Spanish leaders urge EU, global cooperation
Spanish leaders in the European Union pressed EU and international peers on Saturday to raise the continent's voice in global affairs and tackle problems affecting the entire world.
"Europeans please unite," EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia told the World Policy Conference in echo to calls he has heard from China, emerging Group of 20 (G20) countries and the United States.
"Either Europeans unite or Europe will begin to be less relevant than Europeans want to be," he warned.
At the same time, a unified Europe would have less claim to oversized representation at bodies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where emerging countries want a greater voice, Almunia noted.
Referring again to conversations with leaders around the world, Almunia acknowledged that if Europe had one position "then it does not need eight Europeans around the table".
Or, it has very different positions, "and in that case, Europe is more of a problem than a contributor to solutions" to financial disorder, unbalanced global trade, and climate change.
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told the conference on global governance: "It happens that we do not understand this is a new century, that we have begun a new chapter in history.
Referring to the long and complex process of achieving global consensus on pressing problems he asked: "Are we ready to respond politically to the new challenges of this century?
"I say sincerely ... no."
© 2010 AFP