Conference room in Berlin, Germany

Het uitvoeren van buitenlands beleid

NEW YORK – Een vaak gebruikt citaat van filmmaker Woody Allen is dat “Komen opdagen 80% van het leven is.” Je kunt het oneens zijn met het percentage, maar het inzicht van Allen is belangrijk: je moet aan het spel deelnemen – een speler zijn – om kans te maken op het verwezenlijken van je doelstellingen.

Hetzelfde geldt voor zaken die de wereld aangaan. Als komen opdagen 80% van het leven is, bestaat minstens 80% van het buitenlands beleid uit opvolgen. Slimme plannen, goede bedoelingen en sterke onderhandelingsvaardigheden zijn cruciaal, maar nooit genoeg – niet eens een klein beetje. Net als in het zakenleven, in het onderwijs en op veel andere terreinen van het leven is het laten werken van buitenlands beleid – of het niet laten werken daarvan – een zaak van tenuitvoerlegging.

Deze constatering zal in 2016 en de daaropvolgende jaren meer dan eens op de proef worden gesteld. Een prominent voorbeeld is het Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), het handelsakkoord dat in oktober werd ondertekend door twaalf landen in Azië en de Amerika's die aan de Pacific grenzen. Als het akkoord van kracht wordt, zal het de wereldhandel doen groeien, de economische groei een impuls geven, en de banden van de Verenigde Staten versterken met regionale bondgenoten, die anders in de verleiding zouden komen dichter tegen China aan te kruipen.

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