Interview with Dr. Vasile Puşcaş; Former Minister of European Affairs of Romania
07.02.10 Interview conducted by Allison Brown
You spoke in your lecture about the crisis not being only financial and economic, but also being a political, cultural and social crisis. You spoke about the world being in flux, between an “old world order” and a “new world order”. What role do you see cultural diplomacy playing in the “new world order”?
You can talk about new institutions in two ways. First, would be changing the name of the existing institution. A second approach is doing something truly new and changing the type of approach (including the goals and the values), something that I expect to see very soon. We are in a transitional process right now, from an old to a new international system. Unfortunately for us, this process took too long. I’ve expected it since 1991, where both state and non-state leaders would see that the old system is over, and recognize that we need something new. Of course, the main powers of the world preferred the neorealist approach of anarchic relationships. But, today we are in a stage of finishing the transitional process and making new institutions or, if not, going from anarchy to chaos. I don’t think we need chaos. What we need is a new system of international relations and global interdependence to build up a new system based on new facts. When I talk about new values, I think about culture, mentality, and a new political culture, because we need a new political culture. Throughout these changes, the ICD continues to be a very good place for debate and for training new, qualified individuals for this type of new global management.
European growth has diminished significantly since the economic crisis. Some at this conference have pointed out that, throughout the recovery process, growth should not be the main focus. Do you think we should look at getting Europe back on the pre-2008 trajectories, or should we be focusing on something else?
I hope we learn that growth doesn’t mean development. We did face the growth of capital, and we did see the growth of the imbalance of colonization, which doesn't mean development. I hope that the crisis teaches us that development means, first of all, sustainability. Growth is only the wake of achieving this development. Personally, I am a fan of sustainable development because I think people understand, and have learned from these two decades since the Cold War, how important it is to have sustainable development, not only growth for one social group or part of the globe. Globalization does not mean uniformity. We don’t need, and we don’t like uniformity. What we need is equity for both individuals and groups, is involvement in the development process. We have to involve people with their knowledge, with their energy, and, hopefully, with their commitment.