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Goodbye Javier
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-12-03 07:39:14
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I have a lot of reserves with Baroness Ashton’s appointment in the position of the responsible for the foreign affairs of the European Union but there is one thing that definitely makes me glad, this is the end of Solana’s era. After ten years Javier Solana says goodbye full of himself, patronizing the next responsible of foreign affairs and with over a thousand bureaucrats who think that Javier is the god of foreign policy!

Reading his last interview for an internationally famous newspaper as EU’s responsible for the foreign affairs; I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry, especially when he advised Baroness Ashton to do something fast for the declining influence of the EU in the international scene. Adding that the only solution is the coordination with USA, even though there are some disagreements, for the best of the West, actually in this one sentence Javier managed to squeeze all the reasoning for his failure.

Despite the aim to gradually become a big federal state the European Union has many differences with the Unites States of America. One of the main differences is that every member state keeps its integrity and independence regarding foreign policy for example. The commission coordinates all these different policies and tries to have a unique front when it comes to main issues. Different member states have sometimes different relationships and agreements with different countries outside the EU and most of the time this works for the best of the Union since it keeps a better balance in the international relations. The same time the variety of foreign policy inside the Union has helped the Union to keep an independent and occasionally uncommitted status. That’s why for example the international courts are in Europe and that’s why political, prejudice and racism victims have looked for settler in Europe.

The EU has become a reference and protector of human rights to all sides and the EU Charta of human rights with the human rights’ courts have become a constant international indication of how democracy works. This didn’t happened from one day to the other and the European democracies have gone long way before arriving to this point with some of them following the hard way and I’m not only referring to the former east European states like the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania or Poland but even for the older members like Spain, Greece and Portugal that lived under military dictatorships in 70s. And all this is what Javier Solana had to defend and shield especially since he was the first one in this position, the first one who would represent the whole Europe as a union and not as a loose economic alliance like it was a few decades ago.

Javier Solana was surrounded from the very beginning with the full trust of the European leadership, not because he had earned their trust but to my opinion because it had come the time for Europe to show a united front. And to my opinion Javier Solana abused this trust and used it to build a mechanism inside the EU that manipulated foreign affairs according to his personal agenda leaving often the European leadership exposed to failures or moves that would cost dearly. The same time following his dogma instead of cooperating with USA and following Tony Blair’s wrong decisions tied the Union with the foreign policy of a US administration, George W. Bush’s administration turning Europe from a leading power and champion of human rights to another wheel in a catastrophic cart that nearly damaged the unity between the states during the Iraq crisis.

Javier Solana failed in his major obligation to shield the union and on the contrary he exposed the union to long forgotten differences and yes Europe have too many ties with USA and too many reasons even historic to cooperate but when USA is following the wrong path that contradict the European fundamentals the European Union is obliged by definition to remind them that. Now we all know that the invasion to Iraq was based on lies and personal agendas and we know that what we were suspecting it was something people like Tony Blair, Javier Solana and Jose Barroso knew. That makes Javier Solana an accomplice to a crime against the European people, against their will while they were demonstrating in all the streets of Europe from London to Madrid and Berlin.

And of course Javier Solana will become a historic reference with his total failure with what happened in Lebanon when innocent people were dying and Solana was waiting for George W. Bush’s reaction. That day the European Union lost any influence had build for decades in the Middle East. When the European people were talking about negotiations with the Iranian government Solana was just following Bush’s administration with their threats and when the Balkans were on fire and the involvement of the EU was important and critical since it was happening inside our borders, Solana was having breakfast with Condoleezza Rice afraid that he might step on the wrong American foot. Like the Balkans were neighbouring with Mexico and not with European member states. And I’m not going to say anything about the relations with Russia where Solana was just following the Dick Cheney dogma, let’s start again the cold war and thanks to countries like Germany and Finland we manage to keep good relations, otherwise we would have followed Poland’s example having declared illegal even Tchaikovsky’s music  because he had a Russian name.

Relations with Africa reached the lowest ever point and the man contrary to any reaction – including the strong reaction from the British PM, Gordon Brown – organized an EU-Africa summit inviting Africa’s caricature Hitler, Robert Mugabe as an important guest.

Even the European expansion with the ten new members and later another two mainly former soviet democracies was mainly his mistake, forced from the Bush’s eagerness to embrace anybody who would provoke Russia and needing to put them under the Western umbrella even installing missiles that look at Russia’s side and ignoring the reaction from the European people expanded Europe with states that even today, years after their embedment they deal with problems that contradict the European values, not to forget the candidacy of Turkey that is causing problems and will cause far more in the near future.

Last and not least and something Baroness Ashton will have to deal with soon is the bureaucracy Solana built inside the structure of the EU with more than a thousand ‘experts’, advisers or negotiators who following religiously Solana’s dogma manipulate the European foreign policy. I just hope Baroness Ashton will clean the Aegean stables she received with Herculean strength and toughness. As far Javier Solana, goodbye and please take me out from your Christmas card list!!!

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Emanuel Paparella2009-12-03 11:36:47
Solana was once described as a “squarer of circles.” When General Wesley Clark once asked Solana the secret of his diplomatic success, he answered: “Make no enemies, and never ask a question to which you do not know or like the answer.” That statement is not a paradigm of political innovation and imagination, to be sure, but on the other hand, one of the qualities of a good diplomat is the ability to be a consensus builder. Having lived and studied in the US for six years, he understood the political nuances on both sides of the Atlantic. While not being a visionary statesman, in all fairness one must at least concede to him the gift of consensus builder which is crucial to any successful diplomacy. Solana proved to be such when he headed NATO and guided its involvement in the Bosnian war and was instrumental in the avoidance of another genocide in Europe. Let us now hope that his successor Baroness Ashton does not turn out to be a circler of squares.

Anastasios2009-12-05 00:10:15
Solana and Blair are two grand paradigms of opportunists whose political life has caused Europe its progress. They can both be happy they have achieved their goals. Both of them, clowns totally full of themselves.

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