The diplomatic revolution in Europe has already taken place


Berlin, 31 March 2017: “The logic of war was replaced by the logic of peace in European Foreign Policy”, said Ambassador Wendelin Ettmayer during his lecture at the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute. Historically, diplomacy involved the promotion of state power, but now the promotion of common values and culture is preeminent. This creates peace, as peace is built on principles of common values. This represents a big paradigm change in diplomatic relations within the European Union. What has changed is the attitude to how diplomacy takes place, and how Europe creates its diplomatic relations. Nowadays, diplomacy’s goal is the increase of welfare, and in terms of cooperation, this means the creation of jobs and saving the environment.

Ettmayer mentioned the big achievement in Europe has been that nation-states have given up essential parts of their sovereignty, which led to the integration of EU member states into the European Union. But the EU has not succeeded in creating, in itself, a common sovereignty. The biggest example here is the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), as it has still not been possible to implement a common European Defence Unit, and the ESDP is more of a conflict and defence management tool of single member states.

“Compared to Europe, the US still has the promotion of the power of the state in its diplomacy approach, which makes it more and more difficult to find consensus. While Europe has so far tried to defend its values outside the European Union, the US has also had economical goals. This development started after end of the Cold War, ” explained Wendelin Ettmayer, “Sometimes this has led to a misunderstanding of NATO missions”.

Wendelin Ettmayer is an Austrian diplomat, politician, and author, who was awarded his Doctorate in law at the University of Vienna in 1966. After graduating from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, he entered the Austrian diplomatic service in 1969. Following two years in the Austrian Foreign Ministry and time spent in military service, he was seconded to head the office of Alois Mock, then the deputy leader of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (ÖVP), and later foreign minister. Between 1977 and 1993 Ettmayer was a member of the Austrian National Parliament, deputy chairman of the Audit Committee, and a member of the committees on constitution, internal security, science and education, foreign affairs, and Austrian industries. He served as ambassador to Finland from 1994 to 2000 (with additional accreditation to Estonia), ambassador to Canada between 2000 and 2003 (with additional accreditation to Jamaica), and ambassador to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from 2005 to 2008.

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute hosts a monthly lecture series relating to the DOC research agenda. These lectures cut straight to the heart of key conflicts and debates around the world today. With topics ranging from economics, global governance, philosophy, and religion, to infrastructure, development, and social inclusion, it offers a platform for diverse voices.  Speakers address the theme of dialogue from a variety of perspectives, shedding new light on issues at the centre of global consciousness.