«EUI Working Papers RSCAS 2012/23 ROBERT SCHUMAN CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES Global Governance Programme-18 MULTILEVEL GOVERNANCE OF INTERDEPENDENT ...»
What is the second lesson that the European experience teaches us? That three ingredients are needed for a successful integration process: shared values, a common objective, and an institutional machinery. Institutions alone cannot do the trick. Our experience with global governance to date shows it. Neither can a well-thought-through common project deliver results if there is no institutional machinery.
Experience has shown that when two of these ingredients are there, the third one follows. The success of the European economic integration process is the result of the coming together of shared values and a common goal. It is the combination of these two elements that led to the establishment of an institutional machinery. The creation of the Euro is a project that took 30 years to mature between the Werner report of 1969 and the report of Jacques Delors on the Economic and Monetary Union. A clear choice was then made according to which the prime purpose of monetary policy was to ensure
Global Governance: From Theory to Practice
price stability. The institutional structure then followed relatively quickly: the creation of the European Central Bank, the most federal of the European institutions, was decided in three weeks only.
Likewise, the development of strong multilateral trade rules was made possible because of the existence of shared values - the belief that opening trade is good, a belief which is enshrined in Article 133 of the Treaty of Rome - and of an institutional machinery.
So what are we missing in the case of global governance? We already have a set of institutional machineries in some areas, but these are not underpinned by a sufficiently strong set of core principles and values. This is, in my view, one area where global governance falls short.
One may argue that the adoption of the United Nations Charter in 1945 marked the emergence of such a set of global values and principles. A set that has been strengthened over time through the adoption of various declarations and covenants, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and the International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and Political Rights in 1966. However, this platform of values was developed at a time when globalization was not as tightly knit as it is today, and its implementation has remained patchy in many respects. It needs to be adjusted and strengthened.
This is precisely what German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed with the creation of a Charter for Sustainable Economic Activity. It is a commendable effort to provide a ‘new global economic contract,’ to anchor economic globalization on a bedrock of ethical principles and values which would renew the trust that citizens need to have that globalization can indeed work for them. It is a signal of our times that this initiative comes from Berlin, Germany, today a re-united country at the heart of Europe.
Finally, my third and last suggestion would be to further encourage and pay greater attention to regional integration processes, which permit a progressive familiarization with supra-nationality.
Regional integration allows to address the questions of our time at a level where the affectio societatis is stronger. At a level where the feeling of belonging is more solid. For there is no governance without such feeling. Regional integration represents the essential intermediate step between the national and the global governance level.
Governance, be it at the national, regional or international level, presupposes a shared feeling of pursuing a common endeavour, of belonging to a community that needs governance. A feeling of ‘togetherness.’ Feeling that conditions the acceptance of constraints imposed in the name of such belonging. Feeling that finds its roots in shared values, a common history, and a collective cultural heritage. Feeling, however, that becomes more fluid and volatile as distance to power systems grows.
I had the chance, in my professional life, of working at three different levels of governance, which I often compare to the three states of mass: the national level, which in my view represents the solid state; the European level, which is liquid; and now the international level, which is more like the gaseous mass. The challenge with global governance today is to try to move from its current gaseous state to a more solid one.
In other words, and these will be my concluding thoughts, the solution is not to globalize local problems, as the theory suggests; it is to localize global problems; to make these more palatable to citizens in order to reinforce the sentiment of belonging I just referred to.
To go back to a point I previously made, ‘secondary legitimacy,’ which relies on assemblies of sovereign nation states, is too weak to cope with the necessities of global governance. What really matters is ‘primary legitimacy,’ the sovereignty of the people. How to increase this primary legitimacy of global governance remains, in my view, the main political challenge we are facing.
At this stage, the only avenue I can see is reaching out to civil society, unions, political parties, and parliamentarians to discuss and debate with them the global issues we are facing. We need global
governance. But global governance necessitates global citizens. It necessitates citizens inhabited by a sense of ‘togetherness,’ by a feeling of belonging to a global community. How many people today, when asked which country they come from, would answer, like the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope: “I am a citizen of the world?” In the absence of global elections, the global governance debate needs to be brought closer to citizens to instil this feeling of togetherness that is now missing. Bringing the global governance debate closer to citizens could also contribute to greater coherence at a global level. This would render governments more accountable in terms of coherence.
Modern information technologies can help us achieve this ambitious transformation towards a sense of togetherness. These are powerful tools to help create a ‘polity’ as we have just seen in Tunisia and Egypt. But we also need more input from social sciences. Not only economics or law, or political science. But also sociology, psychology, anthropology. And academies like the one that hosts us today can bring an invaluable contribution to build this new ‘polity’. We want a world that is driven by ideas, not by instinct. So, ladies and gentlemen, please engage and help us all.
I thank you for your attention.
The multilevel governance of interdependent public goods is a crucially important topic for the academic and the policy-making communities alike. I am pleased to make a contribution to this book, which reflects on the topic and which offers a broad academic analysis of how ever more national public goods are being transformed into international public goods, and the kind of governance challenges this transformation leads to. As Professor Petersmann demonstrated in his introduction, this indeed poses one of the most pressing governance tasks of the 21st century and the provision of global public goods is a key aspect of the future of globalisation and global governance. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate the editor of this book for offering a truly interdisciplinary analysis of this task. To my mind it is obvious that only a multidisciplinary approach, involving economists, political scientists and international lawyers has the potential to provide a practical and theoryinformed account of the current global governance structures dealing with interdependent public goods.
In addition to interdisciplinary academic analyses of interdependent and global public goods, this book starts with some reflections by practitioners on the issue. I am glad to join Pascal Lamy by offering my own. In this contribution I will focus on the European Union (EU) and the European Parliament (EP) in global governance and the multilevel governance of interdependent public goods. I will begin in a more general manner with some brief reflections on the above-mentioned challenges and on global governance more broadly. Subsequently, I will refer to the EU and its integration process, with its supranational elements and the extent to which it attempts to be a global actor and to shape the global order. Finally, I will focus on the role of the EU and the EP in international trade and above all in climate change negotiations. Both policy areas offer good case studies of the functioning and the potential of the Union in multilateral negotiations and in providing global public goods.
Global governance and global public goods During much of my practical political experience as minister in the Spanish government and as President of the European Parliament, I was confronted with attempts to enhance the management of global public goods and to find more legitimate and effective governance systems for global trade and for multilateral financial, environmental and development systems. The fact in particular that the role of the state has considerably changed in the last three decades, and that the concept of national sovereignty has undergone a profound change, necessitates new approaches to dealing with global public goods and global governance (see for a historical perspective on public goods, and for the changing functions of the state in this regard, Desai, 2003). The distinction between the national and international levels is becoming increasingly blurred and the functioning of national governments needs to be adapted in an increasingly interdependent and globalised world. There is furthermore a growing recognition that many of today’s most pressing political and societal issues cannot be efficiently handled at a national or regional level. Above all, environmental changes, which became increasingly obvious and threatening in the last decade, and the need to control international finance, which has become so urgent in the current crisis, require the transfer of functions of governance to the European and the global level. At the same time, the structure and the polarity of the global level is undergoing profound changes. International patterns of decision-making and the distribution of power in multilateral organisations is being modified due to the rise of important new players, such as Brazil, * President of the European University Institute, Florence, and former President of the European Parliament.
Russia, India and China (the so-called BRIC-countries) and other emerging powers who want to have their say in tackling global problems.
And many of the problems of globalisation and the development of a global governance order are related to the provision of global public goods (for a detailed analysis of this link see Kaul et al., 2003) Policy-makers need to answer key questions about which goods should be public and which should be private and whether they should be managed at local, regional, national or global levels. Indeed, “managing globalization requires understanding and shaping the provision of public goods so that all of the global public benefit – a daunting challenge considering the world’s diversity and complexity” (Kaul et al., 2003, p.2).
Global governance and the EU The EU officially recognises this challenge and claims in an often normative manner that it contributes to finding new approaches and providing solutions. Exemplarily, the Lisbon Treaty states that the EU intends to “promote an international system based on stronger multilateral cooperation and good global governance” (TEU, 2009, Article 21, 2(h)) and the idea of effective multilateralism has become part of the EU’s self-reflection, taking the form of a ‘doctrine’ (Hill et al., 2011). For the EU, effective multilateralism means a new approach to effective global governance, and with the external policy aims formulated in the Lisbon Treaty and with the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) the Union has formulated high ambitions for itself to become a strong and cohesive force in the global area. It often portrays itself as the multilateral player par excellence and on its agenda for global governance multilateral cooperation is a key element (Hill et al., 2011). In sum, the EU wishes to play a leading role in implementing effective multilateral cooperation and in defining rules for a legitimate and efficient global governance system. The fair and efficient management and provision of global public goods is implicit in the majority of the EU global governance aims and the Union recognises the growing importance of global public goods.
However, as so often when it comes to Europe’s external actions and the Union’s role as a global actor, its record on these ambitions has been ambiguous, with the EU struggling to find its role. Even though it is quite obvious that the EU member states would generally benefit from a European response to many global problems, national self-interest and a lack of political will often prevail. If the EU really intends to fulfil its often noble ambitions, it has to narrow the gap between rhetoric and action and develop a coherent strategic approach to reaching these aims.