Summer 2000

Edit

Letter from the Publisher

Email Print

Euro Adjustments...

When Antonio Guterres, the Portuguese Prime Minister, proclaimed at the March Lisbon summit, on behalf of the Presidency of the European Union, that the new common strategic objective would be "to make Europe the most competitive economic area in the world by 2010," it reminded some of us of good old Nikita Khrushchev brandishing his shoe over the podium of the United Nations and proclaiming that the Soviet Union would beat the United States in income per capita before 1980.

Europe, in its integration and its modernization process, is a great performer. But while being ambitious, let's also be modest, or at least realistic. In the words of La Fontaine when teaching the young Louis XIV to be a great king, a frog that wants to be as big as an ox puffs himself up so much that he bursts.

Read more...
 
Edit

The Importance of Global Economic Governance

Email Print

European Commissioner for Trade

It has been argued that the 21st century began in Seattle at the end of last year, when protestors disrupted a Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization that had hoped to agree to a further opening of the global economy. I would like to put a positive spin on that interpretation. Perhaps we shall come to see Seattle as the end of "business as usual" and the start of real progress towards international economic governance.

While a few of the demonstrators wanted to thwart the entire move to liberalize the world economy, the majority quite rightly wanted to draw attention to the dangers of unchannelled and uncontrolled globalization. It is true that, at its most raw, economic globalization can widen differences in wealth and incomes, creating a new pattern of winners and losers which is sometimes unfair.

Read more...
 
Edit

From Union to Federation: Thoughts on the Finality of European Integration

Email Print

Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Fifty years ago, Robert Schuman presented his vision of a "European Federation" for the preservation of peace. This heralded a completely new era in the history of Europe. European integration was the response to centuries of a precarious balance of powers on this continent which again and again resulted in terrible hegemonic wars culminating in the two World Wars between 1914 and 1945. The core of the concept of Europe after 1945 was and still is a rejection of the European balance-of-power principle and the hegemonic ambitions of individual states that had emerged following the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, a rejection which took the form of closer meshing of vital interests and the transfer of nation-state sovereign rights to supranational European institutions.

Read more...
 
Edit

World Trade Needs Atlantic "Big Boys" to Get Together

Email Print

Director-General, WTO

When I was a minister back in New Zealand, I worried about the big boys of international trade - the European Union and the United States - getting together and forcing their trade agenda on the rest of the world. Such is the trading power of these two giants that when they agree, the rest of the world must not only take notice, but must shape its trade policy strategy accordingly.

Now I worry that if they do not agree, there is nothing for anyone. As a vocal proponent of trade liberalization, generally, and a new trade round, specifically, I know there is no substitute for leadership from Brussels and Washington. Without agreement between the two powers, there is no hope for a round.

Read more...
 
Edit

The Need for a Much More Ambitious Transatlantic Agenda

Email Print

Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in the United States

This year's Europe Day, May 9, marked the 50th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration which set in motion the historic process of European unification after World War II. It was France that took the bold and farsighted initiative of inviting Germany and other European countries to join it in creating the European Coal and Steel Community as a first step toward "a Federation of Europe."

That revolutionary event marked a decisive turnaround from traditional balance-of-power policies among the European nation states to the profound changes in Europe's modern political landscape we have witnessed in the second half of the past century.

Read more...