After twenty years in various roles including that of having represented the image outside the EU, Javier Solana is the politician most international of Spain. Completed public accountability, he talks with journalist Lluís Bassets on the state of Europe and the world. The result is the book 'Reclaiming of politics'.
Question. When in May 2007 you were awarded the Charlemagne Prize, the highest award for Europe by the city of Aachen, you, in the midst of crisis and stagnation of the Constitution, claimed to Europe as a global actor, is speaking with one voice " . Considered that there should be a "decisive factor in peace and global stability. "This is my Europe," you concluded. How far we are right now on his European dream?
Answer. The economic crisis, the main problem we have, has concentrated most of our energies.But do not forget that there is no possibility of international action unless from a continental shelf. No Member State can do it alone. We have interests to preserve, threats we face, global issues that affect us and on which we must make our voices heard and whose resolving often rely on us. We need much more than a market and a regional stabilization project. That is the Europe I want, a Union with a genuine common foreign and defense policy and effective security. But we can only develop a genuine foreign policy if we endow it with the necessary structures, which means first of all institutions that are well conceived and designed. Institutions that allow us to act together in a world in which Europe exists and has effects only when acting as such, ie, when the Europeans act collectively. The new European Foreign Service we are creating will be a key tool in that.
Q. You had already been appointed in 2005 as High Representative
[Under the European Constitution, although it never entered into force] and then with the French referendum and the Netherlands, everything was in the air.
R. In this issue there is little change between the Constitution and Lisbon. It is true that after the failure of the Constitution there were times that it was backing up. Doubts began to grow until 2007, when Merkel took up the issue during the German presidency. Two years were really anxious, very difficult, because I was not sure what was then recovered by the eaves. In a speech on the occasion of the Charlemagne Award I called to follow her not losing time and we left the institutional crisis. I urged Merkel to give a commitment to support and bring up the treaty in the same 2007, before the end of the German presidency in June. And it was actually she who got them to take the big step. (...)
Q. You must be the bug will not be able to use the huge levers that opened the new office.
A. If it had approved in 2005, I dare say that many things would have been different, not only in the field of foreign and security policy, because we would have reached 2009 with a tried and shot in all its dimensions. And we faced the the economic crisis in circumstances far more clear from the institutional point of view. In 2005, that made the first treaty, which was called the Constitution, they were still another group of leaders: Chirac, Schroeder ... This followed by a moment of emptiness because the treaty not only fell through, but there came a new generation and the largest ever enlargement, which was only a year earlier. Without the treaty and with great doubts about the direction Europe should take. Imagine if that had been the opposite. We would have been in a situation infinitely better.
Q. And now, with the profile of the new charges, "the risk may not be not used all the levers?
A. I do not think that happens for people. They are important, no doubt, but the key is always the institutions. (...)
A. I understand that the rhythms can sometimes be too fast for some societies. But such is the evidence that we need more people, you have to held the debate on immigration, without going into demagoguery or xenophobia. We must recognize, first, that there is a problem, and second, that part of the problem is the solution, as we need immigration, and third, that such a solution, as it is new, creates misgivings as many other new solutions (farmer: typical 'Club of Rome'-talk, LINK). We've been through similar difficulties, and what we know is that in the end we will have to adapt, because they are necessary issues in our collective life.
P. That is, accustomed to thinking that this is not a society with a single color, religion, language and way of seeing the world, but many
R. Yes, but first let's put it in selfish terms. We need immigrants and therefore have to open the doors. Second, let us see in terms of solidarity: in 2025, in Africa, ie in the continent closer to us physically, which are separated by very little sea-the Mediterranean is not the Atlantic Ocean, "50% of the population will have less than 18 years. What does that mean in terms of education, employment, etc.? If they are given financial assistance for development, education and health, eventually crossing the sea.And then the problems will be even greater. This is a reflection that has a strong self-interest, but there is an interest that is linked to economic necessity and one that is linked to moral values, which I certainly try to defend...
A. I'm more optimistic. The need is so clear you will have to come the way of dealing with the crisis and do it well. I see it, because it's that if not, we will go very badly around the world. The States and the European Union. I see no formula to mobilize this group, this group, a European policy. I think the crisis forces them. That's my hope.
P. With the stakes were really very clear in relation to Paris and Bonn, then the German capital. Aznar played the London-Rome Axis. Zapatero has tried to return the Berlin-Paris axis, but this no longer exists. What are the natural alliances of Spain?
A. The classic already known. But in an enlarged Europe, including Spain's obligations to recover I would highlight the proximity to the East, especially with Poland, that would be very important. There's a good chemistry from country to country, regardless of leadership. And there's also plenty to do economically. Our business and economic world has forgotten that there is a part of Europe, very interesting, with which we deal not enough. LINK
During the night will also be honored with Freedom Awards Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski, President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek, and former NATO Secretary General and High Representative of the European Union, Javier Solana." Link