Helmut Markov on World Bank nominee Robert Zoellick : „more like continuity than a new start“

Helmut Markov (GUE/NGL, DE), Chair of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament, commented today on the nomination by U.S. President George W. Bush of Robert Zoellick to take over from Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank. Robert Zoellick has just started a tour in Africa.

Mr Markov said : „For a sustainable resolution of its current crisis, the World Bank would need a new face with a new approach on its top. And so, at first, a more inclusive, more communicative nomination process for the World Bank President might have been a good idea. Also politically the nomination of Mr Zoellick as President of the World Bank seems more like continuity than a new start.

I have been following the WTO negotiation process for a couple of years during which time Mr Zoellick served as U.S. Trade Representative. From his government’s point of view he has certainly done a good job supporting radical liberalisation of global trade under the conditions of ‚global US leadership‘.

Bearing this in mind, I have my doubts about his commitment to a fair multilateral system where negotiations take place in international bodies and in an open and transparent atmosphere.

Nevertheless, good cooperation between governments, the EU and international institutions is a sine qua non in global politics and I believe Mr Zoellick is aware of this. During his visits to countries in Europe, Africa and Latin America he will have numerous opportunities to make himself familiar with the expectations relating to his new job.“