Franco Frattini: It is necessary to engage the civil society into rebuilding cooperation between Russia and Europe

26 February 2018

A meeting with Special Representative on the Transnistrian Settlement Process of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy (2002-2004, 2008-2011) Franco Frattini took place in Moscow on January 26 at the Diplomatic Academy. About a hundred young professionals, political scientists, diplomats, journalists, and students participated in the dialogue organized by the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and Information Society Development Fund.

Mr. Frattini, Doctor Honoris Causa of the Diplomatic Academy, shared his vision on current global processes. According to him, there is no point to discuss any global order at present since we can observe the world disorder.

Stability today can guarantee only cooperation of the largest actors, believes Franco Frattini. However, unfortunately, such interaction is obviously insufficient.

The politician stressed that the major factor for providing stability is cooperation between Russia and the US. We can see an endless political and humanitarian crisis in Syria. If we do not search together for the ways to recover, then there will be no recovery. This should be done by Moscow and Washington, but also by Tehran, Ankara and Riyadh.

Look what Russia is doing for the Syrian crisis resolution. Remember that fantastic concert in liberated Palmira in the ancient Roman amphitheater! And instead of cooperation with Moscow we have extension of sanctions, wonders Franco Frattini.

According to the speaker, our US partners very often do not understand the processes taking place in the Mediterranean. For example, they do not know Libyan realities. Washington thought that after dealing with Kaddafi, it would be possible to bring the Libyans into the western society. What finally happened – we can all perfectly see.

Franco Frattini urged to remember a wonderful initiative – the unique Marshall Plan for Africa. The wealthiest part of the world could join the efforts and help the poorest one.

The speaker also mentioned deterioration of relations between the East and the West. He reminded about the Eastern Partnership program and explained that many of its participants viewed the initiative as a short way into the EU and NATO. They preferred antagonism to cooperation with Russia.

Franco Frattini stressed the error made by the EU – to present an agreement about association with Ukraine and Georgia as a clear choice: are you with us or against Moscow?

The Italian diplomat urged to restore economic cooperation. This being said, it is important to engage the civil society – overall it involves not just NGOs. Contacts in the “people-to-people” format should be built based on the scheme “business-to-business”.

Franco Frattini answered numerous questions from the audience.