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


  1. You are not co-joining individuals into the EU but nation states. In the process the EU destroying them as working democracies, as effective economic units and as cultural units capable and willing to defend themselves.

    If the EU allows the nation states to be independent, as they finally will be whatever attempts are made to Lisbonise, they will more effectively achieve your desired aims.

    They are capable of acting in alliance to meet threats, and will have more chnace of defeating threats with more capability.

    Yes the nation state is the platform of democracy, of culture, of defensive will and ability, and of economic growth.

  2. Tapestry,

    Actually, my ideal is to join individuals and for the EU to serve its citizens, with them choosing the officeholders and setting the course for the union.

    The EU is an additonal level of politics and future democratic governance.

    Given the diversity of Europe, I am not especially afraid of states, languages or cultures disappearing.

    If you study the present state of European military spending, you would find an enormous amount of duplication with forces geared towards territorial defence, while international capabilities are underdeveloped (in spite of almost six decades of NATO; admitted, much less in Central Europe).

    Your view of 'independence' still begs the question how you are going to tend to the common interests. Perhaps you don't even care?


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