Held on Thursday, 17 September 2009, this was Javier Solana’s second visit to Harvard to deliver an address. Back in April 2003, Solana gave the Gordon Lecture with a speech entitled “Venus and Mars Reconciled: A New Era for Transatlantic Relations.” After introductory remarks by HKS professor Stephen Walt, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security policy characterized the new geo-political landscape as a rapidly changing one, politically, economically and technologically. This new context has resulted in growing complexity and interdependence and poses a challenge of shared leadership that can effectively address the problems of collective action posed by globalization.
Solana indicated four main issues that require a close EU-US partnership and clear results in the months ahead: the creation of a new dynamic for peace in the Middle east; working toward the creation of a functioning Afghan state; building a new European security architecture, with US engagement and helping Russia find its proper place in the overall European order; and climate change, finding the right incentives to stimulate green investments and addressing the global justice dimension.
A physicist by educational background, Solana career includes appointments as minister of Culture, Education, and Foreign Affairs of Spain and as Secretary-general of NATO, to which he was appointed in 1995. In 1999, Dr. Solana was appointed as the European Union’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy; his international standing led President Clinton to note that now we know who to call when we want to speak to Europe, an allusion to Henry Kissinger’s famous quip. Javier Solana’s lecture was co-sponsored with the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard; the Karamanlis Chair, Fletcher School, Tufts University; and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard, as part of the “Challenges of the 21st Century: European and American Perspectives Series.”