WSF2019 | Pipe-Dream or Reality: Is the EU a Global Power?
The session “Pipe-Dream or Reality: Is the EU a Global Power” brought together Mr. Carmelo Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion of Malta, Mr. Paweł Kowal, Member of the European Parliament (2009-2014) and Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland (2006-2007), Mr. Jens Plötner, Political Director at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Mr. František Ružička, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, and Ms. Karin Wallensteen, State Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office of Sweden. This panel was moderated by Mr. Benjamin Haddad, the Director of the Future Europe Initiative from the Atlantic Council (USA), which co-organized the session.
This discussion focuses on determining if the European Union – in the face of international crises such as the emergence of China, the election of Donald Trump, the destabilization of the Middle East, and the emigration crisis – is still a global power. The session took place on October 2nd, 2019 in Warsaw.
Mr. Carmelo Abela, thinks that the European Union has been a positive project, and that the power of the European Union on the international stage is already a reality. He believes that the EU is a leader in social issues, standardization and human rights, but should increase its potential influence in its own neighborhood. Paweł Kowal is more skeptical, saying the EU is struggling to maintain its role as a leader because of its weak military integration, but also because of a lack of effective leadership within the EU. Jens Plötner agrees with Mr. Abela and Mr. Kowal and thinks that the EU needs to re-establish a dialogue with the major powers: China, the US, and Russia. František Ružička still believes in the European project and in EU values, and he believes in the prosperity of transatlantic leadership in global policies. He also thinks that the EU should invest more into its neighborhood policies, to “make our neighborhood great again”. Finally, Ms. Karin Wallensteen thinks that the EU, thanks to cooperation between its State members, has many areas in which it can claim a global leadership role, such as climate change, digitalization, and social rights. Then, the panel answered audience questions about the divisions among State members about the EU’s relationships with other global powers and about the Union’s trade power. Other topics discussed include the enlargement of the European Union, the Nord Stream 2 project, and, finally, the post-Brexit era.