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Cablegate: French Mfa Director General Discusses Post-Lisbon

VZCZCXRO3840
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHFR #1743 3570927
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230927Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7964
INFO RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PARIS 001743

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR PREL FR
SUBJECT: FRENCH MFA DIRECTOR GENERAL DISCUSSES POST-LISBON
CHALLENGES FOR U.S.-EU RELATIONS WITH EEB A/S FERNANDEZ

1. (SBU) Summary: On his first official visit to Europe as EEB
Assistant Secretary, Jose W. Fernandez called on French MFA Director
General for Sustainable Development, Christian Masset, on December
8. Fernandez described his priorities as A/S and expressed
commitment to promoting stronger U.S.-EU economic ties. Masset
discussed the impact of the Lisbon Treaty and the emergence of the
G20 on the EU, global governance, development assistance, and
U.S.-EU relations. He predicted that post-Lisbon political
processes could complicate important issues on the transatlantic
agenda. Both officials agreed to continue their dialogue over the
coming months. End summary.

2. (SBU) Travelling to Paris for the OECD Global Investment Forum,
A/S Fernandez also met with French officials and U.S. business
representatives. He called on Christian Masset, the MFA's DG for
Sustainable Development and also France's G20 and G8 sous-sherpa.
Masset's portfolio includes development and global matters as well
as economic issues. In response to Fernandez's question about the
dynamics of the EU post Lisbon, Masset explained that the EU would
transform into a full global actor. To date, EU economic policy,
other than trade policy, has centered on the internal market. Now
the EU would be in a position to develop fully its relations with
the rest of the world. He noted the longstanding concern with the
number of European seats in every multilateral body, but said that
as the world moved towards a more rule-based, less-discretionary set
of economic relations, the European experience with integration
would be increasingly important.

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3. (SBU) On global financial architecture, Masset noted that before
Pittsburgh, the emerging economies were forced to accept the rules
of the developed world in exchange for access. Post-Pittsburgh,
they became full members and will seek to change the current rules
of the system. Masset thought that the implications of this
evolution required continuing discussion by the G8. On foreign
assistance, Masset said that traditional official development
assistance appeared to have reached its limits both in terms of
amounts and effectiveness. He asked the USG to take a fresh look at
innovative finance mechanisms for global challenges such as climate
change, or public health.

4. (SBU) Commenting further on Lisbon, Masset said that over the
next two years, the EU would be working on its long-term budget
perspective and figuring out how to follow up the 2000 Lisbon
Strategy on creating a competitive, knowledge-based economy. He
pointed to the Commission's Europe 2020 plan as the starting point.
Masset emphasized that "Europe" is no longer an aspiration or a goal
but is now a set of rules, norms and standards that are omnipresent
in the lives of Member State citizens. This makes the European
Union both less popular and more tangible. For example, he said,
three fourths of the legislation passed by member state parliaments
now represents implementation of EU directives.

5. (SBU) On U.S.-EU relations, Masset foresaw a number of potential
problems emerging from the implementation of collective or societal
European preferences, particularly over consumer protection and the
precautionary principle. He also thought that different approaches
to patent law and intellectual property protection could be
contentious issues along with public procurement policies in an era
of increased government finance in the economy. He understood that
the U.S. was driving to reorient its economy from consumption
towards greater production and exports and said that Europe would
need to adapt to this recalibration of the U.S. economy.

6. (U) A/S Fernandez cleared this cable.

Rivkin

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