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Cablegate: Fm Stubb Calls for Review and Renewal of U.S.-Eu

VZCZCXRO5171
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHHE #0049/01 0341411
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031411Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5425
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HELSINKI 000049

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NSC FOR HOVENIER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EU FI PREL
SUBJECT: FM STUBB CALLS FOR REVIEW AND RENEWAL OF U.S.-EU
"MARRIAGE VOWS"

HELSINKI 00000049 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In an address delivered 27 January at
Chatham House, just prior to the London Conference on
Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Stubb prescribed a bit of
marriage counseling for the EU-U.S. axis of the
transatlantic relationship. Describing the relationship as
akin to "a grumpy old couple" who are not quite sure how
the relationship will play out in a changing world, Stubb
repeated the view shared in political circles in Helsinki
that American attention is increasingly diverted
elsewhere. While the EU-U.S. relationship has rarely been
as good as it is at present, crises and opportunities in
Asia are increasingly leading to a dangerous drift in
relations. As a prescription, Stubb called for a "marriage
council" of experts to consider concrete measures that would
deepen
and strengthen transatlantic cooperation.
END SUMMARY.

-------------------------
SHARED HISTORY NOT ENOUGH
-------------------------

2. (SBU) A confirmed Atlanticist who has worked and studied
in the U.S., FM Stubb began his 27 January speech, entitled
"The New Atlantic Decade", by noting the economic strength
of the "Atlantic community", with its creative, inclusive
societies that drive global standards in both business and
government. The depth and scope of EU-U.S. cooperation are
"astounding," yet there is unease on both sides of the
Atlantic. Stubb sees a U.S. "flirting with the world
outside Europe and assessing its global network of
partnerships" while Americans evince increasing frustration
with the "weak and politically divided European Union."
Europeans for their part fear a decline in their global
position relative to emerging economies; "We are afraid of
a G2 world dominated by the U.S. and China," admitted
Stubb. (NOTE: As an example, he cites the failure of the
U.S. and EU to agree on a common approach at Copenhagen.
Similarly, at a recent Helsinki seminar former Finnish PM
Paavo Lipponen seized on the same theme, decrying the
exclusion of the EU from the final negotiation of the
Copenhagen Accord. END NOTE.) Stubb's conclusion is that,
while the relationship is strong, "we do not know how to
use it to shape the world around us", a world composed of a
greater number of actors with more divergent values and
multiplying challenges such as climate change, fragile
states, economic and financial governance, etc.

--------------------------
TIME FOR A NEW PARTNERSHIP
--------------------------

3. (SBU) Stubb suggested that changes on both sides of the
Atlantic are making a new kind of partnership possible.
The post-Lisbon EU will have a more unified and active
foreign policy, which Stubb sees as being matched with a
new "willingness in Europe to take on more global
responsibilities, as has been the case with climate
change." On the U.S. side, the Obama administration's "new
pragmatism and openness" and a foreign policy driven by the
three Ds of diplomacy, development, and defense open the
way for effective multilateralism. (NOTE: Finland's own
rhetoric on the "comprehensive approach" to crisis
management, which they will make the theme of a seminar on
the
NATO strategic concept in March, matches up well with the
"three Ds". END NOTE.) In sum, these changes make
possible an EU-U.S. partnership that can set common goals
on global issues, agree on coordinated measures to achieve
them, and lead other global players to support them.

------------------
CONCRETE PROPOSALS
------------------

4. (SBU) Taking inspiration from the NATO Strategic Concept
review, Stubb offered that the U.. and EU should also
conduct a "joint stock-taking." (NOTE: At a lunch with EU
chiefs of mission in Helsinki earlier in January, Stubb
previewed this idea, suggesting that Ashton and Clinton
lead the review. END NOTE.) To help kick-start the
process, he suggested several ideas to strengthen the
partnership:

-- Solidarity Pledge: A Lisbon-style pledge of solidarity
in the case of civilian crises such as terrorist attacks or
natural or man-made disasters. This would be a complement

HELSINKI 00000049 002.2 OF 002


to NATO commitments and would signal a "qualitative change"
in the relationship.

-- Transatlantic Green Economy: Existing institutions such
as the Transatlantic Economic Council and Transatlantic
Energy Council need to be used to achieve tangible results
in leading the globe towards a low-carbon economy.

-- Full-fledged Free Trade Area: According to Stubb, it is
"time to put our money where our mouth is."

-- Open Transatlantic Cooperation to Others: Africa and
South America are part of the Atlantic world as well, and
we should gradually open up cooperation with these "dynamic
. . . countries with varied strengths and a shared
background."

-------
COMMENT
-------

5. (SBU) Stubb's focus on the EU reflects his longstanding
commitment to strengthening that institution. His eyes are
wide open to its faults (for example, he has criticized its
failure to use leverage with Russia as its main energy
customer), but Stubb and many other Finnish leaders take
their EU membership very seriously. His focus on the EU
does not represent a weakening of Stubb's support for
NATO. (He has described the EU as one of three pillars of
Finland's foreign policy, along with Nordic Cooperation and
partnership with NATO.) He explicitly stated that his
proposal
is intended to complement, not undermine, NATO. Stubb's
speech drew no reactions in the Finnish media, as these
themes are consistent with his and the government's
views.
ORECK

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