On May 4, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) hosted former European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana for the seventh annual Sakıp Sabancı Lecture. In his address, Solana offered perspectives on security, stability and democracy in a changing world, and discuss how these changes are affecting Turkey’s relations with the United States and Europe and its emerging role as a global player.
Solana began his distinguished public service career in 1977 when he was first elected to the Spanish Parliament. He has served in the Spanish Cabinet as minister of culture, minister of education and science, and lastly as minister of foreign affairs. In 1995, Solana took office as secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). From 1999 to 2009, he was secretary general of the Council of the European Union and its first high representative for the common foreign and security policy. He is currently a distinguished senior fellow at Brookings.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott and Güler Sabancı, chair of Sabancı Holding, provided introductory remarks. Following Solana’s address, Kemal Derviş, vice president and director of Global Economy and Development at Brookings, offered comments. Sabancı University students and a wider overseas audience participated in the event via videoconference, moderated in Washington by CUSE Director and Senior Fellow Fiona Hill and in Istanbul by Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu.
The Sakıp Sabancı Lecture is given annually by a leading international statesman and explores Turkey’s increasingly important role in the world. The event honors the memory of Sakip Sabanci, one of Turkey’s foremost business leaders, a visionary supporter of democratic and economic reforms, and a leading advocate of Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union.