Mr. In Common — What Herb Thinks

Once again I think he’s done it. He’s found that safe line to walk between all the brawling 15 EU heads and has still ended up where he wants to be.

I’m talking, of course, about the EU’s first Mr. Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana.

As I said in my last commentary, Solana was not only hired by the 15 EU heads to represent their common foreign and security policy to the world, he was also tasked with finding for them a common ground on foreign policy issues they could all follow as a group.

And, just as he was making good headway on his assignment, Solana’s common foreign policy suddenly began coming apart around him over a possible war with Iraq (Read about it here). The EU heads he represented each had strongly held positions on the issue — some wanted to support a war, other didn’t. Suddenly, Solana found himself standing in the middle of a brawl.

Solana’s first reaction was to just stay quiet and watch his EU heads battle it out with each other. Solana, however, couldn’t afford to stay quiet for long. If he stayed quiet too long, things could get out of his control and his credibility would be damaged. If, on the other hand, he took a position too soon, he could find himself on the losing side of the issue and once again his credibility would suffer.

Well, it looks like Solana has found that safe line to walk and to still end up where he wants to go.

As to where to stand: According to a report today in the EUoboserver, Solana said the evidence the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the UN Security Council that Saddam Hussien was hiding weapons of mass destruction was “irrefutable” (Read about it here).

As to where he wants to be: The report goes on to say Solana stressed the primacy of the UN. He said the EU heads have a common position. And, that common position is it should be the UN Security Council — not Washington — that decides the issue of war with Iraq.

Once again, I think he’s done it. Solana has managed to find that safe line to walk without losing control of where he wants to go — global governance.

After all, he doesn’t want to just be Mr. Untouchable.

Solana also wants to be Mr. In Common.

— Herb Peters
2/7/03