November 16, 2009

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Javier Solana: I am not yet ready for retirement Question: The Lisbon Treaty is going to enter into force very soon now. What is in your opinion the decisive importance of this document? If its benefit so evident - why this long and difficult process of ratification? Q.: If I may, a personal question: What plans do you have for the time after you cede the place to your successor? A.: In a day or two, the EU heads of state or government will designate my successor. I do not want to say more before that moment, but you may be sure I will remain actively engaged on all the matters on which I have been working up to now. I am not yet ready for retirement! Answer: An European Union with 27 Member States cannot work the same way as an EU with fifteen Member States, like we were only five years ago. The Lisbon Treaty will from December 1 allow the EU to work in a much more efficient and coherent manner. There were indeed some obstacles in the ratification process. Taking decisions with 27 Member States is not an easy thing and the Lisbon Treaty will precisely improve the decision making process. I am very happy that the treaty has been ratified. This is a very important moment for the EU. Q.: Evaluating the past decade, what kind of authority, what kind of powers were you short of as High Representative (HR), what new levers is getting your successor under the Lisbon Treaty? A.: Let me say that I am very proud of what the EU has achieved on the international scene in the last decade. This year we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). Over that period of time, we have deployed 23 EU missions or operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia to help solving difficult crisis and to contribute to stabilization in tension areas. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the High Representative will have under his authority tools that were - up to now - under the responsibility of different parts of the EU. It will be much easier for my successor to use the full range of EU tools that are adequate for each specific situation. The incoming HR will also have the support of an External Action Service that we are now putting in place and that will be among the biggest diplomatic services in the world. With this new setup, I am confident that the EU will be a in a better position to work with its partners on the international scene, for a more stable, more prosperous and safer world.

Watchman

I'm a watchman for Christ, looking on the horizon in expectation for the fulfillment of God's Word.

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