Superpower Europe

As said a quite a few times in the past, after America is done suiciding itself into the dustbin of history, you’re looking at your likely next superpower: A German-dominated United States of Europe. History tells us that when a superpower dies, there will ultimately be another one (or more) to fill in the gap. Donald Trump’s NATO funding rhetoric just might make it so real soon.

 

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – Under German pressure, the EU is pushing toward the establishment of military structures, independent of NATO, as is evidenced by recent decisions taken by its defense ministers. At their meeting, ending yesterday, the defense ministers decided, as a first step, that particular EU countries should enhance their military cooperation. The EU will establish a logistic hub and explore the creation of a European Medical Command. They planned the setting up of a nucleus for an EU civilian-military headquarters that, according to Italy’s foreign minister, could grow to become a European general staff. These structures could serve NATO, but in the end, are suitable for an EU army. Berlin’s attempt to pit the EU against the USA, by ostentatiously taking a distance to President-Elect Trump, has encountered opposition from the UK and several eastern EU countries. Leading European foreign policy makers called the EU a “superpower” expected to be a “global security provider.”

EU Army from Below

The decisions taken by the EU defense ministers at their meeting ending yesterday largely meet the demands for the enhanced EU military cooperation that Berlin, for years, has been pushing for, particularly since last summer. Recently, the German and French foreign and defense ministers had reiterated these demands in joint statements (german-foreign-policy.com reported [1]). The decisions include the demand to proceed with the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), as defined in Articles 42.6 of the Lisbon Treaty. Enhancing cooperation of particular EU countries, in fact, would lay the groundwork for creating an EU Army “from below.” However, the official founding of an EU Army is out of the question for as long as the UK is still a member of the EU. London considers NATO structures sufficient and has no interest in building a counter-force to the USA. Berlin’s drive to establish a common EU army was reiterated last weekend by Volker Kauder, Chair of the CDU/CSU Bundestag’s parliamentary group, when he declared, “we should now be on course toward a European Army.”[2]

Strategic Autonomy

The EU defense ministers have agreed on a joint logistic hub and the creation of a European Medical Command – both projects Berlin has been demanding for quite some time. Both would be available for EU military deployments, but, at any time, could be used also for NATO’s wars. The latter option is taking British opposition to the creation of an EU army into account. The decisions also included measures to enhance the EU’s armaments cooperation – as has been demanded by Berlin – particularly the development of European combat drones. The German government was unsuccessful with its appeal for establishing an EU military headquarters. The defense ministers have agreed on a sort of mini headquarters, a “permanent operational planning and conduct capability” to be used, however, only for “non-executive military missions.” Command for combat missions will remain within the responsibility of national headquarters.[3] Italy’s foreign minister, said the mini-headquarters is “not yet a European general staff” but “the premise.”[4] The EU defense ministers leave no doubt about the objectives of EU military cooperation: “strategic autonomy,” as they note in their final communiqué.[5] These measures will be authorized by the highest authority at the EU summit in December.

“Defenders of Liberal Democracy”

Struggle for Control

“Service Provider for Global Security”

The attempts to gradually shake off US influence and organize an EU military, are being flanked by calls for a “superpower Europe,” as EU foreign policy chief, Mogherini formulated it. The EU is facing “increasing competition in the global market,” explained Mogherini late last week. We can only succeed, if we “work together,” … “with the full potential of a superpower, in the field of security and defense.”[11] Mogherini, who, until now, has acted in accord with Berlin, was confident that there would be an increasing “demand of Europe” in global policy. “Request for a principled global security provider,” for “a superpower that believes in multilateralism and in cooperation.” “We are a superpower,” declared Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.[12]

The Decisive Phase

Mogherini and Asselborn are picking up the cues that had been openly discussed in German think tanks more than a decade ago.[13] The struggle to implement the concept of a “superpower EU,” until now, has been hampered by the numerous internal contradictions within the alliance. This process could now be entering its decisive phase.

Full article: Superpower Europe (German Foreign Policy)

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