Workshop Wrap-Up: Introductory Remarks
Lieutenant General Vincenzo Camporini
Vice Chief of Defense Staff of Italy
The difficult task of wrapping up what has been said at the workshop is now in the hands of several prominent personalities. One is the Minister of Education, Science, and Culture of the Republic of Iceland, Dr. Tómas Ingi Olrich. Dr. Olrich has also been a member of the Icelandic section of the NATO Parliamentarian Congress, so he has background knowledge relating to all the security problems. The other is Monsieur Jean-Arthur Régibeau, the Diplomatic Assistant of the Minister of Defense of Belgium, with whom I have shared the high moments of the creation of European security and defense institutions. We both were in the many meetings that resulted in the Helsinki Summit of December 1999.
THE EUROPEAN UNION
I would like to begin my remarks by talking about the European Union. The European Union has stated its intent and now must follow through on it by making use of all available resources and by increasing those resources. My own country is doing so, but the budget cannot be increased at the required rate. For instance, in 2003 it will increase only from 1.06% of GNP to 1.1%, which is far less than needed. My minister of defense recently called for immunizing the Stability Pact from the effects of a defense budget increase. This proposal would make it possible for European Union countries to make the needed resources available without infringing on the pact, which was at the root of the creation of the Euro.
POST-SEPTEMBER 11 CHANGES
I would also like to talk about what has changed since those terrible hours in September. I would say that our lives have changed. As citizens, we now must be subjected to a level of control that was unthinkable before. Workshop speakers have addressed many of the civil aviation issues that have arisen, one of which I came face to face with a few weeks ago when I had to throw away a Swiss knife I was very fond of before boarding a civilian aircraft. In the financial world a major change has resulted from the need to track terrorist-organization funds. Transparency measures are now in place that would not have been accepted before.
Another change I would like to highlight is the new role being played by international organizations, particularly NATO, which is now even more vital and indispensable than before, though in a different way. While future operations are likely to be undertaken by coalitions of the willing, these "willing" will need to meet training and equipment standards that are only seen in unique military alliances such as NATO. Meeting these standards will involve the issue of technology sharing, which was a main topic of the workshop, so that interoperability becomes reality. We expect that our U.S. friends will take more courageous steps in this direction with the understanding that they will also benefit in areas in which Europe is at the forefront.