The EU’s ‘Internal Enemies’

BERLIN (Own report) – In view of the conflict between Brussels and Rome over Italy’s national budget, the German establishment is increasing its demands to resolutely fight the “internal enemies” of the EU. The Union must “now be vigorously defended,” wrote a leading German daily. The Italian government coalition is “not worth risking the country’s fate.” The Italian government is being put into question, because it refuses to continue to submit to German austerity dictates. Berlin’s dominance over the EU is also being met with mounting protests in other member countries. Poland and Hungary are not the only countries, where controversies are intensifying. Anger at Berlin is also growing in France. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the founder of “La France insoumise,” who, with almost 20 percent, barely missed making the run-offs in the 2017 presidential elections, has now called for “France to withdraw from all EU treaties.” The German elite’s reaction is becoming more hostile.

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A Matter of National Interest

BERLIN (Own report) – In light of the drastic warnings of the EU’s possible disintegration, Berlin seeks to prevent the formation of contending forces. “The European Union is drifting apart to an extent hardly imaginable 15 years ago,” according to a recent analysis, written by a board member of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). The “dividing lines” between the north and the impoverishing south, as well as between western and eastern EU member countries are disquieting. To prevent the formation of a southern European bloc opposing the German austerity dictate, Berlin is particularly trying to integrate France into its EU policy. Yesterday, the German chancellor sought closer cooperation with the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to undermine an alliance of the Visegrád members against German predominance. At the same time, promotion of the EU has been intensified within Germany. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel explained how Germany ultimately profits from its net contributions to the EU budget: The success of German exports depends on “the people in the other EU countries” being able “to afford” German products – with the help of Brussels’ subsidies. Continue reading

Divide and Rule

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) – With today’s special summit of four heads of state, Berlin is preparing the EU’s transformation in response to the Brexit. The German chancellor will meet in Versailles this afternoon with France’s president and the prime ministers of Italy and Spain. Selected southern EU members have been included in alleged leadership meetings with the German chancellor to prevent a southern European bloc from emerging, which could possibly, in the future, put an end to German austerity dictates. With Great Britain’s exit, the neo-liberal oriented EU countries are loosing the necessary quorum for a veto in EU bodies. Berlin could also encounter problems with the Eastern European “Visegrád Group,” which does not want to support the emergence of a powerful integrated core around a German hub, because it would consolidate a two or even three-class EU. Reinforcement of the EU’s anti-refugee border-management and particularly its resolute militarization are emerging as the common denominators for the Union’s transformation. Continue reading

Visegrad Countries May Turn EU Battlegroup into Permanent V4 Rapid Reaction Force

The beginnings of a European Army? Only time will tell.

We, the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, recognize that current security trends in Europe call for even closer regional defence cooperation and multinational programs deeply rooted in NATO and EU policies. The Visegrád Cooperation continues to serve as a platform for coordination of our countries in all European and transatlantic security policy fora.

In our statement in October 2013 we tasked our Defence Ministers to deepen defence cooperation among our countries by drafting a Long Term Vision specifying our shared strategic objectives, strengthening cooperation in the field of training and exercises of the armed forces in the V4 format, and creating a framework for an enhanced defence planning cooperation. We thereby endorse the results achieved and, in particular, welcome the adoption of the Long Term Vision this March. The areas of cooperation stipulated in the Long Term Vision, and subsequently identified opportunities for common V4 defence projects and cooperative ventures provide the sufficient foundation for the New Opening in our defence relations. We encourage further efforts in implementing these forward-looking ideas. Continue reading