Reshaping EU-US Relations
A Concept Paper
The European Union and the United States are major players in the globalised world order: often they determine its course, sometimes they are adversely impacted and above all they are being profoundly transformed by its effects. But in the ten years since 2000, the foundations of American power (military force, technological excellence, economic success) have been severely shaken, as have the certainties of the European project (continuous prosperity, citizen support, the attraction of the European model).
As a result, Euro-American relations can no longer be approached and practiced in the way they were for more than half a century. A high-level European reflection group comprising former Ministers and Heads of Government was brought together by Notre Europe to review the future of the Euro-American partnership. It undertook a sober examination of the changes under way in the world and their effects on the European Union and the United States. Above all, the group proposes a new approach based on renunciation of EU national and US imperial illusions that could enable the Euro-American partnership to become a springboard for a global partnership.
Reflection Group: Romano Prodi, Guy Verhofstadt (co-chairs),
Jerzy Buzek, Etienne Davignon, Jacques Delors, Joschka Fischer,
Paavo Lipponen, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa.
Guy Verhofstadt who pleads on a very fanatic way for weapon deliveries to the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’ and calls for a NATO intervention in Syria, is since 2012 a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms).
In 2004, Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission. In the 2009 European Parliament election, he was elected a member of the European Parliament for the term 2009–2014. He also has been put forward as the possible candidate for replacing José Manuel Barroso as the president of the European Commission by a coalition of greens, socialists and liberals.
On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament. Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 80 former statesmen.
The Belgian industrialist Viscount Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.
One of the groups participating in Sofina is EXMAR Group. This group specialises in the transport of liquefied gas and was created following its breakaway from the maritime transport company CMB in 2003. The company owns a fleet of ships that are able to transport both liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), including propane, butane and ammonia, for which it is also the world leader in the midsize segment, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). As part of the transport of LNG, EXMAR has developed, in partnership with its American partner Excelerate Energy, a technology that makes it possible to regasify the gas on board the ships (LNG RV, Liquefied Natural Gas Regasification Vessel). More recently, EXMAR has developed an offshore activity, which also offers services for oil platforms, such as storage, handling and unloading of oil and gas products. In addition, EXMAR also designs and installs new offshore structures, such as OPTI-EX, a semi-submersible platform designed to exploit oil and gas fields in deep waters. Based on its expertise in the field of maritime fleet management, EXMAR offers technical assistance and insurance services to maritime transport companies.
Davignon is the former president of the Bilderberg Group. He is also president of ‘Friends of Europe (BP, BT, Cargill,The Coca Cola Group, Deutsche Post, Dow, Eni, EUGAO, Eurofuel, Europia, ExxonMobil, Facebook, First Solar, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), GIZ, Huawei, International Fragrance Association (IFRA), LM&CO, Merifin Capital, Microsoft, New Bulgarian Media Group Holding, Repsol, Sanofi, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Schuttelaar & Partners, Shell International, Statnett, Statoil, TATA consultancy services, Telefónica, The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE), Total, Toyota Europe, United Technologies Corporation (UTC), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) European Policy Office (EPO) and Yara)
Current directorships and offices held by Davignon: Chairman of Compagnie Maritime Belge, Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, Recticel, Sibeka, SN Airholding, Palais des Beaux-Arts (Belgium) and CSR Europe. Vice-Chairman of SUEZ-TRACTEBEL (Belgium), Director of Accor (France), Cumerio, Real Software, SN Brussels Airlines (Belgium), and Gilead (United States).