Wednesday 2 April 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a real pleasure and honor for me to addressing such a distinguished audience. The New School of Athens now, in its third year is establishing itself as a powerhouse of ideas and a forum of high quality. The Greek Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in particular, feel vindicated for our support and sponsoring your initiative. We strongly believe that ongoing work on globalization
and its management is necessary and helpful. It is no coincidence that our Minister Mrs Bakoyanni – she is at the most difficult NATO summit in
We live in an age of unprecedented interdependence. We are connected to each other as never before – by trade, internet, satellite television and mobile telephony. Never before in the course of human history have so many of us been in such constant contact with each other. This interdependence has brought to many of us opportunities beyond the wildest dreams of our parents’ generation.
We have the health and wealth to experience a wider world than they were ever able to know. But for those excluded from this world of opportunity – both here in
They can see, but they cannot reach. The very interconnectedness that opens opportunities also increases our vulnerabilities. The ever more complex networks of trade and communication, that make our prosperity possible,
can be turned against us. Illegal drugs and weapons travel in the same containers that bring us high-powered computers or fashionable clothing.
The sophisticated skills that develop the software for our mobile communicators can well equally be turned to designing explosive devices. Two profound experiences in the last century shaped and defined the
The first was the three decades from 1914 to 1945 when
As we go forward into this, still young, century, new challenges are emerging and with them new opportunities. Globalization has propelled a tsunami of change through our lives, dislocating established economic and social relationships, creating eagerly seized opportunities and deeply felt anxieties in equal measure.
We are discovering that borders are no longer barriers; that the distinction between foreign and domestic policy is dissolving; that our future well-being and security cannot be separated from that of others in the world.
The lessons we, in
We know, that it is possible, even desirable, to pool sovereignty without losing identity. As a result, in the sixty years since the end of the Second World War,
we have created a unique European experience of an ever closer union. The crux of the challenge we now face is to expand the envelope of affluence we currently enjoy to include the billions of our fellow human beings who share our hopes and aspirations for a secure and prosperous future. But we must do this without a collapse of the either environmental or the social foundations on which that prosperity rests.
Globalisation is a historical force we must learn to manage. We must design the future, rather than simply react to the present or avoid the mistakes of the past.
As we built the single market in
We discovered directly that we could make our economy more efficient without destroying social cohesion; that major centres of economic activity did not move lock, stock or barrel to the poorest and cheapest member states; and that environmental standards and social justice were enhanced not degraded as we brought more nations into Europe.These were not pain – free discoveries. Adjustment is often painful.But building new networks of mutuality between us,
increased opportunity far more than it constrained choice. Life for
Yet, just at the moment when the accelerating pace of global change needed a more focused and confident
on institutional and procedural issues behind and to move ahead. It will give us the opportunity to once again make policy the focus of our
For, the emerging world complexities demand a bold and coherent vision for the future, if they are to be resolved.
A new political vision is now more important than ever. In an interdependent world,
The most powerful forces shaping the world in the 21st Century are those unleashed by globalization. For most of history, yesterday has been a reliable guide to tomorrow. The future resembled the past in its most important features.
People’s lives were determined largely by an interplay of local factors and stable routines deeply ingrained in the patterns of everyday life. Globalization takes us beyond the boundaries of such familiarities. It turns the kaleidoscope of events more rapidly producing ever more complex and unfamiliar patterns.
These compel us to think about the future in new ways. It is a future that will bear little resemblance to the past. To cope with what it will bring, we need to rely less on habit and precedent, more on analysis and foresight. We must anticipate rather than react. Lessons from the past remain relevant, but the past is no longer a secure guide to the future.
This is a disturbing prospect and it is understandable that some should want to slow the pace of change to a more bearable rate. This is an illusory prospect.
Globalisation and interdependence are not the invention of some malign conspiracy of governments and giant corporations. It is the consequence of the choices we all make as individuals and the efforts of governments and businesses to make those choices available on a scale unprecedented in human history.
The European Union is itself a microcosm of globalisation. We have our own North and South within the
combines responsibility with opportunity. We must now project the lesson of
Nation states – acting on their own or through organizations like the EU – can still pass laws, sign treaties or raise taxes. As they get to grips with a new and more complex set of problems, they have unique capabilities to bring together the multi-actor partnerships necessary to deliver solutions.
As the power to dispose diminishes, the power to convene becomes more significant.The various dimensions of globalisation – the global information space, global markets and global rules – all serve to intensify the exchanges we have with each other. These exchanges are leading to the emergence of globally shared values. It is sometimes argued that we should not impose our values on other cultures. This misunderstands the relationship. Cultures do not define values, they express them. As our experience in
and the peacefull resolution of disputes.
As we speak, the NATO leadersare discussing the further enlargement of the
I must underline, however, that strict adherence to the principles, values and rules (that govern the work and cohesion of any alliance) is a condition sine quo non for enlargement of an alliance and the building of allied relations of solidarity.
It is a prerequisite that there be no outstanding issues that have a negative impact on relations. Problems of nationalism and irredentism cannot be accepted. They reveal a manner of thinking that has no place in today’s
A manner of thinking that – should it prevail – will keep the Western Balkans far from
The name issue with FYROM is an international problem that concerns the very substance of good neighbourly relations. We seek a mutually acceptable solution
based on a compound name with a geographical qualifier; a name that would be used “erga omnes”. We seized every opportunity to contribute to finding a solution within the framework of the UN negotiations. But our efforts always ran up against the intransigence of the other side.
Cooperation must succeed,because there is no way that coercion can. Sustainable development simply cannot be built out of the barrel of a gun.
The biggest global problems that will dominate the 21st Century, from terrorism to climate change, from mass migration to organised crime, cannot be solved by nations acting alone. They require a pooling of sovereignty.
as the pace of change around us accelerates. On the way, Europeans have learnt empirically what works and what does not. Mistakes have been made in both the design and the execution of European policies. The institutional failures of accountability, transparency and communication have undermined public trust.
But despite the mistakes, the worst fears of European sceptics have never materialised. Far from homogenizing, the building of
In today’s global society there are isolationists and rejectionists of all kinds who advocate withdrawal from integration. The lesson from
builds mutual defences against common threats and spreads the benefits of stability and prosperity.
This applies even more to the global society of the 21st Century than it did to the
with only the traditional tools of hard power.They can only be tackled successfully
by deploying exactly the soft power that Europe has built over the last half century.This is why we must develop a common global policy for
It is in our mutual interest to work with others to develop and deploy the carbon – neutral energy technologies necessary to maintain climate security. It is equally in our mutual interest to develop less energy and water – intensive agriculture,
and to enhance our energy security by dramatically improving energy efficiency.
It is in our mutual interest because interdependence Means: failure anywhere in the world, is rapidly translated into failure within
The political choices we must make will define
To define the place of