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Article by Minister Frattini and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: “A New World Order” (La Stampa)



Article by Minister Frattini and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov: “A New World Order” (La Stampa)

At twenty years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall, two new concepts have shown up on the Euro-Atlantic and international agenda: “the common European home” and the “new world order”. Two concepts, as yet unrealised but, in any case, complementary: a new world order based on inter-dependence and cooperation in resolving common problems cannot do without a “Greater Europe” stretching from the Atlantic to Vladivostok. Only a Europe of this sort, with a global vision and shared goals, will be able to ensure stability on our continent. How far are we from realizing this project, which Charles de Gaulle suggested back in the Cold War era?

Awareness has begun to take, albeit fragile, root over the last two decades that maintaining divisions on the continent of Europe compromises the security of all; the nuclear threat and that of any other major war have been laid to rest; the sad chapter of the Balkans war has come to a close, although some differences persist, the negative effect on European of the Caucasus crisis of last summer. Much has been done to strengthen the strategic nature of relations between Russia and the European Union, and not least on the institutional plane. In 1996 Russia forged a Partnership and Collaboration Accord with the EU; in 2004 Russia and the European Union reached agreement on four “common areas”. The EU is Russia’s main economic partner today. This includes the strategic sector of energy, although a modern energy security system that balances the interests of energy producer, transit and consumer countries, as agreed by the G8 leaders at St. Petersburg, has yet to be created. Collaboration between Russia and the Atlantic Alliance has been structured as a result of the NATO-Russia Council created at Pratica di Mare in 2002.

Is this a lot or a little? It is no small accomplishment, but neither is it sufficient. The fall of the Berlin wall triggered the emancipation of international relations from the earlier constraints of ideological confrontation. Nevertheless it must be acknowledged that an adequate political response has not been forthcoming. Pan-European political collaboration has not yet made that leap in quality to meet the new challenges and threats. And yet, faced with the “new threats” of our century—ranging from terrorism to nuclear proliferation, international crime, environmental deterioration, energy and the problems of economic-financial stability—it is now that we need a strong and cohesive political partnership in this pan-European area. In other words, the “new world order” needs the “common European home”.

We believe that, in order to build this «common home», the following priorities must be established.

First of all, the political reinforcement of relations between NATO and Russia on the basis of a real partnership and in light of reciprocal security interests; secondly, the outlining within the framework of the negotiations under way, of a new accord between the European Union and Russia to make way for not only an economic but a political strategic partnership; finally, the creation of a new European security architecture, which is already being discussed in various European settings.

Such an architecture could avail itself of the existing synergies between the various institutions and organizations in the pan-European area (OSCE, NATO, EU, CIS and CSTO) based on common interests and the increasing need for closer cooperation between the European Union, the US, and Russia. In other words, there is a need to strengthen and put into practice those principles contained in the Helsinki Act, the OSCE acquis and the Declaration of Pratica di Mare on the NATO-Russia Council. This would allow for the creation of a common area of security throughout the entire Euro-Atlantic on the basis of a new shared vision of the world as it really is.

We appreciate the contributions made thus far, or that will be made, by the leaders of this pan-European process toward achieving this goal. We must all share the responsibility for ensuring global security as it is understood today. The soon to come into effect Treaty of Lisbon, as well as the achievement of new quality in Russian-American relations, will open up new opportunities for Euro-Atlantic relations that must not be missed. At stake is the future of our entire region and its role in the increasingly complex and pluralistic international system of the 21st century, in which we want diversity to become added value and a factor in stability and development rather than in conflict.