the follow-up on - among other things - the Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission. Once again, joint leadership from the EU and the
Ladies and gentlemen,
Strong, multilateral institutions, while more important than ever before, are not an end in themselves. They are simply tools for promoting peace, stability and economic development.
Without them, however, the world would unquestionably be a poorer and more dangerous place. It would also be much harder to deliver effective solutions to those problems that transcend national borders. Problems like climate change. Like transmissible diseases and pandemics. Like international terrorism.
That is why I would argue that while independence from the
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