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Top 9: Dr. Franziska Brantner

Sep 06, 2011

brantner01Member
European Parliament

Describe the impact on foreign policy you have made in your current/past jobs.
Throughout my foreign policy engagement I focus on challenging status-quo positions and to grasp the underlying structural problems causing conflicts within and between states. As foreign affairs spokesperson for the Green/European Free Alliance group, I have committed my work especially to conflict prevention, the respect of human rights, gender equality, and the respect for international conventions and treatises.

I have considerably impacted the setting up of the European External Action Service, insisting on an institutional set up facilitating a holistic approach to conflict prevention and crisis management, among others initiating funding for the build-up of a European Mediation Support Group.

What personal contribution to foreign policy are you most proud of?
My work with the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the French European Union presidency for the implementation of the United Nations 1325 resolution leading to the European Union 1325 framework, the build-up of a mediation capacity in the European Union´s external action service, my October 2010 hearing on European Union-Libya negotiations with which I could set the agenda for many topics now discussed, as well as a recent week-long visit of young Egyptian women leaders of the revolution to the European institutions in Brussels.

What is your vision of foreign policy in the 21st Century?
My vision is that we will be guided by the long-term and achieve such coherence across and among our internal and external policies so as to finally be capable of preventing conflict and building sustainable peace.

What is the greatest foreign policy issue facing our generation?
The return to the nation state, a narrow definition of national interests, and a lack of trust in international institutions. This manifests itself in the unwillingness to sacrifice short term national economic interests for the benefit of global public goods, such as the climate, manageable financial sectors, or social welfare states. This also leads to a (dangerous) unregulated privatization of the military because citizens are no longer willing to engage internationally.

What challenges need to be overcome to create better foreign policy?
The battle between national sovereignty and international cooperation and the battle between private economic and public welfare interests. Augmenting the number of and visibility of women in leading positions.

What personal, managerial, and leadership skills and traits must the next generation of foreign policy leaders possess?
Be able to understand the complexity of international relations today, no narrow-minded diplomat but a world citizen, whether inter-governmental, inter-IGO, or public-private.

How can foreign affairs be made more accessible to Americans, particularly younger generations?
The U.S. government should include young people in the debate, foster exchange programs with other countries and consider the arguments they put forth.

Which living or dead foreign policy practitioner do you look up to the most?
Joschka Fischer, Kofi Annan

Which living or dead foreign policy practitioner do you think has missed the mark and why?
Guido Westerwelle - no principle, no idea, no initiative anywhere, pure populism and domestically driven foreign policy.

Angela Merkel because of her failure to take leadership in fostering European integration in time of crisis and her “roll-back” on climate.

If you could change a critical decision in history to affect foreign policy, what would it be?
The appointment of Catherine Ashton as First-Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union. The election of George W. Bush.

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