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Global Viewpoint

The next step for the EU: Europe 3.0

A European Union serious about its global role and responsibilities should take the lead in trying to establish a more effective system of global governance.

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Toward its Eastern partners – most notably Ukraine – the Union must continue to roll out the package of integration policies based on a deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement as well as inclusion in the Energy Community Treaty. And association agreements with the other Eastern partnership countries – Georgia taking the lead in the Southern Caucasus – will be of equal long-term significance.

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During the past few months, the EU has developed the first set of policies for its more comprehensive efforts in Afghanistan, substantially updated and strengthened its policies concerning the Middle East peace process, and reaffirmed its twin-track approach to Iran. We must understand that the way in which we tackle the different challenges between Palestine and Punjab to a large extent will determine our future relationship with the Muslim world.

The debacle in Copenhagen, Denmark, was not only a setback to efforts to tackle climate change, but also vividly illustrated the challenge of global governance in a much more multipolar world.

The “unipolar moment” of the United States immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union is long gone, as should be any illusions that one could rely only on a G-2 axis either across the Atlantic or across the Pacific. But equally clear is that serious work in a format of more than 190 delegations is near impossible.

A European Union serious about its global role and responsibilities should take the lead in trying to establish a more effective system of global governance.

Steps would have to be incremental, and there is unlikely to be one solution that fits all problems. But institutions as different as the Security Council and the Group of 20 – each unrepresentative in its own way – need substantial reform.

As Europe now enters a new phase in its development, the world is waiting for it to raise its voice and deploy its new instruments and powers. There is no shortage of tasks ahead.

Carl Bildt is the current foreign minister of Sweden. He was prime minister from 1991 to 1994.

© 2009 Global Viewpoint Network/ Tribune Media Services. Hosted online by The Christian Science Monitor.

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