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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The World Needs Europe's Nations, Not The EU.



The interplay between this blog and europhile Grahnlaw rolls on, with a suitable combination of mutual insult and admiration. Today Grahn mentions Security as a key requirement for a future Europe.

The problem with Europe's current defence profile is that it is being generated by the bureaucracy with no input or support from the 'demos'. The lack of democratic accountablility suits many European 'citizens' as they can shrug their shoulders and say that whatever military decisions are taken, are nothing to do with them. Troops can be sent to fight wars, but the countries are not invited to partake in the wars, only their armies.

It is one way to organise things.

The problem is that without popular support, the countries are not deploying enough troops to win the wars they are engaging in, and are not providing them with sufficient equipment, or moral support.

This weakness is no doubt visible to 'competitors' who are surging their military expenditure, at the same time building formidable military cultures, notably Russia and Iran.

The problem with Europe's lack of dialogue between its governments and its peoples about military and strategic affairs, is that an imbalance of military power between Europe and potential competitors is growing. This is very dangerous.

Dependence on the USA is not going to be effective as a longterm strategy, when America is already facing overstretch in the Middle East, and could soon also be facing challenges to her power in the Far East. Europe is going to have to pull her weight.

War and strategic interplay is a game of resources. By allowing Putin to build formidable military power, and Iran to arm herself and her proxies,while Europe sits locked in an EU-minded time warp, enjoying the supposed end of the cold war, new dangers are being created.

A new culture based on information about the strategic imbalance in the world, with respect and investment being made in military potential is the only way for Europe to ensure there is a secure future for her civilisation to survive and prosper.

The trouble with locking up the nations in the Lisbon process, where traditional national loyalties might otherwise have enabled a sense of survival to generate and face down military threats, is that decision-making becomes too remote. Leaders don't talk to their electorates about what is going on, and so people are left increasingly ignorant and uninvolved.

The EU is all about looking at Europe, when really Europe is fine anyway. It is democratic without the EU, economically successful without the EU, and it could be militarily successful without the EU. All the time and efforts of the national leaders are going into this black hole called the Lisbon Treaty, as, if it is successfully ratified, power will be gone from the nations.

That enables the current set of national leaders to call themselves leaders without the need to provide any leadership, or engage with their own peoples. They are detested as a result - notably Gordon Brown and Nicholas Sarkozy, both recording record lows in popularity since polling began - or they are entirely impotent as is Angela Merkel, now confined to a role as the national football coach. For the political and strategic health of the nations, this is a disaster. (not to mention that Sarkozy and Merkel are barely on speaking terms)

Only through managing the nations, can anything be done. The armies are loyal to their nations, and the peoples function as nations, giving support or otherwise to the views and decisions of their leaders. By removing power to Brussels, the nations will erode, and a Soviet winter will descend. To compete in the world, peoples' minds need to be alive, informed and ready to act to meet whatever threats and opportunities the world generates.

Lisbon is going in exactly the wrong direction. Only the nations can save Europe, but unlike in the past, the nations of Europe need not be fighting each other. After bitter past experience they should now be ready not to lock themselves up in a political game of fearful centralisation, but to confidently project democracy and freedom outwards to the world.

The EU is not the route to the future. It stands right in the way. For the world to prosper, Europe needs to let go of her past fears, and move to a new freer confidence. Germany is ready, and the other peoples of Europe are ready, as polling shows. The EU is not what the world needs, an undemocratic fearful power bloc, anxious about its whole existence, but confident independent nations cooperating to make the world a better place. This is what must come from the collapsing structure that is the EU today. And the subject of Security should be first on the list for the new faster-growing more confident Europe of Nations.

8 comments:

Grahnlaw said...

Tapestry,

Your Europe of Nations resembles a dispersed flock of hen as long as you do not envision how they are a) going to face up to the challenges on their own, or b) cooperate effectively on a much broder scale of international influence than NATO ever can.

Suggested reading: Global Power Europe.

tapestry said...

It is the EU which is threatening nations with expulsion from cooperative venture, for not voting it greater powers.

See this in Times - Kaletsky - today -

If the Irish Government refuses to do so, or its people vote “no” a second time, fairly explicit threats are already being issued about expulsion from the EU. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Foreign Minister, was quoted in The Financial Times this week as suggesting that “one way to implement the treaty was for Ireland to withdraw temporarily from the process of European integration”.

tapestry said...

Two stages.

One is the development of military capacity which is not happening (sufficiently) in most european countries.

Relying exclusively on large transnational organisations to provide all government and security causes disinterest at national level where the spending has to be made, and the commitment to defend has to be generated.

Permitting nations to retain their independence increases willingness to defend themselves.

Stage two - the formation of countries into alliances.

Allowing the nations to remain politically independent democracies will stimulate greater defence capability.

The nations can and do organise into transnational defensive organisations such as NATO, without having to be EUised for all aspects of their government.

steve webb said...

"Europe's nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation." -- Jean Monnet--36 years ago.

Grahnlaw said...

Steve Webb,

At least I want to do it openly, and with the EU citizens electing the officeholders and setting the course for our common venture.

Tapestry,

In my view, at least some member states are not mature enough to advance towards an effective and democratic union. They should be allowed to stay at their comfort level, without obstructing progress for others.

At the same time, a new core or union would show if even a part of the member states are ready to really deepen the new citizens' EU.

tapestry said...

The elite are in love with deepening, but are the people? A referendum would tell them, but they don't dare to hold one.

It's a bizarre maturity - one that is not permitted to be asked. Surely maturity entitles a people to be consulted, not to have power imposed over them by the will of others.

Or does maturity mean willingness to comply with the will of others without complaint. That's serfdom.

Suppressing the will of a people is to treat them as immature.

The idea of a power elite deciding if a people is 'mature' or not seems deeply sinister.

That is why I left Europe. I don't wish to live in a world where there is an elite that decides things for me. I was born into a democracy, and I will live in one somewhere in the world until I die.

Europe is no longer a democracy - not until Lisbon is buried, not until the EU is buried.

Your attitudes are the ones that permit the removal of democratic rights from peoples. It is sinister to read them so blatantly expressed. It sends a shiver down my spine.

Anonymous said...

Democracy—or better, constitutional government—is dependent on military power. That is to say, without the means to defend constitutional government from outside aggressors, our democracy will atrophy or be plucked apart by foreign designs. Unless you reside in the delusional world of the liberal internationalist, who believes nation states can all get along in a Kantian/Grotian paradise, those who continue to support the exhausted (existing) nation states of Europe will be in for a shock. These institutional structures—which are not 'natural', but constructions or imagined communities—are now unable to hold the attentions or loyalties of their people in the way they once did.

What an earth is there to be proud of about modern Belgium, Germany, Poland, France or the UK? These countries may have glorious pasts, but they are looking quite fragile and banal in the modern world.

A vast and expansive (in the geopolitical sense) European federal state has the potential to recapture peoples' imaginations, providing a new sense of dynamism and purpose for all of us in the twenty-first century. In so doing, it also has the potential to provide the security and defences necessary to protect us from foreign threats and challenges.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever as to why a constitutional government cannot be created at the European level. Indeed, it is only at this level that democracy can function, as giant and potentially dangerous new powers like China and Russia emerge in this century. I want constitutional government in Europe, but I also want Britain and Europe to remain powerful and prosperous in the coming century. The two are not mutually exclusive, but actively buttress one another.

tapestry said...

It is only at this level that democracy can function.....

Nice to know that you have an open mind.