The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

Last Friday in Bratislava the European leaders set a crucial precedent. The EU Summit was convened for the first time, without the British Prime Minister being present. (From left to right) 1st Francois Holland, President of France, 2nd Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, 3rd Endda Kenny, Irish Prime Minister, 4th Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus, 6th Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, 7th Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Belgium. (Date: 14/09/2016, Location: Bratislava, Slovakia. © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service).

Last Friday in Bratislava the European leaders set a crucial precedent. The EU Summit was convened for the first time, without the British Prime Minister being present. (From left to right) 1st Francois Hollande, President of France, 2nd Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, 3rd Endda Kenny, Irish Prime Minister, 4th Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus, 6th Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, 7th Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Belgium. (Date: 14/09/2016, Location: Bratislava, Slovakia. © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service).

Last Friday in Bratislava, the Slovak capital, the 27 EU leaders met for the first time without the British Prime Minister. Reportedly they diagnosed that the Union has a grave problem, distancing itself from the people. Of course, the frustration of voters with the EU has not manifested itself just in the Brexit. Brussels have a lot more to worry about. According to Donald Tusk, the President of the EU Council, “People are concerned about, what they see, as lack of control, and express fears over migration, terrorism and last but not least, about their economic and social future”.

It’s a sign of degradation though that a Summit of the EU leaders was convened simply in order to repeat the truism about the Europeans not trusting Brussels any more. Not a word from the leaders about a structured and relevant strategy to confront the Union’s problems. In short, the meeting had all the boring characteristics of similar gatherings, with one exception however. Germany and France went on with their tactics to bulldoze the others. The South led by the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi expressed dissatisfaction about economic growth and immigration, while the Visegard countries (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary) as usually ostracized the EU’s immigration policy.

There was a novelty

Nevertheless, the 27EU leaders agreed on one very important matter. An informed reader going through Tusk’s account about what happened in Bratislava last Friday, will skip the usual wishful thinking about better opportunities for young Europeans and a waterproof Schengen zone. The reader will be struck by the determination expressed in the Summit about additional military structures.

After the Summit, the President of the Council said the EU leaders are determined “to strengthen EU cooperation on external security and defense. In December, the European Council will decide on how to make best use of the options available in the Treaties”. The haste expressed here is rather unusual for such an important issue. Looking in the Treaties to find a place for a new European army, for ‘external security and defense’ is not at all a small thing.

A brand new army

Unquestionably, this will be a new defense structure, because the EU already operates a military service. Today the European Union Military Committee conducts services in Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and elsewhere. The EUMC also manages an EU’s warship fleet in the Mediterranean, tasked with boarding all navigation to and from Libya and control the immigrant flows.

Tusk clearly stated that the EU will create now a new and obviously much stronger and more flexible defence structure than the existing one. Understandably, it will be built on the premises of the EUMC. This will very probably be in parallel with the mighty North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but obviously the new EU’s own military structure will be completely independent from it. The absence of the British Prime Minister was a kind of green light for this new EU defense construction. Britain had been thoroughly vetoing any EU military initiative beyond the EUMC, because London believed it could get in the way of NATO.

Who wants to sell more arms?

No need to speculate who is behind this new EU defense initiative. France and Germany are by far the largest arm producers and exporters of the Union. Incidentally, the duo of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Holland met in private before and after the Bratislava Summit. On top of that, for the first time after the EU leaders’ meeting, the duo held a Press Conference, excluding every other head of government from it. Presumably, this was not only to show their peers who is in charge, but also to make sure that the message of the new military initiative is heard all over continental Europe, across the English Channel to London.

No wonder then, why Renzi after the Summit stated loudly that he was unsatisfied with the Summit’s conclusions about economic growth and immigration. Discontent with the Summit was also expressed by other EU leaders. The Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orban, delivered a philippic against the EU bureaucrats. He said that the Commission has “deceived” the leaders and asked the Commission to “show some respect for the people”. Obviously, apart from the new defence option, the EU is as divided as never before.

A landmark decision

Undoubtedly, the Bratislava EU Summit has set a precedent. Germany and France indirectly but very clearly clarified that they no longer care for a closer EU or about the cohesion of this club. If they did, they should have come up with an effective strategy to overcome the economic stagnation and the immigration deadlocks. Instead, Merkel and Hollande made sure that the Union is there to serve their countries’ interests, more so now when Britain is practically out of the game.

Alas, it’s a shame to watch Germany and France take care strictly only of their own national interests. Once upon a time they were the two locomotives, which drove Europe to prosperity and cohesion. Today they pay very little attention to similar matters as regards the entire club. The new military edifice is perceptibly planned to support the Franco-German defence industry and make sure that everybody else pays for that.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

‘Climate change is the battle of my life’, UN chief tells students living on the frontline in Fiji

Ebola cases rising in DR Congo, but UN health agency cites progress in community trust-building

EU budget 2019 approved: focus on the young, innovation and migration

Can Argentina’s new president save the country’s economy?

ECB to play down IMF’s alarms for deflation danger in the EU

Europe led by Germany seems vulnerable to Trump’s threats

The good news on pensions: sustainable equals profitable

India’s mega-rich are on the rise

This is why coral reefs are so vital for the planet

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

We can end TB right now. Here’s how

Global hunger is on the rise. These simple steps could help eradicate it

Women in Switzerland have gone on strike – this is why

Employers’ organizations work towards improving the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises

JADE Testimonial #2: Jacques @ Process mapping

Two days left until General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), lots of newsletter opt-outs but does the EU citizen really know?

We had the hottest June ever this year – this is what happened around the world

Draghi’s negative interest rates help Eurozone’s cohesion

We must treat cybersecurity as a public good. Here’s why

Mental health at stake: A silent epidemic of 21st century

Further reforms in Sweden can drive growth, competitiveness and social cohesion

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

America’s student debt crisis explained

Future of Insurance Claims in Focus at Fourth Annual Connected Claims Europe Summit

Youth Forum calls on Parliament to ease entry into Europe for young people

The financial future of Eurozone on the agenda of Friday’s ECOFIN council

‘Bring to life’ precious moments caught on film or tape, UN agency urges on World Day

Joris in Indonesia

Business models inspired by nature are the future

Hatred ‘a threat to everyone’, urges Guterres calling for global effort to end xenophobia and ‘loathsome rhetoric’

These are the world’s 10 most innovative economies

A for-profit project has improved nutrition in Rwanda – is it a model that can eliminate hunger across Africa?

A new way to teach active citizenship to students?

China is now heavily endorsing its big investment flow in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

EU’s social crisis and unemployment to deteriorate

Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

An ECB banker wants to change the European social model

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

Earthquake: Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Global response to poverty and environmental goals ‘not ambitious enough’

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

Europe and UN form bulwark against ‘might makes right’ worldview, EU foreign affairs chief tells Security Council

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

Medical students of today, technological doctors of tomorrow

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

This credit card has a carbon-emission spending limit

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

UN must provide redress for minorities placed in toxic Kosovo camps, says rights expert

Russia – US in Syria: Selling Afrin to Turkey but facing off ruthlessly for Ghouta

A Sting Exclusive: “Stronger Cybersecurity for a safer EU against cybercrime and cyber threats”, by MEP Dalli

ECB describes in detail how it exploits the poor

These countries are leading the charge to clean energy

The Collapse of the Brazilian Health Care System

Zero carbon by 2050 is possible. Here is what we need to do

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s