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Javier Solana calls for U.S. compromise in battle over the ICC

Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, was the keynote speaker at the conference on “The Intertwining of Security and Economics in Transatlantic Politics” organized by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Center for Applied Policy. Noting that European advocacy of the International Criminal Court is not designed to constrain the actions of the United States, Solana expressed his hope “that the United States will think again and let the court prove its worth.” Solana also noted that global responsibilities are “not unique to the United States. Europeans also have peacekeeping responsibilities, but see no threat from the court.” The ongoing battle over the ICC remains a topic of heated debate. Solana recently insisted that the United States should follow a course more aligned with Europe. The US has demanded immunity for its troops deployed on UN missions, suggesting that it will use its veto to block the extension of the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia if this demand cannot be met. Solana noted that the EU and the US still have a long way to go before having a balanced relationship in the security and policy debates. “Even the best of friends do not agree on all matters,” he said. “The sign of a mature and balanced relationship is not the absence of conflict but the capacity to deal with it in a responsible manner.” There are open disagreements on the ICC as well as on steel and the environment. Solana noted that global problems such as climate change and terrorism require global answers and partnerships for solutions.

First meeting of the Transatlantic Strategy Groups on Security and Economics, Finance and Trade

Solana delivered his speech as the Bertelsmann Stiftung launched its new Transatlantic Initiative. Led by Dr. Werner Weidenfeld, this initiative consists of two Transatlantic Strategy Groups, one on Security and the other on Economics, Finance and Trade. The groups are currently chaired by the State Secretaries Dr. Walther Stützle (Defense Ministry) and Caio Koch-Weser (Finance Ministry) and their American counterparts, John Hamre (President and CEO, Center for Strategic and International Studies), and Fred Bergsten (Director, Institute for International Economics). The Transatlantic Strategy Groups were created to analyze the current transatlantic environment and formulate strategy recommendations that aim to remedy underlying structural differences. The main points of discussion on the security side were NATO reforms, a changing relationship with Russia and the international war on terrorism.
On the economics, trade and finance side, considerable emphasis was placed on corporate governance, migration and international trade and finance.
The first meetings brought top economists such as Pascal Lamy and Bob Zoellick together with security experts and members of renowned think tanks and the media for constructive and high-level debate. Members of the two Transatlantic Strategy Groups on Security and Economics, Finance and Trade sought to establish a future-oriented agenda to explore areas for closer cooperation.

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