Thursday, 26 June 2008

EU: How many humiliations?

Our interlocutor, the Tap Blog, has made a first venture into the world after the imagined European Union collapse. Their vision is a Europe of Nations, in ‘The World Needs Europe’s Nations, Not The EU’ (26 June 2008):


It sounds nice and cosy, but how on earth are the European nation states going to prosper on their own in a harsh world, when they fail to get their act together under the current (and proposed) veto-enabling rules?

Russia has been picking of the EU countries at will, to the extent that it seems to be sorry for their present state of disarray. On the other hand, the EU’s possibilities to negotiate have been blocked by repeated national vetoes.

For a realistic assessment of the EU countries’ predicament, read the summary on EU–Russia relations by Robert Amsterdam ‘A Broken Europe Can’t Negotiate with Moscow’ (25 June 2008):

For a realist assessment of the challenges for Europe, I repeat my recommendation to read the blog by James Rogers, Global Power Europe:


Squabbling with each other and vetoing away their future, the EU member states are in for a lot of humiliations on the international scene.

Most of the time, they can, of course, cobble together a statement deploring the situation …

The Lisbon Treaty would improve the internal efficiency of the European Union’s common foreign and security policy, but the real world effectiveness of its policies would still be hostage to the ‘liberum veto’.

In other words, the proposed improvements are too little, too late.

The European leaders will the good outcomes, but they refuse the means to achieve them.


But to propose a Europe of Nations – cosy as it sounds – is taking the wrong turn altogether, as long as there is no convincing explanation of how these proud nations would do better completely on their own or with an added dose of intergovernmental inefficiency.

The Tap Blog, in my humble opinion, suffers from one fundamental flaw. Its object of worship is the nation state.

My yardstick is the interest of the EU citizen. From two main angles: security and prosperity.

We already have our nations, and they are not going to disappear. But we need the team effort called the European Union, indeed a much improved EU, not only willing, but able to defend our common interests.

How many humiliations have to be endured before we get what we need?

Ralf Grahn