EU: Talking Instead of Doing
European Union leaders will meet in the Slovak capital on Sept. 16 to discuss the future of the organization. They will just meet, talk, have lunch, take pictures and say goodbye to each other. Once again nothing will happen, nothing will change. The fact is the EU leaders really do not know what actions to take but they feel the need to portray activity. Europeans are beginning to get used to the uselessness and ineffectiveness of these pathetic and costly events.
Meanwhile, the most vital issues on the European agenda are Great Britain’s leaving, regional security, and immigration. Today it is absolutely clear, that Brexit won’t dominate the upcoming European Union summit, though the other two topics will be the center of attention.
It is impossible to ignore the urgency of making changes in the international security system. The decision can no longer be postponed. The existing instruments, such as Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), are no longer operative and the alternatives have not been developed. According to Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, it is high time to revive arms control in Europe and try to build bridges. Obviously, it is Europe who should be very active in this process; the European leaders should be more independent in decision-making and developing new instruments and mechanisms of a regional security system.
The only organization the Europeans consider for international security is NATO. However, international security is not the same as European security. The United States bears the main financial burden and it is absolutely logical that the US chooses the priorities. Europe is only part of the US agenda.
It is not Russia, the US and NATO who are responsible for European security, but Europe itself. The superpowers have their own vision of regional security issues and will act accordingly in their own interests not Europe’s.
Europe is actively discussing the creation of its own armed forces. Some experts say that this project makes no sense at all. Critics insist that the project is only an attempt to fuel the arms industry, most notably that of the US. Others are in favor of the idea and consider it as a possibility to maintain independent European politics. It could be a step towards a multipolar world or just a waste of financial resources. In any case it is worth listening to Frank-Walter Steinmeier and for Europe to take ownership of the solutions for regional development and security.