Sunday, December 18, 2005

EU and WTO: Double Failure

The deals reached in Brussels and Hong Kong simply do not go far enough.

The EU needed a strong sign of the willingness of reform. It only displayed the orthodox national positions; a meagre deal has been reached in order to meet the promises made to Easter Countries. But more than this is required from Europe. We need a more courageous Europe; what we have now is a mammoth struggling for its survival, and barely delivering on its promises.

More importantly, Europe's failure to change affects many other countries in the world. So while we 'enjoy' our relative well-being, unable to break away from the past, a continent like Africa perceives stagnation in Europe as a condemnation. We are not sending any positive signal as to our willingness of giving up our protective agricultural policy in order to create room for African agriculture.

And Asia feels pretty much the same, as we witnessed in Hong Kong. Western protectionism drags them down, but we have no response to that. Shame! Mandelson argued that the deal in Hong Kong was 'acceptable.' It is acceptable for Europe, maybe. As we are in a situation in which we only want to postpone hard questions!

But it is not acceptable for those who are on the brink of disaster. OUR IMMOBILITY is detrimental to us, but dramatic to others. As a wealthy and rich congregation of happy nations, we have to do more. We have to go further.

The deals in Brussels and Hong Kong are a failure from this perspective

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