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We should try to find common ground with Russia

In an interview with France24, Dominique de Villepin gave his point of view on how Europe should deal with Donald Trump, Russia and the migrant crisis

 

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It is impossible to solve Syrian question without Russia

In an exclusive interview with RT France, Dominique de Villepin gave his thoughts on Donald Trump’s future presidency, on the Syrian crisis, Europe and the French elections

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You can’t compare Republican Party & National Front

In an interview for CNBC, Dominique de Villepin reacts to Donald Trump’s victory in US presidential elections and rejects the comparison with French political climate

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Talking about Trump’s pragmatism

In a interview with BBC, Dominique de Villepin says that Trump’s business experience could help his presidency. He also states that not enough is being done to combat nationalist forces in France, and that Europe needs to become the new global voice of democracy

 

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Mémoire de Paix pour temps de Guerre

“Over the last fifteen years, it seems the world has been falling into a mad race to war. The Middle East is going through an endless suicidal spiral. We are even more challenged by international terrorism while great empires are conflicting with each other.

War’s virus is among us, with its agressivity worsened by fears, humiliations and angers. The Western nations’ contraction on their privileges and their faded vision of the world can only aggravate the pain.

All my life, I have been wanting to place peace work at the heart of my actions. In 2003, along with Jacques Chirac, I led the fight for peace in the UN against the american intervention in Irak, being aware of the dangers of the neoconservative worldview.

We must learn to face the world as it is and to understand its metamorphoses. It depends on us to hear what drives people and nations today, in Russia, in the United States, as well as in China, Turkey, Ivory Coast or Columbia. It is as close as possible to reality that we will be able to measure the failure of the United Nations and the game of identity claims in globalization which seems doomed to perpetual acceleration.

The time has come to get involved in peace building, to open our eyes on the world’s injuries and give ourselves tools to build a new, stable and fair order. Solutions exist, but they require some patience, imagination and willingness. To counter the lies of war epics, we need peace narrative, which is the biggest challenge, the only possible heroism of our age, adapted to a fragile world with wounded identities lacking reconciliation. I am convinced that France has a major role to play in this new world, as long as it recovers its major inheritance of mediation and dialogue, true to its message and history.”

D. d V.

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Can One Belt, One Road stem the tide of populism?

In this interview with CNBC, Dominique de Villepin explains the importance of the New Silk Road project for China’s cooperation policy

 

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Military intervention can’t be the only solution to terror

In an interview with CNBC, Dominique de Villepin criticizes systematic interventionism in order to face terrorism

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A new political Europe

Europe is in crisis.  And yet never have Europe’s peoples so forcefully expressed their hope to see a Europe of values and determination, capable of addressing their social imperatives, being built.  True to our continent’s history and our vision of the future, France wants to move forward with them on the path mapped out by Jacques Chirac.

All around us, States are organizing themselves to get the most out of globalization and strengthen their strategic positions.  India is moving closer to China;  Brazil, South Africa and other emerging countries now conduct a third of their foreign trade with each other and collectively defend their positions in the G20 framework;  South American countries are developing their economic ties: we cannot stay on the sidelines of this great process of global reorganization.  We must be able to defend our political, economic and social interests from the best possible position, together and presenting a united front.

This is imperative for our security:  in the face of the terrorist threat, the risk of biological, chemical and nuclear proliferation and illegal immigration, there can be only a collective response.  This is imperative for our growth and our jobs:  it was only European collective pressure which allowed us to cut Chinese textile imports.  This is imperative for getting control of our future:  the cost of research investments is now too heavy to be borne by a single country.  Becoming or staying the best in the sphere of health, agri-foodstuffs, advanced materials and aerospace requires us to pool our capabilities.  It’s an imperative finally for the defence of our values:  democracy, human rights and cultural diversity are founding characteristics of our common project.  We must be able to affirm them loud and clear.

Today we can no longer evade the choices.  Either we give ourselves the resources to build this new political Europe, which will have a voice and act in tomorrow’s world, or we resign ourselves to making our continent a vast free-trade area, governed by the rules of competition.  Everyone must put an end to the ambiguity through action.

To sustain this new political Europe, we need ambitious and concrete projects.

First project: European economic governance.  Europe is today the world’s leading trade power.  In the space of a few years, 12 member States, including France, have created a stable and protective currency:  the euro.  And yet our growth rate remains below that of the United States and the Asian countries and our unemployment is still high.  So I propose opening a dialogue between the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank in order to define, while respecting the ECB’s independence, a genuine European economic government for the Euro Area countries.  To back up this dialogue, I also suggest that we consider together the major economic challenges confronting Europe:  given the oil price rise, for example, is it conceivable that we have not yet had a joint debate on managing our strategic reserves?

Second project:  agriculture.  In a few decades, it has made Europe independent with regard to its food supply, made Europe the world’s second-largest agricultural power, and given it huge economic power.  At a time when the food problem is becoming increasingly urgent worldwide, we have to strengthen our agriculture while pursuing its adaptation.  European consumers want to know where their food products come from, what manufacturing and distribution chain they have gone through.  They want to be sure they will not encounter supply problems and that prices will remain affordable in the years to come: only the Common Agricultural Policy will enable us to take up these future challenges.

Third project:  innovation and research policy.  There aren’t on one side the “old” Europeans committed to the Common Agricultural Policy and, on the other, the “modern” Europeans defending the Lisbon strategy.  We are all looking to the future, as the siting of the ITER research reactor in Cadarache demonstrates.  But because I appreciate the degree of under-exploitation of European strengths in physics, mathematics and chemistry, I propose the creation in France of one or two European research and technology institutes.  These institutes will bring together on the same sites the best international researchers, research laboratories and innovating businesses.  They will be open to all European States wishing to participate. In France we have decided to create “competitiveness centres” allowing us to bring together high-level, but still widely dispersed skills:  why should they not take on a European dimension?

Fourth project:  European security.  Police cooperation, exchanges of intelligence on terrorism, and border controls form the basis of an internal security Europe spearheaded by the G5:  in this framework, Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy and France are moving forward on concrete projects.  On defence, the progress achieved in the past few years must serve as a basis for still-closer cooperation.  We have a common strategy, we have pooled capabilities, we are together ensuring stability in areas which are only just emerging from murderous conflicts such as Afghanistan and Kosovo.   We are determined to progress still further.

Fifth project:  European democracy.  We need the support of Europe’s peoples.  For several years now, our European identity has been forged on the basis of support for common values:  freedom and mutual support, commitment to the rules of international law, and the imperative need to safeguard our environment.  Student exchanges under the Erasmus programme are strengthening this feeling, which is paving the way for the emergence of a European democracy.  But this programme is still confined to a limited number of people.  The European voluntary service is itself still embryonic since it involves only 4,000 young people a year.  So I propose to open a debate with our European partners on the creation of a genuine European civil service, which would give all young Europeans the opportunity of working in the humanitarian sector or emergency services outside their home countries.

Europe’s peoples have never been so close.  Like France and Germany, they want their political leaders to come to agreements instead of succumbing to the temptation of defending their own national self-interests, to find solutions instead of just raising issues.  President Chirac paved the way at the Brussels European Council by accepting a compromise on the budget, just as he had accepted a compromise on the CAP in 2002.  Europe must not be passive, but resolutely take the initiative.  Our peoples want a new political Europe, mindful of both their difficulties and the world’s problems, with a capacity for action, a conscience and a moral code.

Europe has today become the testing ground for the world’s new political, economic and social ideas.  Let Europe speak out.  With Europe, history is making a new start.

29 juin 2005, Financial Times

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World needs G3 for better co-op among top three economies

 – In an interview for China Daily, Dominique de Villepin proposes to enhance cooperation between the world’s major economic actors – 

 

Could you share your view on the infrastructure credit rating methodology to be launched this time?

I think that it’s a very innovative approach that Dagong has initiated with this new methodology. For the first time, we’re going to have new tools allowing us to appreciate the quality of the different investment in infrastructures, the quality of financial project and the quality of companies. It will allow to guide capital flows towards the best projects. This is something very new and adapted to the challenges. Many infrastructure projects will be implemented all along the One Belt One Road in Asia, South East Asia, Central Asia and Caucasus in the coming years. For the first time, the new rating methodology promoted by Dagong in a more comprehensive way with the help of new technologies will give access to relevant and multidimensional criteria to evaluate precisely all different risks.

Among all the issues to be discussed in this year’s G20 Summit in Hangzhou, which topic do you care most about?

The most important issue is to build new tools in order to ensure the financial stability. This requires to innovate and to create new instruments. That’s why I really believe we need a new financial system.

First, a better cooperation has become necessary between the three main world currencies: the dollar, the euro and the yuan. I do believe that we need a G3 as a new institutional way to improve cooperation among the three main economic regimes. This G3 will be a strong cooperative architecture organized at governments and Central Banks levels to respond to major crisis situation and to coordinate monetary policies.

Second we need a new tool to assess risk, and that’s why I think we need a more balanced credit rating system. As a matter of fact, the existing system dominated by the US Big Three is not only unfair, but inefficient as we witnessed during the 2008 crisis. Because of its development, Asia needs its own credit rating system to support a more stable financial order.The question is: how can we create new capacities and express innovative ideas that help us to address the challenges of the global economy. The world economy is in a new situation, the growth is slowing down all around Eurasia, in Europe, in China, in Russia. That’s why we have to search for new engines for growth. Of course One Belt and One Road is giving us a very strong perspective, opening towards stability and prosperity. But for that, it is crucial to make it a shared project. The AIIB is an emblematic example of this approach, with 57 members and its concrete work to foster infrastructure development in Asia. We have to be innovative, creative, if we want to address the current situation of world economy.

What suggestions would you offer to foster co-financing among relative parties for the global infrastructure connectivity alliance initiative?

I think the most important challenge is to use all the different institutions to create synergy and share expertise, the former ones like the World Bank, the IMF as well as the new ones like Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, like the New Development Bank, in order to achieve a fairer and more multilateral cooperation. There should be a very coherent strategy between the different institutions to push forward the capacity of financial economic community to build up new projects. The growth of the world is lacking of some new innovative project. We need to have initiative of this kind, which is going to be, of course, strong impulse for better growth. There is a need to increase cooperation between private and public financial actors from different countries to develop platforms of co-financing.

How can they attract more private capital and social capital for the initiative? And also, if it’s appropriate, could you introduce the experience and operation situation of PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) in European countries that China could learn from?

The key of PPP is to achieve the best cooperation between private and public capital as well as between public and private expertise. We have seen it growing recently, especially in France, and we should now take the lessons from the promising experiences of this tool. Public capital is needed in order to give the first input and private capital is needed as well. We are in a time of huge liquidities but without being able to direct them towards the real economy, towards the best projects and towards the best possible services for the population. It is all about creating a secure environment for investors and to build up confidence for all the actors.

The project of Dagong today, which is a new methodology for infrastructure, will create more trust through a better assessment of the risk. Because there’s more guarantee that money we have would have good return. So now we have to change the situation in creating trust, by the stronger involvement of countries, and by supporting big projects like One Belt and One Road which are going to show that when we choose carefully about the project, we may have a high return on investment, and of course with support of financial institutions.

How do policymakers in France value the AIIB’s prospect and future?

France is highly committed to the success of the One Belt One Road initiative. Indeed, France has been one of the first countries to join the AIIB and has always been involved in multilateral institutions promoting dialogue and stability.

I believe that AIIB has a very important position and responsibility. AIIB, has attracted a high number of members: more than 50 countries have decided to take part in the Bank. Chairman Jin Liqun has done really a great job in giving credibility to this bank. AIIB is setting very high standards promoting a project management that is lean, clean and green as Chairman Ji Liqun puts it.

So I really think that this bank, which is in the process of selecting some projects, as we see in right now, in India, Pakistan and some other countries, will be able to build up its credibility through ambitious projects and sustainable methods.

Structural reform has been a heated issue in this year’s G20 Summit. Currently western countries are also facing with a series of structural problems. Could you introduce the latest situation and progress that has been achieved by European countries?

Structural reforms are key to tackle the challenges of the changes in globalization that have appeared since the crisis of 2008. We need to find a sustainable path for public debts and deficits and to define new motors for growth. We need to help the economy invest, innovate, create jobs. For this, it is necessary to modernize and adapt institutions. In Europe, we have still a lot of work to do to find a right balance between, on the one hand, the necessity of controlling debts and deficits and, on the other hand, the need to stimulate the economy in a time of rising risks where we face the threat of a deflationist spiral.

As you pointed out in a previous speech at this year’s Boao Forum, China and Europe both need pay attention to some bottlenecks when changing the mode of growth. What factors would you pay special attention to through China’s structural reform? How should China achieve balance between economic growth and the process of reform?

China is going through a major historical transition, from an export-driven manufacturing model to a model based on domestic-consumption and services economy. It’s a change European countries have had to go through in the 1970’s and 1980’s. And of course it creates difficulties and unbalances that we are witnessing today. But I think we see also positive signs showing that China is on the right track. Services are growing fast and urban equipments are growing. Innovation is booming in airspace, supercalculators, superconductors, genomics. China has a huge asset compared to other economies, in this transition, it has the biggest domestic market in the world. Of course, managing this change will need taking the lessons of what countries in Europe for example have gone through, by accompanying the social impact of the industrial overcapacities in the heavy industry, for example the steel industry, and creating a social safety net. It will mean modernizing the credit system and the capital markets for more efficiency It will mean adapting the SOEs to the world competition. This will also mean gradual and progressive reforms, as has been explained by Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Boao. The new five year plan is a positive sign of the sustainable development path of China.

13 avril 2016, China Daily 

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Brussels terror attacks

Interviewed by the Chinese channel CCTV, Dominique de Villepin commented Brussels terrorist attacks and also took the opportunity to discuss many international issues