BEPA (Bureau for European Policy Advisors) , um gabinete que serve de apoio ao Presidente da Comissão, organizou ontem e hoje uma série de debates sobre o desenvolvimento humano, as mudanças climatéricas, e a governação ao nível global. O objectivo era o de melhor definir e apontar pistas para o papel que as instituições europeias podem desempenhar nestes domínios de grande urgência internacional.
Foi uma iniciativa bem pensada. É importante reflectir sobre a Europa, nesta altura de transição, que inclui as eleições de 7 de Junho e a formação de uma nova Comissão.
Falei hoje à tarde, entre dois voos. Aqui vos deixo o texto da minha intervenção, que tem uma forte conotação interrogativa e filosófica.
Words by Victor Angelo at the Conference on Global Governance, World Prosperity and Development. Brussels, 13 May 2009
What can Europe contribute to global governance?
A very concrete question. Calls for concrete answers.
We know what Europe means. Or we think we know…
Do we know what is the meaning of Global Governance? Do we grasp the political dimensions of the concept, in a world that is redefining the relations of power between states and also between regions?
Maybe the first contribution Europe can make, is at the theoretical level: to promote the reflection, the research, the debate for a better understanding of the concept of Global Governance, including the power play and a pragmatic approach to priority-setting.
There are indeed many unanswered questions about Global Governance.
As we wait for those who have the time, the resources and the brains to go through these questions, we agree that Global Governance is required because nation-states and the people of the world share global threats and challenges. They also have global interests and jointly own global resources.
Concerning Europe’s role, the starting point has to do with the Union’s duty to be actively engaged. There is indeed a duty of engagement. It comes from the fact that Europe has more means, more resources, is in a better position than many other regions of the globe, to effectively contribute to the solution. Wealth, institutional capabilities, capacity and experience, bring with them the responsibility to get deeply and seriously involved with world issues.
Inequality remains a major challenge in the world of today. Fly a few hours South of Brussels, and you will find extreme poverty, human despair, all that associated with a widespread feeling of unfairness, injustice and lack of respect for the people who have no sustainable livelihoods and no power. Europe is a major player in development matters. Large sums are spent every year. Experience has shown that money is not enough. The policy approach, the cooperation with other actors, including the UN, need to be revisited. Europe should deepen its endeavours to be more strategic in its development assistance, relating democratic governance and development better. And it should also move away from the idea that when you are a big player you have very little time for partnerships.
Human security is another global challenge I would like to mention. Peace and security, conflict prevention and resolution, creation of humanitarian space, promotion of human rights and respect for the individual, all this fall within the framework of human security. Europe, with the Security Council’s approval, can play a major role in the area of peace and security. It can respond faster, deploy vast resources in a shorter period of time, and do the initial job of bringing security to the theater of operations whilst the rest of the international actors keep mobilizing themselves. Europe can provide the initial operational capability. It has happened, with great success, in Chad, where the cooperation between EUFOR and the United Nations was exemplary and a model for similar future operations. This is an area where more cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations should be explored.
Partnerships are fundamental. The world’s agenda calls for cooperation and joint efforts. The size and complexity of the major problems do require the concerted action of a variety of actors. It is necessary to combine the interventions of governments, as well as non-state actors, such as NGOs, universities, think tanks, private corporations, foundations, and also supranational institutions, like the European Commission, international agencies, the UN.
At the leadership level, the substantive relationship between Brussels and the United Nations has improved tremendously during the last few years. But this special link between the Commission’s President and the Secretary-General has to be replicated at the subordinate levels of authority. The European institutions and the UN, within their own mandates and constraints, should enhance their cooperation, particularly in strategic matters. At the same time, issues of international legitimacy, representativeness, diversity and inclusion need to better grasped.
The partnerships between Europe and regional groupings, which has been more solidly established during the past few years, thanks to the initiatives taken by the Barroso Commission, have to become more focused, more political and be a continuous search for complementarities and synergies. In my opinion, the priorities should focus on the relations with the associations of states in the former Soviet Union, in Africa and in Southeast Asia.
Two additional issues related to the topic.
First, public information and communication is a critical area in modern life. People want to be informed, to be part of the processes, to be made aware of the reasons for the dramatic choices that are made. We have to be better at communicating. It is time to move away from traditional forms of communication, the boring press release, the arrogant and empty press conference. The solution of global issues passes through the engagement and the democratic participation of the citizens.
Second, implementation. We have to be able to do what we preach. Renewed attention needs to be given to the strengthening of the implementation machinery. Many policies have been adopted, many solutions have been put forward. But the capacity to transform the policies into plans of action, with clear-cut priorities, well established work paths and responsibilities, is very often missing. Leaders are expected to show courage and commitment to implement what has been decided.
Clear ideas, well focused priorities, commitment and hard work, what else can we ask for? Maybe for a degree of humility, Ladies and Gentlemen, meaning, a clear understanding of one’s position in a fast changing environment.