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1024 683 Dominique de Villepin

Issam M. Fares Lecture at Tufts University about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy welcomed former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin as the speaker of this year’s Issam M. Fares Lecture on March 6th 2018. Dominique de Villepin spoke on the prompt, “Can we still save the two-state solution?” and advocated for better multilateral cooperation in the Middle-East, both on the regional and global scales.

Lecture is introduced by President Anthony Monaco, Dean James Stavridis and Mr Fares Fares.

Dominique de Villepin had the opportunity to exchange directly with Fletcher students earlier in the day during different workshops.

Can we still save the Two-State Solution?

There is a mystery of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Both territories combined are roughly the size of Massachusetts, a bit more in population. And the whole world keeps its eyes fixed on it. Why has this conflict taken such disproportionate importance ? Because of its length: 70 years and even more. Because of its symbolic charge linked to the memories of the Holocaust, to the memories of colonization, memories of religious aspirations as well as divisions. Because it’s a symbol of the failure of the international community and the United Nations in particular.

Let’s face the bitter truth : there is no viable solution for immediate peace today. There is no viable two-state solution on the table anymore, because of two reasons.

First, there are no partners for peace. On one side, the crisis of Israeli democracy is pushing Israel towards the extreme positions of the nationalist and religious right, endangering its claim to be the only democracy of the region. It’s an ideological crisis linked to the evolution of demography. Israeli Jews are more and more divided among themselves. The initial domination of the socialist zionist movement by the Ashkenaz has been challenged by the growing number and influence of the Sefarads and the Mizrahim, voting massively for the Likud. The recent rise of the Haredim, leaning towards the religious right, and the nationalist populations of Russian origin complicate even more the ideological landscape. It’s also a political crisis between the elites and the people, with a growing number of corruption scandals at the highest level. Moshe Yaalon, former Defense Minister was quoted saying that corruption was a greater danger for Israel than Hizbullah or Iran. It’s an identity crisis within the diaspora where growing doubts are expressed concerning Israeli politics for example through movements like J-Street, after the radicalization in Israel starting in 2006. It’s an institutional crisis within the army as military strategy seems to be more and more disconnected from any political goal. Harsh criticisms emerge from within Tsahal and the security community. On the other side, there is no credible partner for peace today in Palestine either. Because of the divisions among the Palestinian movement, with Fatah ruling the West Bank and Hamas the Gaza stripe, since 2006. No presidential or parliamentary election could be organized since then. Because of the lack of leadership within Fatah and its incapacity to deliver any concrete progress on the creation of the Palestinian State, allowing younger personalities like Mohamed Dahlan to challenge the ageing leadership, Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad. Because of the weakness of the Palestinian movement, which is dependent, for the Fatah, on international subsidies from United Nations’ organization for refugees and the European Union as well as on Israel because of the security agreements and cooperations. And dependent, for the Hamas, on the Hizbullah for its weapons, on the Muslim Brotherhood for financing and on Egypt, for the land access to Gaza, in Rafah.

Second reason is there are no partners, and no credible brokers for peace either. The USA, who were until recently the main interlocutor for the region, have lost credibility as mediators. First during the Obama administration when Benyamin Netanyahu could play the US Congress against the President. Then with the Trump administration and its unilateral decision of transferring the US Embassy to Jerusalem before may 2018, breaking with twenty years of postponing, on pretexts of security reasons, the execution of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed by the US Congress in 1995. The European Union, on its part, has unfortunately little credibility with its internal divisions and its old habit of checkbook diplomacy. Russia and China are on the reserve even if China is more and more involved in the region and published an Arab Policy White Paper in 2016, and even of Russia, with its close ties to Iran, could become a useful counterweight to the United States in a general peace deal linking the Palestinian question to other regional security issues. Let’s not even speak of the United Nations or other formats that have totally failed like the Quartet for the Middle East, despite Tony Blair’s efforts

Unfortunately, if the Two State solution doesn’t work, there is no viable one state solution either, as shown by the different possible scenarios.

The integration of Occupied territories with equal rights for all is unrealistic. Because of demographic risk. This would mean the Jewish population could become a minority within the coming years. The Arab population with around 4.5 million in the Occupied Territories and for 1.8 million in Israel, represents a total of 6.3 million. The Jewish population in Israel represents around 6.5 million people. But the growth rate in the Territories is still above the growth rate in Israel, which means populations will catch up in the next years. For decades, Israel could count on the alya of foreign jews migrating to Israel. Now the flow is reduced to less than 20,000 persons a year, at a historical low point. It’s unrealistic also because of social risk. Even if this integration were to be accepted, this would transform an opposition of nationalisms into a social class conflict. Because of today’s income gap, the Palestinians would remain a socially dominated population, poor, underqualified and largely rural, with a GDP around 12 billion dollars. That is 25 times lower than Israel’s GDP, boosted by the qualified, urban Jewish population, who would own most of the corporate capital, patents, land rights and networks.

The second option, a confederative state with one Israeli part and one Palestinian part would be an utopia. It would raise many questions. On security. Who will be in charge? What about the future of the Separation Wall? On citizenship. Where would the Arab-Israeli, 20% of Israeli population, stand. Would the choice be made on residency or on ethnicity? Would they have the right to change residency? On settlements? Today I remind you there are 400,000 settlers in the West Bank and an estimated 200,000 in East Jerusalem.  What would be their status? Would they continue and keep growing?

The third option would be the annexation of the Gaza stripe by Egypt and of the West Bank by Jordan. This would mean going back to the situation of 1947 and acknowledging the failure of the creation of a Palestinian State. I don’t think it is a realistic option to be considered by anyone.

Concerning the last option, the annexation and segregation of populations with unequal rights, it is the most credible option today, it’s even beginning to become reality and let me say that it is the most frightening risk of our time. The risk is now real. Out of the desire of absolute security, many Israelis are today ready to accept it. The new Basic Law under discussion by the Knesset would define Israel as the “Nation-State of the Jewish people”, putting its Jewish element above its democratic values. The minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked has said in this regard : « There is place to maintain a Jewish majority even at the price of violation of rights. » This solution is not acceptable. History teaches us that there is no lasting way to impose apartheid. It was the case in South Africa. It was the case in the United States, which still pay the price of it today. It was the case also, in a way, in French Algeria.

As we can see, there are no good scenarios on the table, but the solution might come from outside.

In fact the transformation of the region is a game-changer. It is opening a completely new page, for which local actors as well as the international community are not prepared. The period is characterized by big transformations. Since 2003, the political transformation of the region has created a new hierarchy of forces. Three nations have aspirations to regional influence or hegemony. Turkey as former imperial power in the region before the breakup of the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920. Thirty years ago, it was surrounded by three major states: the Soviet Union, Iraq and Syria. These have all fallen apart. There are today several major strategic issues for Erdogan’s Turkey. The Kurdish question. The support to the Muslim Brotherhood and the political influence in the Arab world. The balance act between NATO and Russia.

Second regional power, Saudi Arabia, builds its power on major assets : oil, the US alliance with the renewal of the Quincy agreement and its status as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. But it is driven today mainly by its fears. Fear of Iran because of its Shia minority. Saudi Arabia sees with anxiety the clock ticking in favor of Iran, because of population, education and resources. The JCPOA, between the 5+1 and Iran, has triggered even more these fears leading Riyad to consider preemptive action. Fear also of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has become a major contender after 2011. Fear of the jihadist competition. Because ISIS, very influential among young Saudis, is casting doubts on the dynastic principle. And Saudi Arabia is under pressure to achieve its economic, social and political transformation while keeping the basis of an authoritarian regime. The daring bet of the Crown Prince Mohamed Ben Salman to achieve modernization through militarism, nationalism, authoritarianism, has never succeeded in the past and always led either to large-scale wars, like Frederick the Great in Prussia, in the middle of the 18th century, or to revolutions, like Nicolas the Second in Russia in 1917.

Third regional power, Iran is reaching its maximum influence in the region since the safavid Empire, between the 16th and the 18th century, but it comes at high costs. In 2003 the US operation in Iraq achieved what 10 years of Iran-Iraq war and a million deaths had not : the de facto break up of Iraq and the empowerment of the Shia majority. In 2011 the Arab Spring led to civil wars in countries with strong Shia minorities, requiring the Iranian support, directly through the Al Qods Force or indirectly through Hizbullah or subsidies : in Syria as main sponsor of Bashar al Asad, in Bahrain, in Yemen in favor of the Houthi minority. Today the strategic issue is to know if Iran is able to create a continuous logistical belt between Tehran and Beirut.

One nation, Israel, needs the three regional powers to keep competing to ensure its own security. Today everything points to an anti-Iranian alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia But the situation is not frozen and could evolve rapidly. Tomorrow Iran could become an ally of Israel. It has been the case in the times of the Shah, against Arab hegemony. There is in fact only limited direct cause of confrontation between the two powers. And links between the two have never totally disappeared. You could even imagine scenarios where an aggressive policy of Turkey, favored by its authoritarian turn, would lead to a greater proximity between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

There is an international transformation weighing even more on the regional balances. As the United States are weakened by the unpredictability of Donald Trump, an implicit agreement of sharing zones of influence in Syria with Russia, could announce a new regional approach. The Russian come-back in the region is impressive. It has now developed a military shield of anti-access/ area denial capabilities, with its naval base of Tartus. It has installed in Iran S-300 missiles developing Iran’s capacity to counter Israeli strikes. It has breached the NATO monopoly in Turkey by selling S-400 missiles, creating major problems of security and compatibility for NATO operating systems. As a consequence, two alliances are fostering rigid frontlines and wars in this extremely competitive environment. On one side, Russia, Iran and Syria. On another side the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Of course in this confrontation, the choice of Turkey will be decisive.

Beyond these political transformations, there is also an important economic transformation underway in the region. It’s undergoing a process of metropolization and innovation, which will in fact create growing domination of the Palestinians by the Israelis. Israel is integrating a network of innovative and growing metropolises, based on city-states with high education and technological infrastructures. Lebanon, the UAE and Israel are becoming regional hubs for industry and services. Israel is also at the center of a tech hub : 40% of Israel’s GDP is linked to technology. By contrast, Palestine appears more and more as a dominated economic territory, with poor qualifications, poor access to seas, energy, infrastructure, poor density of settlements and lack of major cities.

The second process going on is the diversification of trade routes, under the pressure of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. It is favoring the ties between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. The Red Med project for example creates economic interdependency between Saudi Arabia and Israel for transshipments and train transport from Djiddah to Eilat. The Middle East is undergoing a third process of change in the energy map, which may favor Israel, Lebanon and Egypt, with East Mediterranean natural gas fields creating new opportunities of self-sufficiency and even export capacities.

This major change opens a new page of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There have already been two distinct phases. Each had its own vital challenge. The first phase was the Arab-Israeli war for Israel’s existence, from 1948 to 1979, with three major stakes.

It was about building up the military strategy and capabilities of the country. It included the strategy of nuclear deterrence with the risk of encouraging regional proliferation, the development of a domestic high-level weapons industry and, the fighting spirit of Tsahal. It was about being part of the alliance of the Western World with a special relationship to the US. It was true in the different wars, in Suez, in 1956, in 1967 during the Six Days War, in 1973 during the Kippur War. It was true in the United Nations after 1967, when facing growing criticisms, for example with resolution 242. The support of the US, ever since, with over thirty uses of their veto right on the Israeli Palestinian question, has been the key of the strategy. It was about gaining weight through demographic and economic growth. An active immigration policy towards Jewish people allowed the arrival of over 2,5 million people within the Alya after 1948. Active investments allowed also to achieve the highest industrial growth in the region.

Second phase : the Israeli-Palestinian war for Palestine’s existence, from 1979 until today. The vital challenge was the creation of the Palestinian State. With the diminishing support of the Arab states, the Palestinian movement has been weakened by its hesitations. There has been an oscillation on ideology, going from socialism to islamism. There has been an oscillation on strategy, between organized violence with PLO, spontaneous violence from the Palestinian people, during the two intifadas of 1987 and 2000, as well as commitment towards non-violence after the Oslo process. There also has been an oscillation in the choice of sponsors of the Palestinian cause, between Iran and the Hizbullah on one side, the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey and Qatar on another side. At the same time, the Palestinians were losing ground they were gaining credibility and legitimacy as victims, raising the key question of justice. The Oslo process in 1993 was based on the principle of exchanging peace for territories and concentrated on three issues, the status of Jerusalem as capital of Israel and Palestine, the continuity and viability of the Palestinian territory, the right to return of the 5 M refugees in neighboring countries, under UN protection, among which 1.5 M still living in refugee camps.

A third phase is just beginning. The big change is that it is now driven from outside of Israel and Palestine. The two main actors have lost initiative and control. The first force is fragmentation of the political entities with the crisis of the Nation State in Iraq, Syria or Libya. This makes the threats for Israel even more asymmetrical and uncontrollable, on the example of Lebanon, unleashing violent groups and multiplying terrorism. This makes radicalism and community-based politics more and more important throughout the region. The second force is polarization of the front lines, after six years of Civil War in Syria. The regional and global alliances create today a spiral of military expenses, a risk of nuclear proliferation and escalation.

In this context, the main objective for Israel is to prevent a continuous Shia corridor between Lebanon and Tehran, which might create the temptation of military strikes in Iran. Palestine is becoming a secondary battleground of a much larger confrontation.

The third force at work in the region could be more positive, it is modernization. Beyond the strategies of the States there is still an aspiration for modernity, stability and development within the people, as it was expressed during the Arab Spring in 2011. There is fatigue of ideologies in the Middle East. Beyond military postures, countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia are in such need of economic modernization to fulfill the expectations of their people, that it creates an incentive for economic cooperation. But, as a whole, the danger in the region is getting greater.

Today the choice is more than ever between war and peace. Let’s face the truth, war has become today, in the region the most probable scenario, in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be a side issue.

Starting on the rivalry of the two alliances, based on the antagonism between Saudi Arabia and Iran, there could be several ignition points in the region. The volatility of the situation is even greater since Al Qaida and ISIS have been largely reduced. First a preemptive strike of Saudi Arabia, Israel or the US, against Iran because of the nuclear program. Secondly, a situation getting out of hands in Iraq or Syria, as we see in Deir Ezzor, where US military and Russian military are in almost direct confrontation. Thirdly a provocation in Lebanon or in Jordan, as shown by the tensions after Saudi Arabia’s decision to oust or at least pressure Prime Minister Hariri. Moreover, a surge of the conflict in the region could be a consequence of a war starting from other points of the world, making it a secondary battlefield. Because the alliances are interlinked with a global ideological division between liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes. Because there are today many tension zones where war is a real possibility, as in North Korea or in Eastern Europe.

But the new confrontation of alliances creates also –even if it seems paradoxical- an opportunity of building up a « peaceful coexistence » between Israel and Palestine. In a Cold War scenario, the Palestinians could count on Russia to become a major support and sponsor of their cause, in opposition to US-backed Israel. This would push for greater control of the proxy movements. This would push for greater independence and stability within Palestine. This would make the separation wall, ironically, the anticipation of the new Iron Curtain. In this context, the sponsorship of the Palestinian cause could allow Russia, Iran and Turkey to resume their role as a leader of the oppressed people. This would be a major source of legitimacy in the global public opinion.  I believe our duty today is to avoid war at all costs. We must avoid some diplomatic temptations. The temptation of the blame game, for example. It definitely exists with the Kushner / Greenblatt plan. What rumours tell us about it today is. It is a two-step plan. First recognition of a micro-state of Palestine with sovereignty over 38% of the Palestinian territory with its capital in the suburbs of Jerusalem, in Abu Dis. Then an open ended negotiation over the final borders. It is a dangerous plan. There is a danger of crystalizing the humiliation felt by the Palestinians. There is a danger of antagonizing the last remaining elements of legitimacy in the Palestinian leadership. We must avoid the temptation of the status quo. That’s the risk, I believe, of the French initiative in January 2017. It seemed its main purpose was to say we can go on as before with the Oslo process.

We need tools also. There is need of a structured and integrated process of dialogue in which Israel/Palestine would only be one part. We must choose an efficient and inclusive format 5+1 with Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and all the neighbors (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt). We must organize the dialogue in chapters, among which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We must choose a force of initiative. I am convinced it could be today France and Europe, with Russia. It could also very well be Turkey which has the greatest interest in solving the Israeli Palestinian conflict, in order to assess its regional influence and in order to keep its position as arbitrator in the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. We need instruments of balance between the two regional blocks, in order to prepare the future. These could be coherent and inclusive infrastructure projects. It could be also an experiment of an oil and gas union sharing issues or resources, exploration and transport (including Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia), as seed of future regional cooperation, taking the lessons of the European Community of Coal and Steel in 1951.

In a nutshell, for me as a European today, the narrow path is to avoid confrontation of blocks when possible and to make the best of this new Cold War when necessary.

1024 683 Dominique de Villepin

Speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Dominique de Villepin spoke about his vision of the modern system of international relations and underlined the importance of bilateral cooperation between Russia and France at all levels and in different spheres. The guest also mulled over the prospects of the Trianon Dialogue, noting the need to renew the conceptual foundations of the interaction between the two partners. Indeed, this task is essential in times of political conflict and contradictions as only an in-depth cooperation of the civil societies of France and Russia can serve as a basis for the political class to create a productive and long-lasting political relationship.

The meeting was attended by MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov, the Russian Ambassador to France and Monaco (2008-2017) Alexander Orlov, the founder of the World Public Forum «Dialogue of Civilizations» Vladimir Yakunin, the Head of the Department of Corporate and Project Management at MGIMO also Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights Boris Titov, the Vice-Rector for Graduate and International Programs Andrey Baykov and the Dean of the School of Governance and Politics Henry Sardaryan.

Dominique de Villepin first visited MGIMO in 2004, when he was French Foreign Minister. On that occasion, he presented the Russian-language edition of his book «100 Days or the Spirit of Sacrifice».

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The road to multipolarity

Lomonosov University 21st Feb. 2018

Estimated Rector,

Estimated Vice-Rectors,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Students and Alumni,

I am happy to be here in the Lomonosov State University known throughout Europe as a symbol of excellence. We should always remember that in the eighteenth century, when Denis Diderot, the French writer and philosopher, came to St Petersburg to stay with Catherine the Second, Mikhail Lomonosov went to study in Marburg, in Germany. This shows well the community of spirit, culture and knowledge that was prevailing throughout Europe at that time. Thank you to Rector Sadovnichy for his kind invitation. Thank you to Dr Iakunin for supporting such initiatives favoring exchanges for peace and culture.

It is an important moment for the relationship between our two countries on the eve of the visit of Emmanuel Macron to the St Petersburg forum. Since the war, and the shared history of the Normandie-Niemen Hunter Fighter Regiments, we had the will to maintain strong ties of dialogue and cooperation.

And it is today more important than ever with tensions rising in the Middle East, in the Korean Peninsula, in Africa, as well as in Europe… all this in the framework of a multipolar world, lacking the capacity of stabilization that we had known in the past, in the cold war era.

Are we heading for war with the risk of recreation of two antagonistic blocks or can we work for a better world’s dialogue and cooperation?

To understand where we are going, we need to go back to the main sources of problems and misunderstandings in our world, and that is the shock of 1989, the fall of the berlin wall, and 1991, the fall of the Soviet Union.

With the crises of 1989/1991, we entered in a period of transition. This crisis was a global and a total shock for everybody. First of course, it was a trauma for the Eastern Block. It triggered the fall of the Soviet Union and the whole world order based on the two pillars of bipolarity. It also caused its economic and social disarray. Russia’s GDP fell a 25% between 1989 and 2000. The fast liberalization movement created a gold rush for sometimes-ruthless entrepreneurs.

The shock of 1989 in the East explains also the toughening of China’s domestic policy after the Tiananmen Square protests. The Chinese Communist Party, which had adopted a new strategy since DENG Xiaoping’s reforms in 1978, of openness and modernization, grew more concerned about domestic order as the USSR collapsed.

1989 was a shock not only in the East, but also in the West, especially in the US because it created a sudden feeling of absolute power, with the temptation of unilateralism. It created the paradox of hyperpower. Without rivals, the US were in an unprecedented situation of absolute power. Their military spending alone represented half the whole world’s military expenditures, above two-thirds with their NATO allies. But, without rivals, they were also, in a way, without potential partners for peace, facing the burden of absolute responsibility. This is what President George H. Bush acknowledged in his speech “Toward a New World Order” in September 1990, announcing “a new era”, while engaging against Iraq in the First Gulf War.

This extreme power created the hubris of neo-conservatism legitimizing the use of force. It is based on three key aspects. First the sense of moral superiority that allows intervening sometimes even in domestic affairs in the name of superior principles. This was the temptation in Iraq in 2003, but also in Libya in 2011. Second, the massive use of force through air, land and sea operations, appearing sometimes as an example of a superior punishment. Between 2001 and 2016, the USA spent 10 trillion dollars on military equipment. Third, regime change and long-term occupation or intervention within the countries, as we saw with the Bremer administration in Bagdad for instance. Where has it ever been efficient? One could ask – no where, in fact. Look at Iraq and Libya, torn apart, look at Afghanistan.

This extreme power led to a constant drift in the way force was used. In the 1990’s, the incentive for action was a sense of moral duty, like in Haiti. After 9/11, the main motive for interventions became fear for America itself, as in Afghanistan. With Donald Trump, one could think the motive has changed again and that American self-interest is now in the center. It also created a drift in the way other Western countries adopted this logic of force.

1989 was a shock, last of all, in the South, because it stopped the competition of legitimacy, between the two superpowers, that had allowed many proxy countries to have political support and financial advantage. African countries, in particular, saw an important decrease in foreign development subsidies. Most of the Central and Southern African countries suffered a cycle of recession in the early 1990’s. That was also the case in Cuba. The Soviet Union had been for decades the main support to Fidel Castro’s regime, and accounted for up to 80% of its international trade. After 1989, Cuba was left alone in the Caribbean. The South became peripheral in the geopolitical competition, so much so that the rest of the world seems to be surprised by the current destabilization, for ethnical and religious reasons, in the Great Lakes region and Sahel.

The shock of 1989 has above all weakened the traditional order based on sovereignty. After 1989, Western democracies, emboldened by self-confident domination, went blind to political, cultural and historical differences. They seemed to grow convinced that liberal democracy was the only valid regime, identifying the growth of a liberal economy with liberal and democratic institutions. They felt also a special responsibility towards civilian population facing crimes against humanity from their own leaders. The doctrine of the “responsibility to protect”, developed within the UN, was meant to complement the judiciary experience of Nuremberg, with the aim not only to punish but also to prevent such crimes. Special tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia led to the constitution of the International Criminal Court in 1998.

The shock of 1989 triggered a wave of unrestrained globalization. The consequences of which are more and more economic, social and political deregulation. Global trade has intensified, and the division of labor has spread on a global scale, creating bigger inequalities. Inequalities between countries, first: between 1989 and 2000, the African Income per capita decreased by 2%, whereas US and EU Income per capita grew by 25%. But also inequalities within each country : In the US, for instance, the discrepancy between the dynamic coastal areas and the old industrial regions like the Rustbelt became wider and wider. This explains in a large part the vote for Donald Trump in last year’s election.

Technological progress has accelerated the unification of our lifestyles and our access to information. Creating real-time dependency, invading the private sphere, along with the permanent presence of social networks. Creating a huge monopoly for those controlling data. Creating a risk for jobs in the future. Estimates do vary, but at least 10% of workers throughout the world will see their job disappear in a near future, and at least half of them will be deeply transformed.

Because of its importance, the shock of 1989 provoked a massive backlash. First, western countries had not been capable of understanding and accompanying the transition opened by the fall of Soviet Union, generating humiliation and suspicion. Here in Russia, there was a feeling of being neglected and despised in a moment of incredible challenge, with the loss of 30 to 40 % of household purchasing power. There was a feeling of being threatened by the constant extension of NATO, as for example during the Bucharest Summit in 2009.

Many tensions arose, because the world order has been so rapidly shaken, awaking identities and particularism. Nationalisms and traditionalisms became the main forces of resistance. In Central and Eastern Europe, many countries are still driven by wounded memories of the past and fear of their neighbors, not to mention Russia. In Poland, a historical-memory law concerning the Holocaust is creating turmoil. This conservative shift is also based on a lack of trust in liberal institutions, as we can see in Hungary or Poland where the independence of the judiciary and the media becomes contentious.

In a way, Jihadism is also a radical and violent answer to globalization, a deviation from Islam comparable to the deviation fascism was to nation. I think there are different causes to this phenomenon. First of all, it is a reaction to the impression that globalization opens a world without rules. Revolutionary jihadism promises a totally controlled and rule-bound way of life. Jihadism embodies sometimes an aspiration to make secession from a state, as is the case in Chechnya, Philippines and Chinese Xinjiang. It is based on identity and particularism. At last, jihadism is also a symptom of the divisions of Western open societies, where people feel they are not always granted the recognition and place they deserve.

The feeling of humiliation fueled violence in the Middle East and laid the ground for the major crisis of our times. The Middle East faces a modernization crisis. The demographic transition is nearly completed in all the countries of the region. This transition process provokes big turmoil on the scale of a whole generation, because it transforms deeply the social structure. The weakening of family centered relationships, accompanied by the rise of Western style individualism, triggers traditionalist backlashes.

Furthermore, this causes inadequacies between ages, labor market, and qualifications. At the same time, the Middle East faces a global economic crisis. As we know, many countries in the region have insufficient diversified economies, and rely almost exclusively on oil. In Iraq, for example, oil exports represent 95% of the country’s budget. Armed conflicts combined with the drop of oil prices since the summer 2014 had a severe impact on their economic resilience, and made foreign investors as well as tourists avoid these destinations.

But the Middle East faces also a political crisis. With the end of pan-Arabic and socialist ideologies, identity-based movements gained momentum, in Algeria during 1990’s, with the rise of GIA. In East Africa, with the American Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Daar-es-Salaam in 1998. This was amplified by the disappearance of Soviet support to socialist parties, such as the Ba’ath party. Since 2001, the expansion of failing states has been damaging local security and strengthening the threat of jihadist terrorism.

This crisis degenerates into a hybrid war in Syria, with the implications of many different actors: local militias that fuel civil wars, such as Syrian Democratic Forces and Kurd separatist forces. Transnational groups, such as the Hezbollah. Foreign regional and global powers, such as Russia, Turkey, Iran on one side and the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, on another side, turning a civil war into a war that is becoming the frontline of global alliances.

This unipolar moment is coming to an end and faces the rise of other powers. Times to come will be times of conflicts. First of all, let’s face it, multipolarity is now a reality.

New powers are rising, and they all express a deep concern for sovereignty. As a reaction to Western foreign interventions, more and more countries have stiffened their position and defended their sovereignty with determination. China, first of all, made clear it would accept no foreign interventions, nor admit any restriction in its endeavor to control the South China Sea.

Russia, since 2000, has steadily recovered its influence. It is now a respected international actor in the Middle East. The peace processes of Astana and Sochi, even if they face many difficulties, have laid the ground for international cooperation around Syria. They made local de-escalation agreements possible. The Russian army has modernized its foreign intervention forces, as well as its anti-access/area-denial capacities. Russian nuclear capacities have also been greatly upgraded.

The other important new pole of power rising in this multipolar world is of course China. President XI Jinping has confirmed that it will take full responsibility on the international stage. The President XI’s “New era” announced during the XIXth Congress in 2017, shows China wants to write a new page of its history. Chinese GDP was multiplied by 10 between 2000 and 2017. China has entered a technological competition with the USA. Their drones, artificial intelligence and facial recognition technologies are highly competitive. Its army is undergoing a modernization process towards professionalization and developing projection capacities, especially in the navy. The first “all Made in China” aircraft carrier will soon be in service.

In the meantime, the US, of course, will remain a major power, however declining. US economy still represents more than 25% of the world’s GDP. At equal growth levels, the US should not be overtaken by China before 20 years. US military remains today the strongest army in the world, with above $600 billion of spending per year. At the same time, America is trying to cling to its privileges inherited from the past. The privilege of the dollar as main world currency, although this domination is more and more contested by the renminbi. The privilege of rules, when extending the US laws to non-US citizens or companies as shown with the case of the French bank BNP Paribas. The privilege of the internet, also, where until recently they enjoyed almost a monopoly of the GAFAs.

Europe needs, in this environment, to strengthen itself and become more of a global pole of power. I believe there is a new dynamic in Europe, likely to make an independent European foreign policy possible. Europe rises to a higher self-consciousness, like always through crisis. The austerity crisis is pushing Europe towards more common institutions for the Eurozone – like a common budget, a Eurozone finance minister, a European Monetary Fund, as proposed by Emmanuel MACRON and today partially endorsed by the German coalition.

The populist crisis all around Europe is pushing for a new generation of pro-Europe leaders and movements such as Emmanuel Macron, Leo Varadkar, Sebastian Kurz, Alexis Tsipras. The crisis of the Brexit has also pushed for more unity among the remaining member states, even if the outcome of the Brexit remains very uncertain. Europe needs a strong partner in the UK, in order to find a lasting settlement.

The refugee crisis proves in plain sight that a common foreign policy, common border controls and a common asylum regulation are absolute needs. The European Common Security and Defense Policy is in progress. A research fund of 500-million-euro per year will be operational from 2020 onwards. Frontex is creating the basis of a common EU policy regarding border control. Its operational capacities have recently been enhanced with the use of drones and the fusion with the European Coast Guard Association in 2016.

Maybe in the future – probably in twenty to fifty years–, other poles of power can fill the world map, in the Middle East, in Africa or in Latin America.

But this multipolar world is full of risks. The bigger risk is a new confrontation of two antagonist blocks. Many times, in world history, the ascension of a new power and the simultaneous decline of an old power triggered high tensions and armed conflicts. Between Athens and Sparta in the 5th Century BC, it has caused the Peloponnese War, described by Thucydides, as a trap caused by the confrontation between an ascending and a declining power. In 12 out of 16 recorded cases, it ended with large-scale war. Will the world fall into “Thucydides’ trap” once again and will we live tomorrow in a new bipolar world, scattered with proxy wars of a new type?

The bigger risk today is to come back to a bipolar world, with two new blocks, led this time by China and the US, reminding of the Cold war era. This risk is real, when we look at the dynamic that is beginning to shape into a new alliance the Asia-Pacific region. Countries around China tend to be attracted into its economic influence, including those who are traditional American allies.

Philippines are attracted toward China, despite tensions in the South China Sea and a judgement in favor of the Philippines issued by UN, under its Convention on the Law of the Sea. Central Asian countries are attracted by China’s development promise, embodied by the Asian Investment Bank for Infrastructures (AIIB) structural projects.

It is also a confrontation between two political models. The Asian political model is gathering momentum around the world, with its emphasis on authority, stability and sovereignty, as promised by the Chinese Communist Party. It is based on authority, as LEE Kuan Yew showed in Singapore, CHIANG Ching-Kuo in Taiwan, PARK Chung-Hee in South Korea. It promises stability, laying out the basis for a safe economic environment and foreign investments. Singapore, for instance, has gathered a stock of foreign direct investment of around 1.400 billion dollars. It is committed to sovereignty, through a nationalist speech and protectionist policies. It is also pledging for financial and digital sovereignty.

The crisis over North Korea is at the same time the last cold war conflict and the first conflict of the new confrontation. The North Korean regime is inherited from the Cold War, and Korea is the last divided nation from that era. Germany, Vietnam and Yemen have all been reunited. The crisis tends to reinforce the old alliance of China with the North and US with the South.

From Donald Trump’s point of view, the crisis has a threefold implication. It is a matter of domestic security against the North Korean missile threat on the US territory. It is a matter of tightening relationships with historical allies in the area, and especially with South Korea while South Korea is tempted to move toward China, by far its first economic partner. It is of course also very much a matter of putting pressure on China.

But, because of its complexity, this conflict can only be addressed through careful multilateral negotiation, in order to avoid the worse. De-escalation is the priority. In the first place, we need a process of dialogue and the respect of the non-proliferation agreement on nuclear weapons. The international community has to rely on China as a major actor to leverage on North Korean decisions, taking advantage of its strong economic dependence to Beijing. The final long-term objective must remain reunification, even though its cost shall be 50 times the cost of German reunification.

What does this scenario mean for us? It means Europe and Russia would be crushed between these new superpowers. Either, it would be a scenario of conflict and we would be condemned to take sides. Forces would drive the EU towards America and Russia towards China. Eastern Europe would become the battleground of the new conflict, without any ability to decide for itself. Either, China and America would be able to reach an agreement and build a China-America condominium, and then Europe with Russia would be marginalized and dependent.   This is why, in my mind, the strength of the EU and the strength of the bond between EU and Russia for a Greater Europe, are key to avoid this worst case scenario.

The second risk is a conflictual multipolarity, a war of all against all, especially in-between the power poles. There are other fault lines, for example between China and Russia.

There are anxieties in Russia, especially in the Far East, about growing Chinese influence. The commercial balance is to the advantage of China, in the Russian Far East with 6 billion dollars of annual trade. Growing Chinese population on the Russian side of the border also triggers neighboring difficulties and social tensions. There will be subjects of tensions as well as of cooperation in the Arctic, in Central Asia, and along the New Silk Road. It is believed that $35 trillion worth of untapped oil lie under the Arctic Ocean. Russia strongly depends upon its oil production, and is therefore keen on pursuing Arctic exploration. Arctic Ocean is also a future major trade route between Asia, America and Europe. There could be difficulties in conciliating the Eurasian project promoted by Russia and the New Silk Road. In this former USSR area where Russia still exercises a strong influence, China has developed many infrastructures for the sake of outsourcing its domestic production, such as the 16+1 initiative, the next summit of which will take place in Bulgaria. As you know, Russia and China share an old and ambivalent relationship. The borders along the Amur River, in Outer Mongolia and in Xinjiang have long been contentious. The Sino-Soviet split and enduring border conflict, only settled in 1991, have left marks in their relationship, not to mention the silent war of 1960-1966.

Nor should we overlook the tensions between Europe and Russia, even if I am convinced that a common dialogue can lead to more action in common. The crisis in Ukraine since 2004 and even more 2014, has become a symbol of political and strategic rivalry and mutual fears between Russia and the West. But it is also an example of the risk of weak or failing states as well as a painful symbol of the complexity of post-Soviet geography, inherited from a complex history. Ukraine is marked by a bloody civil war in early 1920’s, Holodomor in 1930’s and massacre during the Great Patriotic War. We cannot be satisfied by a frozen conflict at the heart of Europe that has already provoked 10,000 deaths. We need solutions and dialogue on three levels. A federal partnership involving the Federation of Russia, the Ukrainian government, the EU and the CIS Countries could be found. An OSCE supported security agreement between NATO and Russia could greatly help the situation to move forward. An EU-Russia cooperation could also help to support the reconstruction and reinforcement of the Ukrainian state, economy and administration.

We should not overlook a last risk, the risk of global anarchy. Failed states develop most on the periphery of power zones, mainly in Africa, where they feed constant civil conflicts. Destructive transnational actors, such as mafias, mercenaries or militias, often worsen conflicts by adding external interests to a situation already out of hand.

Dangerous times lie ahead of us and it is urgent to wake up. My message is that it is our common responsibility to avoid its pitfalls. For that, we should work in three directions.

First proposal: Each and every crisis requires a bespoke architecture with the participation of all major powers. We need tailor-made processes that create mechanisms fit to gather every actor around the table. We have to imagine new models in the line of the OSCE model, developed in 1975 in Helsinki that has proved efficient to tame the missile race between USSR and the USA. Along the same model, we could imagine a Helsinki-type conference for the Middle East with international support. The objective is to gather all stakeholders, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, around the same table. The method is fostering a political process of peace, in order to achieve a new architecture of security. The enforcement and common respect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for Iran, reached in Vienna in July 2015 is essential for de-escalation. In 2003, I was convinced that after the Iraq war, there was a big risk of military escalation with Iran. Today this agreement is in danger again, and I believe it is the responsibility of Europe, Russia and China to guarantee its continuity.

Second proposal: We should foster large regional projects. First of all, we need structured diplomatic cooperation. Multipolarity needs to rely on structured dialogues. I am convinced that building a cooperation framework between Paris, Berlin, Moscow and Beijing is a priority. This cooperation of old powers, sharing a common experience of history and of the dangers of war, could aim at finding the right guarantees of sovereignty and of common responsibility in the new world order. This cooperation would have enough weight to become the key partner for the United States on all major issues. That is why it is a major European responsibility to work for establishing this important axis. Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin have recently started with the “Trianon dialogue” program. The EU would be inspired to give impetus to a dialogue process that could allow, in the end, to reconsider the sanctions program against Russia. Paris and Berlin remain the core engine of EU cooperation and foreign policy, and as such, they should set course towards an enlarged dialogue framework.

We need also long-term economic cooperation projects. The New Silk Road, launched by President XI Jinping in 2013, is one such project. First, it promotes political and cultural understanding through integrating around 70 countries from at least three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa. Second, it stimulates growth and development through boosting massive investment with an objective of around 900 billion dollars. The expansion of infrastructures in remote regions will be a major driver of stability in Central Asia as well as Eastern Africa. Economic stimulation will also be a great opportunity to support long-term recovery in major economies like Europe and China. Third, it offers a new model of prosperity based on inclusiveness, sustainability and balance. We have seen that in 2015 with the launching of the AIIB gathering more than 60 countries from all the continents.

We can imagine a large initiative of cooperation based on an agreement around oil. In the Middle East, economics are crucial to sort out the situation. We could think about a regional economic association based on the area’s main resource, oil. By sharing mutual benefit from a fraction of common oil exploitation, neighboring countries could learn to cooperate again. As the European Union, which first started with an economic association for coal and steel, the Middle East could gather momentum by uniting around oil before entering in deeper mutual agreements. Iran and Saudi Arabia would have to show the way, as did France and Germany in 1951.

In addition, regional projects need to be set up, with the implication of local powers. Resisting the will to set new borders and promoting cross-border projects is essential for the world of tomorrow. The Mediterranean Sea, which has now become a graveyard for hundreds of migrants, needs to be turned into a symbol of Euro-African cooperation. Economic development is the key to stop uncontrolled migration flows. If economic development remains incomplete, migrants will keep on leaving their home in search for a better life elsewhere. Political cooperation is the key to ensure strengthening of state administrations in Africa and establish a safe environment for investors. It is also essential to empower African states and grant every partner an equal recognition.

Third proposal: We need global multilateralism agreements and a reform of global governance. A showcase of multilateral achievements already exists. We have to keep on moving that way, with new concrete tools. The Paris agreement of COP 21, in 2015, has been a success; however damaging the American pull back was last year. It shows that it is possible to have universal treaties on major challenges of mankind. In the same spirit, we need a global Internet treaty to ensure net neutrality, protection of personal data and free use of the web. It is also high time we reach a global agreement for the protection of common goods, air, waters, soils and natural heritage.

We need more and better global financial coordination, through establishing a new G3 dialogue between the Central Banks of the US, Europe and China. We need to reform the global governance institutions of the United Nations dating from 1945. To gain more efficiency, we could work on mechanisms to limit voluntarily the use of the veto, as France and the UK have done in the last decades. To be more operational, we could also create an independent military capacity under UN command, rather than national troops contributions. At last, in order to be more inclusive, we should reform the Security Council. Even if it sounds difficult to achieve after decades of endless debates, we will have one day to choose a more representative Security Council with countries such as Germany, India, Japan or Brazil, maybe also with the addition of semi-permanent members to be reelected every two years.

 

____________________________

Dear Friends,

 

The key to the future is in our hands. As students, you are first and foremost responsible for enlarging your vision of the world and work for mutual understanding between people.

It is through dialogue, shared ambitions and common projects that we will be able to shape tomorrow’s world. It all starts here, in our debates, and hopefully it will reach maturity when you start your careers and will be working for rapprochement between our countries.

I thank you for your attention and I’ll be happy to answer the questions you may have.

 

 

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Speech for the opening of the 4th World Internet Conference

– In a speech during the opening ceremony of the 4th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Dominique de Villepin spoke briefly about the main issues facing the digital economy, alongside Wang Huning, Tim Cook and Jack Ma –

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I am very pleased to be here in the gorgeous town of Wuzhen. No city could be a better place to host the World Internet Conference. Because it is a place of openness with canals and bridges as a symbol of communication, combining both innovation and tradition.

 

In the two last decades, digital economy contributed to open societies as never before. It made mobility faster, distance shorter and trade easier. It created immense territories of growth, knowledge and development, serving the common good. In this regard, 2017 has been a crucial year. For the first time in history, the global number of web users has exceeded a half of world’s population.

 

But Internet is not a riskless promise. It also created a new space of risk:

 

          First, technological confrontation is spreading between the two major poles of digital innovation: China and the USA;

          Second, cybersecurity is globally challenged within States and companies;

          Third, the growing confusion between private and public use of Internet is also threatening privacy of personal users;

 

Each past revolution has drawn a new frontier creating fears and opportunities. That’s why we need new ways of thinking, regulating and exploring the cyberspace.

 

I – This year has been a major turning point for digital economy based on a shift from the West to the East

 

          The US leadership has been increasingly challenged by Chinese technology:

·         Today, China tends to take the lead of digital innovation as we recently witnessed with the rise of TENCENT’s market capitalization above that of FACEBOOK:

o    Economic competition led to the creation of major challengers like ALIBABA, JD.com and BAIDU renewing the face of Internet;

o    Political stimulation also fostered innovation as we saw during the 19th Congress under the sign of modernization;

·         At the same time, leading Tech companies of the US have been facing growing challenges, especially in Europe, in terms of regulation and taxation.

 

II – This major shift in digital economy is opening a new era of collective responsibility

 

          First, it creates a new momentum for regulation. The time has come to improve multilateral cooperation to build a shared governance of Internet:

·         Public initiatives must be taken at a political level to deal with major issues like security, interoperability and neutrality in the cyberspace, for example by negotiating a global Treaty of Internet in the frame of the United Nations;

·         But building a common regulation also implies the commitment of all the stakeholders, from States to companies and civil societies as is the case today.

          Second, there is a new momentum for innovation. We need concrete partnerships in digital economy:

·         The use of Internet inside cities of tomorrow could be a decisive area of partnerships:

o    Internet is a great instrument to invent a new kind of integrated city focused on energy safety, security and sustainability;

o    European and Chinese companies have developed strong know-how and commitment in providing energy solutions. I do believe the EU-China cooperation can be a cornerstone in improving data collection, exploration, sharing and use to reduce cost and pollution while enhancing the quality of life.

          Third, digital economy is a new chance for stability:

·         Internet also brings new possibilities of providing remote countries with healthcare and education thanks to the IoT and the diffusion of knowledge;

·         It is the aim of the Digital Silk Road to develop cross-border economy from Asia to Europe and Africa through expanding internet infrastructures.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Internet is the new frontier of the century.

 

What we need today is to build up a collective and cooperative environment transforming data from information flows to dynamic resources.

 

Thank you.

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It’s a new era for China as well as the rest of the world

In an interview for China Xinhua News, Dominique de Villepin stated the opportunity that represents the outcome of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party for China and the world. He called for greater investment by China in the international arena, and enhanced cooperation between Europe and China, to contribute to the emergence of a more stable and secure world.
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Today, what China brings to the world is its unity

In an interview in English for the Chinese channel CGTN, Dominique de Villepin spoke about the main issues of the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party for the future of China.

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Multipolar World Order: Opportunities & Challenges

After a lecture given at the 15th Dialogue of Civilizations Forum in Rhodes, Dominique de Villepin then participated in a debate organized by Chinese channel CGTN, on the multipolar nature of the world.

 

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Europe is on the road to recovery

Invited to the 15th Forum of Rhodes, Dominique de Villepin gave an interview to DOC (Dialogue of Civilizations) Tv, in which he spoke about the future of Europe and democracy, the project of New Silk Road and the politics of Donald Trump.

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Belt and Road gives momentum to redraw globalization

– In an op-ed published in the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily, Dominique de Villepin shared his vision of the Belt and Road Initiative and announced the creation of the International Marco Polo Society, a group gathering high personalities from European and Asian countries aiming at promoting the New Silk Road projects –

 

Uncertainty has become the major threat of our times. On the five continents, we are facing global dangers that have become ever more difficult to foresee and manage. Terrorism undermines global efforts of peace-building. The rise of populism has led to policies challenging economic openness, free trade and shared development. In the same time, climate change has heightened the risk to future generations. The current diplomatic situation of our world and the unpredictability of some of the major powers is calling for a new multilateral dynamic.

However, the past few months have witnessed a dramatic decline of international dialogue. The election of a new American President has accelerated this process by affecting multilateral frameworks in areas like free trade and environmental protection. Against these trends, international cooperation is the only possible key to find a common ground on how to improve the world of tomorrow. Today, we are witnessing the painful birth of a new multipolar world. I do believe it is the task of Asia and Europe to reshape globalization on fairer and more balanced principles. It has become crucial to foster new poles of stability and prosperity interconnected in a comprehensive scheme of cooperation.

In this context, China is offering a new chance to achieve this common ambition through the Belt and Road initiative. This promising project not only strives to support infrastructure development from Asia to Europe and Africa, but aims at reviving the spirit of multilateral partnerships to serve cultural dialogue and stability as decisive common goods. From the initial speech of President Xi Jinping in autumn 2013, outlining the project, to the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that was held in Beijing on mid-May 2017 with around 30 heads of state and government, the initiative has made great steps forwards. In less than four years, the Belt and Road initiative has been provided with new multilateral instruments like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with a capital of 100 billion dollars and more than 60 countries taking part in the institution.

The Belt and Road initiative offers a lasting alternative to the risk of slowdown, isolation and confrontation. We must recognize that concrete actions have been achieved in a remarkably short space of time. First projects have been launched in Pakistan, Azerbaijan or Oman in strategic areas like power plants, gas pipeline and railways. Chinese investments have also increased in countries of Central Europe in the frame of the “16 + 1” as well as in Southern Europe where many projects are implemented along the Silk Road Economic Belt, especially in Greece to develop infrastructures like the port of Piraeus.

The future of Eurasia is full of opportunities. There are many priorities Asia and Europe could work on together. They both share the common ambition to ensure sustainable growth, food and energy security and environmental preservation. In Asia alone, the Asian Development Bank estimates the investment needs in infrastructure around 26 trillion dollars by 2030, creating huge perspectives in promising sectors like transport, real estate, waste and water management and green economy.

In this respect, the Belt and Road initiative allows to respond massively to three challenges of the present. First, it opens a new chapter of global connectivity by strengthening energy, digital and transport facilities all around the world. Second, it renews the culture of multilateral cooperation by advocating for more inclusiveness and collaboration pooling capital resources from public and private investors on cross-border projects. Third, it helps ensure the conditions of international recovery and development. While there is a high diversity of GDP per capita along the Belt and Road, especially between developed Eastern countries and countries from Africa and Southeast Asia, the Belt and Road will gradually reduce the economic gap between the stakeholders and facilitate economic catching-up in remote economies.

Over the last years, fruitful exchanges with global decision-makers have reinforced my impression that the Belt and Road should be broadly and further promoted. We need a platform to discuss ideas, create synergies and raise international awareness about the initiative. We need to share principles for a shared destiny ensuring the respect of people, the respect of sovereignty and the respect of history. We also need an exemplary dynamic based on showcase projects involving the largest number of actors like States, companies, civil societies, think tanks and universities.

That’s why, with a group of qualified personalities from Europe and Asia, we have created the International Marco Polo Society in tribute to the most famous bridge-builders of the Middle Age. The International Marco Polo Society is a circle composed of former Prime Ministers and Foreign Affairs Ministers eager to mobilize public opinions in their home countries and push innovative propositions. Because we have a common conviction: every energy should be welcome to make the Belt and Road initiative a successful reality and contribute to what President Xi described as the “project of the century.”

21 September 2017, People’s Daily

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Emmanuel Macron is an opportunity for Europe

In an interview for the BBC, Dominique de Villepin highlighted the opportunity represented by the election of Emmanuel Macron for Europe. He also analyzed the conditions for the success of the forthcoming presidency; obtaining a majority, the ability to rebuild an effective Franco-German couple, the propensity to restore confidence in the future for French people…

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France can write a new page

In an interview for CNN, Dominique de Villepin highlighted the opportunity that represents the election of Emmanuel Macron to the presidency of the French Republic, before returning on the challenges of the coming weeks.