Here are some excerpts from a panel discussion held on April 8, 2010 to discuss the past, present and future of EU foreign policy in Washington DC by the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.
One of Washington’s oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development.
One of the panelist was Giuliano Amato – the former primer minister of Italy was Vice President of the Convention on the Future of Europe that drafted the new European Constitution.
“After all, in foreign policy it is possible for Lady Ashton to create that kind of coordinated effort that was needed and was impossible before. Now she’s going to have — and let us hope it will be creative — the single diplomatic service. I rely enormously on it because, you see, a difficulty that we have had in Europe since the beginning has been that there is no geopolitical vision linked to Europe. You have always had the vision of France, the vision of Germany, the vision of the U.K., perhaps the vision of Italy and of Spain, each of them linked to this part of the world more than to that other one. But necessarily because geopolitical visions are the product of our diplomatic services, they serve their own countries. There is no reason for a French diplomat not to have a view that has France as the first sort of attention, and the same is true for Germany, the same is true for the U.K. Now this single diplomatic service will be the first experience of people, of a staff, having the mission of identifying the best interests of Europe in several areas of the world in connection with the interests of the partners. If they can’t do it, I cannot write another treaty forcing them to do it because it’s an impossible kind of mission”.
This panel is part of an ongoing joint series of briefings and discussions on the future of the European Union. The discussion featured Giuliano Amato, former Italian prime minister, who wrote a preface for the book; Andrew Moravcsik, professor at Princeton, who contributed to the book; Dan Hamilton, director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations; and Pierre Vimont, the French ambassador to the United States. Michael Calingaert, a visiting scholar in CUSE, introduced the panel, and Federiga Bindi moderated the discussion.