Thursday, July 4, 2013 Campus FAES Palacio, Rupérez and Powell Reflect on a Renewed Atlantic Policy

04/07/2013

    _ Palacio: "Bringing investment to a transatlantic free trade agreement is the new frontier. There's no development without investment and without physical and legal security"

    _ Rupérez: "The Atlantic alliance will continue. China's rise will not happen tomorrow and the decline of the United States will not happen today"

    _ Powell: "China, India and Brazil do not have an alternative growth model, what they want is a better distribution of influence"

The 2013 FAES Campus has celebrated the round table 'Reflections for a renewed Atlantic policy', attended by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ana Palacio, the former Ambassador of Spain in America, Javier Rupérez, and director of the Real Instituto Elcano, Charles Powell. The journalist Ana Romero has chaired the table.

In her introduction, the head of FAES International department, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, said that "we are in a new reality in which renewing the common values of Europe and America is essential but insufficient". "We must find new bases and objectives in the Atlantic relationship, and the starting point is the free trade agreement between the U.S. and the EU, the negotiations of which are about to start up and which has to become part of a comprehensive political project," she stated.

Javier Rupérez recalled that "the Atlantic alliance has delivered the greatest prosperity to mankind" and it "has been the cornerstone of global stability after World War II, demonstrating flexibility and adapting to new circumstances and challenges. "For the Spanish former ambassador, "the values on which it was built are still the same: Rule of Law, freedom, free trade and human rights."

"It's a highly powerful reality in the spheres of economy and trade and it will continue existing. China's rise will not happen tomorrow and the decline of the United States will not happen today", Rupérez said. And he added: "We are at a critical point on both sides and we risk almost everything: freedom, future, human rights ..."

Ana Palacio has emphasised that "the important part of the treaty is the pillar of investment." "Bringing investment to a transatlantic free trade agreement is the new frontier. There's no development without investment and without physical and legal security," she stated. She also pointed to "the need for it to be open to the entire Atlantic basin, because its possibilities are huge."

For his part, Charles Powell has encouraged "to raise this issue not only in defensive terms against new emerging powers, but in principles and in governance of globalisation. And Europeans and Americans can play a key role in leading such governance".

FALSE DECLINE OF THE WEST

About the announced decline of the West, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs said that "the problem is that we ourselves won't believe that Europe and the US are not disappearing. One begins to decline when thinking this, especially societies." And has referred to Europe's demographic problem. Powell, in this respect, has held that "it is said that power is moving from West to East, and that is somewhat wrong: As far as I know, neither Latin America nor Africa are in the East."

According to the director of the Real Instituto Elcano, "China, India and Brazil do not have an alternative growth model, what they want is a better distribution of influence." "We're not going toward a G3 world dominated by China and the US, but rather to a G-0 world in which the dispersion of power and influence is increasingly emphasised," he underlined.

Palace and Powell have alluded to NATO's future in this new scenario. For the former, "NATO has been extremely flexible and we have to preserve it." For his part, Powell said that "there is a huge NATO fatigue in the US" and called for a "better sharing of responsibilities between Europe and the US".

The three speakers have also referred to how the 'Snowden case' will affect the start of the talks. In the words of Ana Palacio, "the Commission has already announced that it will continue on, but I worry that the European Parliament should take this as a springboard to gain more power [...] If we begin to sever it, the free trade agreement will end up being the elephant that ends up giving birth to a mouse", she assured. "The question of how to share the information is at the core of the agreement because it affects the trust between the US and Europe," Powell agreed.

SHARED VALUES

Finally, Powell pointed out that in order for Spain to make a decisive and beneficial contribution to the transatlantic free trade agreement, it "needs to be influential in the EU, and for that, the first thing it has to do is to overcome the crisis." Furthermore, "Spain must bring its vision of how the treaty can influence global governance through the incorporation of serious Latin American countries", Powell said, for whom the treaty is also "essential so that the UK does not leave the EU, of which there is a real danger."

The debate has also addressed the relationship between Spain and the United States and what our country can contribute to that transatlantic treaty. To Rupérez, the key to this relationship is "the shared values" and that "not without political cost, we are in the thick and thin". "That does not mean we are ready to obey everything. There's room for dissent and disagreement between friends," the former ambassador said.

Ana Palacio has pointed to the double dimension of Spain, "that ontologically European entity but with an Atlantic vocation". "In America there is a huge policy continuity, and if you turn off your relationship with them, it is very difficult to get it back. The Spanish Government is doing a commendable job to get it back," he added.



Secretaria de Estado de Cooperación Internacional y para Iberoamérica