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European foreign policy as Jannis Sakellariou sees it

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An interview with Jannis Skalleriou, Socialist representative in the European Commission for Foreign Affairs

Cafébabel: What influence has Europe had, in your opinion, on the make-up of Afghanistan’s provisional government?

The composition of the provisional government is first and foremost the responsibility of the different ethnic groups and political figures of Afghanistan. The European Union has exerted no influence over it.

Cafébabel: How far do economic concerns play a role for Europe in this war?

A war restricted to Afghanistan has no impact upon the European economy.

Cafébabel: After the collapse of the Taliban regime, how do you see the international crisis developing and how do you view Europe’s role?

The collapse of the Taliban regime won’t change the role of Europe within the global community. The successful containment of the international crisis is something that will depend on the clear-sightedness of American leaders.

Cafébabel: How far can Islamic communities based in Europe contribute to European foreign policy?

The EU maintains relations based on partnership with Mediterranean countries with regard to economic, social and security-related policies, and as within the framework of the Barcelona process. Due to their geographical proximity, I consider it possible for European foreign policy to be influenced by Arab communities.

Cafébabel: How can we view relations between the USA and Europe, in the context of the crisis and the new ‘anti-terror’ alignment?

The EU declared its solidarity with the US after the attacks of September 11th.

However, unilateral action, as well as the very biased language we have been hearing, separates America from Europe and has led to a deterioration in relations.

Translated from La politique étrangère européenne vue par Jannis Sakellariou