EU has a policy of UNSC reform. It needs a strategy for UNSC reform. In the following a four-pronged strategy towards UNSC reform is outlined and summarized. You may read the full article by searching Christian ILCUS and EU Strategy towards UNSC reform and
According to the TFEU article 21 (2) litra h, the Union decides and implements common policies and ensures a high degree of cooperation in order to “promote an international system, which builds on stronger multilateral cooperation and good global governance’. This new framework captures the bigger picture so that the hidden nature of things are discovered. Thus
EU leadership in global affairs could be restored. This could also facilitate the articulation of EU Strategies towards policy goal of UNSC reform. Four EU strategies on UNSC reform are proposed: (1) UNFCC-diplomacy (2) Further IMF reform (3) Energy governance (4) cost-benefit analysis of UN Sustainable Development Millennium goals.
EU’s climate diplomacy is conceptualized in the context of changing patterns of global governance. This is good, as it unfolds in a UN context and requires action and mobilization at global, regional, national and local levels. When focusing narrowly on UFCCC-diplomacy, EU’s policy activism has worked well as it has mobilized all forces and appealed to the strengths of EU, while not pretending to be something which EU is not: a state. The European institutions have demonstrated a keen awareness of the stakes involved, leveraging its agency as a force for globalization which environmental issues are closely linked with. It has acted at regional level as well, given the differences in climate action in the world. This makes UNFCCC-diplomacy an obvious candidate for a great power strategy towards UNSC reform. EU’s role appear to be limited by the fact that it in many cases it have already implemented bottom-up legislation required by the evolving top-down framework climate convention. The interaction between the two processes need to be better understood for a harmonious development of a low-carbon economy with EU at its center. Cities and regions need to be harnessed under the European Green Deal, such as is the case with Green City Accord focusing environmental management in areas of air, water, nature and biodiversity, circular economy, waste, noise. The industrial muscles of low-carbon industries could be further strengthened through “competence, ownership and political independence” and across sectors . IMF staffers have proposed a green investment fund at EU-level. As the climate emperor is getting dressed, the EU, which counts for only 8% of the world’s emissions, has made climate change a central element of its external policy. It works with its global partners to strengthen international engagement on climate, works through bilateral agreements with developed nations to take bold action against global warming, works in the multilateral COP-meetings in order to push other countries to do more to address the climate crisis . Further research is needed on EU’s influence throughout the climate policy cycle of agenda-formation, negotiation and decision-making, implementation and further development on the global environmental regime. Clearly, the political emphasis should be on technological innovation, forest planting, institution-building & policy-development and assistance on an adequate energy transition design city-to-city cooperation rather than just climate finance in order to bridge the gap between declaratory politics and practice . That is to say, EU’s Climate Diplomacy should remain anchored in the evolving framework of UNFCCC, good governance, a green political economy, the competitive edge of business rather than in looks behind the mirror a la Persian mystics. The fact is the Paris-agreements’ real contribution towards the lowering of the global temperature is not substantial.
More could be done on desertification within the Barcelona-process and more funds should be allocated towards the Green Wall in Africa. EU’s commitment to the 370 million Indigenous Peoples, their self-development and political status may “advance the implement-tation and impact of EU’s existing external policies”, EU COM stated somewhat ritualistically in 2017 , while IWGIA in contrast emphasizes “participation and inclusion” of Indigenous People may enrich EU’s European Green Deal and Biodiversity Strategy, a more spontaneous order
The 2010/2016 IMF reform was supported by the US administration, and promoted by IMF’s European Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, supported by EU. That is to say, the findings are consistent with research on EU’s economic policy, which states that EU is not playing a sole leadership role but exercise influence through shared leadership (Woolcock, 2017:172). Indeed, the shared leadership of EU and US is a necessary if no longer sufficient condition for moving reform of the international monetary system forward. The IMF 2010 reform was to be implemented in the context of the debt crisis in the €urozone, which revealed many tensions in the Eurozone. The EU suddenly became policy-taker instead of international monetary policy-maker. The debt crisis in the eurozone has changed the relationship between EU and IMF, IMF and non-Western countries, whilst the collective solution to the crisis in terms of a four-pronged strategy identified by Professor Benjamin Cohen in 2007 still has to gain full traction in 2022 . This includes a harmonization of the debt issuance calendars in conjunction of the use of Italian, French and German benchmarks administered by a debt management office in ECB, which could be complemented by an EU-tax collection office in the European Commission. Perhaps EU should develop into a decentral federation. This approach is both inferior and superior to status quo. Meanwhile, a working group on global economic governance in the council has been put forward by Parliamentary researchers along with recommendations on improvement of IMF-EU cooperation. These are good ideas. The forum between the ECB and the Chinese Central Bank is a sign of reform not being enacted from within IMF. Or a sign of a return to orderly change under the rules of IMF.
Given the resistance of US Congress to enact the 2010 IMF reforms, one scenario would be to fall back on exploiting the IMF rules fully. The view from the South is represented by Ocampo, who lists the role of reserves, exchange rate system and the role of regional integration schemes. The EU should position itself between the US and the South if further IMF reform is to be enacted to reflect the changing power and growth of emerging markets. EU definitely need to develop the Economic Union. The ultimate goal must be to lessen the need for coordination of economic policies within IMF as far as EU and its member states are concerned. EU banks could also do more to share the burden of IMF lending. This has to be compared to the introduction of loan instruments designed to help the developing countries at IMF.
After all, the IMF is a suitable locus for a comprehensive reform of the international monetary system based on “stable but adjustable par values”. An evolutionary and step-by-step approach remains valid. The ECB should speak with one voice for the €urozone at IMF in their discussions on exchange rate policy, while the member states of EU are cordially invited to proceed with capital markets union “resolutely”. Next, EU could join the G-20 in demanding an EU seat at IMF Executive Board to replace the Member State seats at IMF in conjunction with further reform of IMF quotas in order to accommodate the growth of China and the developing countries’ need for better representation and prudential lending. This would entail reform of the IMF articles of Agreement. Perhaps the EU Commission should also have one EU seat at G-20. In time, a global managed floating exchange rate system, fit for the 21st Century from a European perspective could be envisaged between the dollar, Euro, Yuan, Yen, Rupee and, in time, perhaps even the Rouble. This will not happen spontaneously but be preceded by coordination, and would promote export-driven and capital-intensive economies. The idea is not to go back to fixed exchange rate regime a la Bretton Woods, but a hybrid exchange rate system globally anchored in American, European and Chinese and others interests. This could also serve to keep China a satisfied power during a period of transition in the international system (Ross & Feng, 2008:92ff, Wouters, 2012). Significant reforms have been introduced in IMF concerning macroeconomic policy dialogue involving G-20 and the IMF in terms of consolidated Multilateral Surveillance Report, the Spillover Report and the External Sector Report and Financial Sector Assessment Programs, moves that are equally designed to promote trade and impose discipline desired by decision-makers, on the financial sector of the US. The mis-management of the debt crisis in the €urozone in terms asymmetric adjustment and sovereign debt crisis and the spill-over effects of the expansionary monetary policies of developed countries on emerging markets are examples of the limits to IMF’s reach. As Ocampo (2017) puts it IMF should “move to specific targets for macroeconomic indicators, particularly the current account and foreign exchange reserve levels”. In the latter case EU has supported the extended use of Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which is complementary to a de facto exchange rate band between major currencies. In general, EU, US and China leadership at IMF would benefit the smooth transition in the international system. This has to be compared to a strengthening of Article IV-consultation between EU and IMF and the Global economic forecasts by IMF about the risks of a stagflationary shock notably in Europe in terms of raising prices and lower household income and lower corporate output. There is no return to a stable exchange rates but a revival of a new exchange rate system. To sum up, the Bretton Woods-system is alive and kicking. In time, the IMF may have to move to Shanghai under current IMF rules.
Energy governance
First, there is a lacunae in the literature on EU’s Actorness in energy markets and its links to the interactions in interdependent and global energy markets. Second, a short survey of the literature suggests the internal market and market integration and the attendant policy linkages in gas and the use the €uro in energy trade play a certain role in the regionalization of gas markets. Third, a concept is introduced for the leveraging of EU and Member States power in the energy markets in an integrated manner, so at to empower strategic and market approaches on a par with supply-side and demand-side economics in the energy markets. Energy is namely an integral part of state strategy and energy regimes influences the center of gravity in geopolitical terms. And the center of gravity is moving towards Asia on consumption and the Middle East on production. . This has to be compared to the overdue need for a normalization of interest rates to curb galloping inflation by ECB, which henceforth has been accommodating rather than neutral. This derailment doesn’t excuse the half-measures adopted by the Commission, which seeks a system transition toward green energy before enacting the proposed scheme in full. Unfortunately, a new activism has been introduced emancipated from IEA with the RepowerEU-policy. The underlying problem is EU’s energy dependency rate. EU’s putative energy governance diplomacy as outlined in this chapter is both distinct from climate change diplomacy and inserts itself into the tug-of-war between oil consumers and oil producers. It retains salience amidst the escalating crisis over the Russian invasion of Ukraine and US ban on oil imports. At the same time, the price signal on return on alternative fuel remains relevant, and, as is the increase in KSA pumping. And so, OPEC+ may fall by the wayside as has other price fixing regimes of the past. Fourth, the provisions on EU investment in oil and gas producing countries such as Venezuela and Iran need to be fully exploited in the new European contractual basis with the two left out in the cold. This could be leveraged towards the use of the €uro in the bilateral energy trade. In general, there is a considerable investment need in oil and gas until 2030’ies. Fifth, Oil and gas resources are predicted to be depleted by 2050, at which point the world under the apparent leadership of EU must have engaged into an energy transition, which need to be addressed in an equally systematic manner at both EU-level and MS-level. Sixth, Germany should stick to and amplify the use of nuclear power in its energy mix, and in time, spearhead the introduction of fusion energy along with France. Seventh, industry, investors and policy-makers are starting to act together in implementing the Hydrogen Road Map in terms of sectoral approaches anchored in the national energy administrations to ensure smart, green transitions in EU and the Member States and thus a EU Hydroggen Strategy proper .
Cost-benefit analysis
Foreign policy is about choices, yet democracies are prone to compromise and are becoming less and less capable of making choices due to the impact of domestic politics, factional politics, the changes of role between the rulers and the ruled and the rivalry between the three branches of power (Aron,1997:102ff).This also applies to international democracies such as the one embodied in the United Nations General Assembly. Cost-benefit analysis by Lomborg and Nobel Laureates is concerned about the implementation of UN’s Millennium goals. It provides a rational choice methodology to inform priority spending of UN and Member State budgetary allocations to development aid in order to maximize welfare for the greatest amount of people per unit spent. As such it provides an answer to the need for a strengthening of sustainable development regime of the United Nations. EU’s approach to the UN Development Goals is unsatisfactory and rudimentary in their mere reflection of TFEU article 21 (2) litra d, which stipulates the goal of ‘promoting a sustainable development in economic, social and environmental regard in the developing countries in order to eradicate poverty’. The UN Development Goals lacks a strategy of implementation, and this is an opportunity for EU and UN Developments policy to better interact around a cost-benefit analysis of the UNGA-defined targets in order to implement EU & MS efforts in “a balanced and integrated manner” (Niklassson, 2019, Smith, 2019:260). Thus, EU should develop policies and adopt measures in cooperative spirit informed by public choice methodology in the development area and prioritize spending correspondingly.
Finally, in the EU Global Strategy the global commons are mentioned. It is primary UN-generated notion, which regards regulation and access to the global commons – high seas, the deep-sea beds, the atmosphere, Antarctica and outer space – as a global public good. The global commons are an area of effort for EU policy, driven by increased geoeconomic competition among the great powers rather than an ambition to transform international relations ( Gerald Stang, 2013). Further research is needed on the EU’s role within the four UN regimes. If systematically applied under a different research design this could use theoretical explanations of EU’s role on institutional variation across UN regimes.
I hereby dare submit the political need for a joint policy document on an EU strategy towards UNSC reform based on four-pronged approach transforming Berlin’s own approach to UNSC reform in order to focus EU’s policy towards a strengthening of the multilateral rules-based international order in a well-structured and disciplined manner. This corresponds to a double movement towards great powerhood towards the center and a progressive movement away from Germany. Advancement. Make some steps. Decide on the path. Discern hour after hour which direction to take. After having waked-up, a second stage present itself and a choice must be made. The use of TFEU 21 (2) litra h expresses inclusion rather than alternatives to EU policies, measures and cooperation on the four unifying practices. This help break down barriers to the Impossible. Its significance lies not only in the construction of opposition, intersection, integration and domination towards UNSC reform, but even in the awareness that we are body and soul and that the life of virtue – be it unification of Europe, be it royal duties – is exercised within the human frame. The aim is a new symbiosis rather than an internal quest for identity without external validity following uploading of EU to UN, downloading of UN to Europe. Giving, Unifying and Receiving. The result is a new balance between “right” and “good” to recreate a new good: UNSC reform. When supranational actors instead of asking how they work consider what their work can do, and decide to make EU policy on UNSC reform dovetail with strategy and incorporate Germany’s bid for a UN seat into EU’s, they are equally obliged to ensure consistency between the chosen policy domains. Or in the words of George Bernard Shaw: “ Wer kann, der tut, wer nicht kann, lehrt” . So, we shall not stop to study and comprehend European affairs and make a coherent and equitable idea about the world.