Veranstaltungen: Dokumentation

13.3.2003

The European Union as Global Player?

As it should be known, Europe suffered two wars with extremely consequences. In the past Majority of the countries that form today´s EU were fighting against each other. It seemed that those states would not agree on a single issue; let along to constitute a union.

Faik Tunay

As it should be known, Europe suffered two wars with extremely consequences. In the past Majority of the countries that form today´s EU were fighting against each other. It seemed that those states would not agree on a single issue; let along to constitute a union.

In fact, the idea to gather the Europe under a single roof was not so alien to the people. There have always been leaders who dreamed since the disintegration of the Roman Empire; however, the way which they had chosen was wrong; WAR AND FORCE... A decade ago there was still a wall in Berlin Germany. It was a great shame for everybody it was in late 1989 that the wall came down in Berlin. It was in Maastricht in late 1991 that the leaders of the European Community decided on the agenda for europe during the 1990´s by transforming their community into the EUROPEAN UNION. It was a huge step for future. The train set in motion at Maastricht reached its destination. Today there is well-functioning common currency covering 12 nations. The part of the Maastricht agenda which turned out to be far more problematic was the creation of a common foreign and security policy. The main reason for that EU was unprepared for the challenges was going to face in the Balkans. EU failed to avert a war in Bosnia and failed to avert the war over Kosova. And the image of Europe as a power capable of conducting serious foreign and security policies suffered accordingly. Although facts were different the impression was created that only the Americans have the policies and the powers necessary to create peace in europe. We must take lessons from these events and must be prepared to events which can be occur in the future... According to me main factor that will SHAPE THE FUTURE OF EU is CFSP: Common Foreign and Security Policy. EU faces a globalizing and rapidly changing environment. End of Cold War and collapse of Berlin wall meant societies which were ones enemies living together in peace, and this was a relaxing development for humanity. September 11 attacks changed everything all of a sudden. September 11 showed us that terror is still one of the biggest threats. 9/11 events reminded us all that we are facing with radicalism, ethnic nationalism, racism, terrorism and regional clashes.

After September 11 attacks in the economic situation of the world, the role that Europe, which represents humanism, freedom, cooperation and a milieu in differences can live together, should play has been a subject of discussion more frequently. It is time that EU takes more responsibility and plays an active role against all types of violence, terrorist actions, and radicalism. EU should take this responsibility not only to provide a benefit to rich countries but also to develop a system that will be advantageous for poor countries as well. EU has to aim to develop globalizing concept according to cooperation and maintainable development.

EU has accomplished economical unity and it is now a big economic power in the world. But EU should not ignore political unity while trying to achieve economical unity. The most important tools to make EU a body to govern the world rather than lead the world in the next 30-40 years, are CFSP, COSP.

The fact that Cold war ended, caused some uncertainties about the future of NATO. The first concrete step made to determine what should be the future role of NATO was the summit organized in London on July 5-6, 1990. And some very important resolutions were made in this historical summit. These are:
  • NATO to stay as a defense organization
  • To form an alliance with Warsaw Pact member countries.
ABOUT THE FUTURE ROLE OF NATO, member countries have different opinions. Despite different views, it is for sure that NATO will act as a defense alliance in the near future. There may be a reduction in the functions of NATO; and changes in the military strategies and internal structure.

The cooperation between EU and NATO must advance in every field. And cooperation and alliance must be formed with non-members of NATO,

In my opinion, foreign relations with EU with other countries are critical in the next 30-40 years. The bilateral relationship between The United States and the Eropean Union is the most important bilateral ralationship in the world. The US is still only global superpower the only actual and potential partner it has is the Eropean Union. Although today EU isnt a real partner but requirements for a successful global partnership with the US will drive the EU to seek more efficent implementation of its Common Foreign and Security Policy.US investment in Europe is seven times greater than it was six years ago and US-owned companies employ 3 million Eropeans.European companies are the top investors in 41 out of 50 US states and the 4000 European-owned businesses employ one in 12 americans. These are the good examples how important relationship we have with US. I think also relationship with RUSSIA is important for EU. The fact that Cold War ended and some of the former Warsaw pact members were included in the process of expansion, and relations of these countries with Russia, makes it even more important. Russia´s participation to WTO: The relations of EU with Russia will get more intense. It is another important tool to strengthen the connections between EU and Russia. Additional to US and RUSSIA, the creation of an area of peace,prosperity and stabiliy in South-east Europe, Middle-East is a strategic priority for the Eropean Union. For this aimTurkey´s geography and political history plays a vital role for EU. Turkey functions as a conduit for the energy production from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia... and also Turkey has great historical relations with Middle Asian States. The decision to induct Turkey into the EU would demonstrate to the world, specifically the Muslim world that globalization isn´t a closed club of Christian Nations.

Relations with Middle Asia countries are very important too. Despite the economical transition process, Russia makes up the 2,9% of the export and 3,2% of the import of Europe. And the significance of Middle Asia Republics will increase when their integration with world economy is complete and when their markets expand as a result of their energy policies. Taking into account the fact that EU is 50% dependent to outer sources in terms of energy, and this will be 70% twenty years later, it is clear that this region having most of the energy sources of the world, will be of great significance.

Russia´s participation to WTO: The relations of EU with Russia will get more intense. It is another important tool to strengthen the connections between EU and Russia.

Relations with Middle East countries are very important, too. The problems in Middle East affect not only the countries in there, but also the whole world. But Israelis and Palestinians have great responsibility to solve the problem. Bomb attacks towards Israeli people is a shame, but Israel must recognize Palestinian government and must see it as an active party for negotiations. When Palestinian government is not active, the peace opponents will be active instead and will continue to gain supporters among the community.

Lack of resolution damages region economy greatly. The damages in region economy impacts other countries as well. Unemployment is around 40% in Palestine and life standards decreases every new day, and people are desperate. EU has a lot to do in this dilemma. EU must play a more active role in this process. It has to contribute cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians and must arrange programs in order to develop civil society actions. For EU to become a leading power in the world for the next 30-40 years, it has to play a more active role in this region of the world to find a solution...

I guess, one of the most important agenda of EU in the next 3-4 decades will be its relations with Arabic countries, which possess rich petrol sources. When petrol starts to lose importance slowly, countries which rely on petrol for their incomes, will have problems and their adaptation to world conditions will be impossible... If petrol countries start industrial investments right now, they will be comfortable in the upcoming years. EU must play an active role in this process. EU playing an active role in this, will be a great step to make EU a leading power in that region in future...

Today in world economy USA, EU, Japan; developing China have an important place. With a population of 1.270.000.000 China is on its way to become a great power. With an annual growth rate of 7-8%, most of China´s population, namely 65%, lives in rural regions. In the past 20 years, with reform policies and policies of integration with outer world, brought about great developments in China. Foreign businessmen from 150 countries, launched 350.000 companies in China. 400 of 500 multinational companies in the world, have branches in China. In 1999, China drew $ 42.000.000.000 foreign investment, and total foreign trade volume of foreign companies have reached up to $ 175.000.000.000. This is 48% of China´s foreign trade volume. Income per capita and consumption rates of China increase. In light of all these facts, EU increasing its relations with China and carrying out common projects will earn both sides great advantages in 30-40 years...

The continent, which became the scene of two great wars in the previous century, has reached a swift structuring and integration of the countries that played active roles in this structure, have brought about positive outcomes. EU which is on the eve of accomplishing economical unity, must achieve political unity as well.


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