Montag, 11. Mai 2009

More Pascal Lamy

Truth be told, I miss Pascal Lamy. I used to meet the affable Frenchmen regularly when he was still pushing EU trade interests down other countries throats. As EU trade Commissioner, he used to meet NGO´s on his tours around Europe. Because he loves to debate and exercise not just his legs (he runs marathons), but also his sharp mind. Because he wants to try and pretend that EU trade policy is democratic. And because he tends to think he is the smartest man in the room. He likes debates, because he likes (to think he is) winning them. - Since 2005, he has been running the World Trade Organization. In that role, I have met him less often. I have missed the debates, but I guess there is still time. A few days back - without much public fanfare- Lamy was confirmed as DG of the WTO for another four years. So far, his track record in that job has been disappointing - especially for himself. For years, even back in his old job, he has been working to finish the Doha trade round. When he was appointed, he called finishing Doha "the top priority". Luckily - for people and the planet, at least - he has failed - so far. But I suspect he really wanted this second term to be the one laughing at the end. The one who finishes the Round most people have forgotten about only to then claim that Doha is the miracle cure against the global recession. You can be certain that Lamy and the WTO will argue that liberalizing global trade is what a world in recession really needs now more than ever. No matter that the evidence is long in, that further liberalization is the wrong answer. - I hope, therefore, that Lamy continues to be so (over-)ambitious in his liberalizing zeal that the rest of the world refuses to go along with a Doha deal. - And in memory of the good times I have had debating Lamy, I here post a video of one of my visits to the WTO in 2005. Not sure if it managed to change WTO trade policy. But the action you see on the video, I am told, did change one WTO policy: the security policy. Apparently, it has since become more difficult to approach the WTO building (which ironically used to be the ILO building!) from the Lake Geneva side. Well, at least it´s a measurable impact .... Enjoy.

1 Kommentar:

Martin F hat gesagt…

Cute video, well done.

I remember Pascal Lamy getting VERY angry at one such NGO meeting you describe. We had regular meetings in Brussels with all the NGO consumer organizations, and he once showed up to talk about WTO. He really started fuming during the Q&A session, showing his very worst behaviour. I'm sure he is a nice guy, but he showed another side at the meeting.