Solana Fails — What Herb Thinks

The saga of the first Mr. Europe, Javier Solana, has more twists and turns in it than an epic Hollywood movie.

Now it’s being reported that Solana told reporters, “The EU does not have a common position on Iraq.” And, Solana actually said, “I have failed” (Read about it here).

I couldn’t believe it. Solana actually admitted failure! And, I wasn’t the only one who was shocked by Solana’s admission of failure. Besides getting an e-mail from Constance Cumbey asking what I made of Solana’s remark, this report says all the other EU leaders were trying to make sense of it, too.

You see, Solana was assigned the job of finding a common position all the 15 EU heads could follow on foreign policy. And, after an emergency summit just the other day, I thought he had somewhat succeeded. My reason for believing this was because, before the summit began, Solana addressed the EU heads and listed three main points on the Iraqi issue where he thought all the EU heads could agree. And, in the official summit declaration that followed, all three of Solana’s points were listed by the EU heads as being their common position.

Now, only a few days later, Solana has stunned everbody by publicly saying the EU heads don’t have a common position on Iraq. And, he even said he failed.

Here we have the man who reshaped the face of Europe. He talked Russia into allowing NATO’s eastward enlargement, he led and won NATO’s war in the Balkans, he negotiated the Euro- Mediterranean Partnership with 12 Mediterranean countries and, for the first time, he found a place at the table for the EU in the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian peace process. Now, he’s saying he has failed in his job of finding a common position for the EU heads over Iraq.

Question: Does Solana really feel he has failed? If so, it would be the first time. And this leads me to believe, if he has really failed to perform his job, it’s for a reason.

Here’s what I think: I suspect Solana may have other plans for his political future. And, with the new, super EU due on the scene later this year, Solana may be setting the stage for his next move.

Stay tuned.

— Herb Peters
2/26/03