Pax Europeana – EU 37 – European Union of 37 as role model for the World
The EU 37 as answer to the global challenges in a Post 2014 World to stabilize and integrate Eastern Europe, contain neo-imperial Russia, offer a new partnership to Turkey and the Islam World and reshape the US, UK and EU relation during and after Brexit and the new American Presidency
Born out of the ashes of the World War and able to unite most bitter enemies like France and Germany – united – despite hate – by economic reason and very real threat of the Red Army ready for take over of the Western rest of Europe to eradicate Democracy, Capitalism and Freedom in its first decade after the end of war. Despite the odds, close to a miracle – the amazing success of Western Europe organized in the then European Community -initiated by US think tanks, the recovery financed by America via the Marshall fund and defended jointly by NATO challenged the Soviet Union into a long and expensive system competition in which the materialistic-socialist system simple petered out, despite almost limitless resources of Siberia and Northern Asia and total disrespect for human live and nature surrender due to moral and financial bankruptcy unable to convince the people to stay in Communist paradise once fear and force was not longer used limitless. The shock of the Beijing Tiananmen massacre made limitless force less attractive to supposed reforming socialist leaders in 1989 and once this option was off the table. People started to leave and brick by brick socialist Europe, first the Warsaw Pact allies, than the Soviet Union starting with the Baltic’s opened and than Former YU and the Balkan states removed socialist Dictatorship and started to join the West and its trinity of values of Democracy, Capitalism and Rule of Law. And again Europe – jointly with the US was up to the challenge and started enlargement to open the opportunity of the European trinity of values of equal representation of sovereign states small, medium or big, former powers or just born, the power of the European Internal Market with free movement of goods, service, capital and people and the protection of European Law equal for all. It took Europe just 6 years to include the Central and Northern European Neutral Block Austria, Sweden and Finland, countries living in fear for 50 years buffered between an aggressive East and attractive West, which they were not allowed or did not dare to join. Now once the eastern pressure was gone within just a couple of years of preparation of institutions, economic and public they joined the West in the form of the EU. A country like Austria that France has created just to keep Germany small and never a French State President found time and reason to honor with a visit for 50 years was on the same table like mighty France and the State President of the 5. Republique found time and reason to celebrate French Austrian relation. Oh what a difference a vote in the EU council makes. Still in 1988 France unilateral imposed Visa duty for Austrians after a terror attack in Paris completely unrelated to Austria. But the mission of Europe in the 90ies did not stop with medium sized medium affluent central and northern European neutrals. Europe was but to the challenges and despite all resistance from trade unions and nationalist the reasonable forces of European politics invited 10 new member states and by 2004 the European Union was at 25 States! United in equality, included the Internal market and protected by European Law. What a success, unprecedented in terms of leadership and 8 of them transformed within 15 years from communist dictatorship and poverty into EU member states with all the opportunities and rights and what a success for all sides. What a unprecedented level of prosperity, security and stability in Central Europe and first time Central Europe catching up with living standards of Western Europe in a way not seen since the time a century ago when the new member states joined in 2014 were part of the German, Austrian, Russian or Turkish Empire all four of Empires perished in the Great war. Yes the Turkish Empire as well as the EU was ready for enlargement still after the big bang of 2004 and in 2007 Romania and Bulgaria, the Eastern Balkans were welcome as well. But than a combination of factors allowed only one more country Croatia to join in 2013 and that needed a lot of arm twisting from Germany and a bit of help as possible from Austria to make that reality and to reach today’s 28 member states. Still Croatia was at war footing still until 1995 and 2013 makes it 18 years of accession from peace following victory. Not bad but not the speed of the 90ies in Central Europe. But can we stop at 28? Are there no countries ready to join and fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria? There are 6 Balkan countries, 5 former YU and Albania – out there waiting and 6 from the European Eastern Partnership meaning 6 former SU countries potentially interested in various degrees with Ukraine and Georgia leading the group and Moldova until recently as well with clear EU accession ambition. But what is the EU response? Is there the same spirit linked in the 90ies with the elite convincing the public and leading it where it was not convinced? Where does the talk of common house of Europe open for all peace and freedom love people? Do they people in Liviv deserve less Europe than Cracow citizens? Belgrade or Zagreb? Chisinau or Bucharest? Nicosia or Tbilisi? Tirana or Tallinn? Is this fair? Is this reasonable? Is this the right public policy? And do we no undermine our own values when we hesitate promote them?
From 2008 onwards a combination of factors has derailed the European dynamic in enlargement mainly 4 key factors the first one being the revival of Russian Imperial Ambition always a objective under Putin openly turning hostile from 2008 where the Russia felt the last year of the George w Bush Presidency opens a window of opportunity for them to from the Balkans with their rejection of Kosovo independence in February 2008, the Bucharest NATO summit in April with the negative outcome for Ukraine and Georgia leading straight to Russian inspired Government take over in Ukraine and the Russian aggression against Georgia in August. Here we are all over in the Cold war with a neutral belt from Minsk to Kyiv to Belgrade to Skopje to an extent. Just moved from Austria to Ukraine and the Central Balkans one could say. But this time it was less the neutral non members afraid of Russian ambition but more the already rich Western EU member states running for Russia wealth and claiming respect for Russian interest happy to sacrifice Eastern European and Balkan EU aspirations. In 2008 it was still greed and prospects of Russian wealth and possible genuine feeling of hope for a Democratic Russia able to live in peace with the West and possible work in a kind of strategic partnership. With the double invasion of Ukraine of 2014, event of a global game changing significance these hopes have disappeared and are now replaced by fear, the ancient fear of brutal Russian force and having to accommodate their imperial power projected right into the heart of central Europe with energy and nuclear war the central elements of subdue the unwilling weak and Russian money the honey to smooth simpler motivated political leaders. Imperial Russia of 2017 understand that the Trinity of Values of the European Union is a directly challenge to its trinity of control, force and fear. And the EU –Russian Federation border from Finland to Estonia to Belarus, Ukraine, the Black Sea and to Georgia and 9 of the 15 former Soviet republics safely in the EU and with ever more prosperity and rights of European Union citizens and communicating and radiating such freedoms to their friends and relatives and universities colleagues and army and schoolmates just dreaming of such a live is certainly not the results the proud inheritors of Stalin-s Empire dream of. But again, can we as the West stop Western orientation of Eastern European nations and people mainly of fear of Russian Nuclear threats.
The second reason come in 2008 with the global financial crisis hitting Europe hard and unprepared and lacking the institutions on Union level to deal with such global shocks. The new 12 member states coming from a decade of transformation have all managed quite well and so has central Europe but the southern Europeans spell in European prosperity with the structural reforms culminated in the European debt crisis and Europe had to develop first all the full economic governance mechanism of ESM and Banking supervision and Fiscal oversight and many more which has allowed the US to recover much faster than the EU all of which led to less appetite of the EU 27 than for more exposure to risk and risk as what further enlargement so supposed to be. But enlargement bringing more countries, people, resources into the Internal Market is very much the answer for growth and stability and for competitiveness so urgently needed. Keeping people and state out can not be the answer of a crisis of overconsumption and reckless public spending of Western rich nations and Southern Europeans treating themselves as if they would be such Western European wealth centers since generations and not basically the first rich generation in southern Europe since the decline of the Mediterranean economy with the rise of the Western powers and the industrial revolution. The financial crisis and the debt crisis has led to a rise of populist parties as the center seemed not ensure direction and leadership and attention, funds and efforts were focused on stability of the system and a crisis of overconsumption and over spending was fought with more spending and more deficit leading to logically default of the weaker southern European member states already living beyond their means. The more logical step of increasing consumer demand by significant tax reductions and increasing the competitive situation of SME and big business by lower tax rates was only undertaken in the new more competitive and reform minded new member states. With a supply side growth agenda, with enhanced structural reforms and substantial tax cuts growth would have restarted faster from Greece to Italy to France and with growth job creation and increased budgets revenues would have avoided the populist surge from left and right which we face now. But scarifying enlargement because we cannot deliver growth inside the EU and than we start a big distribution debate and conflict between various groups and countries is neither fair nor helpful. A more open economy, less taxation, more reasonable fiscal developments in the 2000 and more courage in reforms is the only answer with or without enlargement and given the better results of the new half of the EU enlargement is certainly a stabilizing factor during the crisis and more countries will be as well.
The 3rd factor is decision making in a Union of then 27 and from 2013 then 28 and soon 27 again after Brexit. Decision making of in a Union of States having been just a cozy dozen until 1995 and after a dozen years, a good decade from 12 to 27 is a challenge and suddenly as the magic of Europe is as well Cyprus, Malta and Latvia matter and have to be taken serious even when some Western European leader might hardly find them on the map or care a lot or know anything about their nations history, ambitions or desire and still they had to learn about it and fast as everybody had a vote, issues dear to their nation and a common House of Europe, as every household of any family had different priorities, directions and interested and to live in a united common roof is challenging and all these small nations from Eastern Europe suddenly matter and have to be taken serious! What a success and what a challenge to Western European establishment. But not to be cynical the last decade has seen the EU rises to all the challenges and develops the institution and competences require fighting the last crisis. There is no other way to build a union of member states all careful to devolve powers upwards meaning-renouncing power. You can only build the capacity for the most recent crisis after that crisis was overcome. So Europe is now a much more powerful and competent unit than before 2008 but the process has overshadowed the issues of the periphery. The was simple not enough attention and urgency to further enlarge and not a lot of champions for enlargement and so only Croatia could enter during that phase mainly to its Adriatic potential and strategic significance and its strong German and US backing and add a bit of Austrian and Italian support and its image of tourist nation with some good will and 2014 was possible and the Union has shown enlargement is possible as well during crisis.
The 4th factor is the sad fact that seen from 2008 there was a lack of Candidates to be invited for full accession. Turkey always a special case was possible the best developed in terms of technical and economic status but in terms of political acceptance the conservative leadership of France and Germany never had Turkey full membership as objective and the events of July 2016 seem to have vindicated these perspectives. It might be that Turkey would have taken a much better European direction if real accession was taken seriously after 2005 but that is now hypothetically as in the present stage Turkey EU accession is not a option for the coming decade and possible decades. And what else to offer as Turkey is in NATO, we have a customs union and most technical economic issues are on accession level. The accession of Bulgaria and Romania has transformed the eastern Balkans and separated Serbia and the Balkans from Russia influence and has transformed both countries in amazing ways in all terms starting from corruption to economics to politics but the process was much more difficult than in the Central European countries with due to their history before WW2 and cultural reason and as well geographic reason were better prepared for transformation. The speed of progress of Bulgaria and Romania was much faster for the position they started lower and the perception of their integration remains tainted to too less is done to sell the success of their transformation in European elites and public and this has not helped the next enlargement and all friends of the next wave have to ensure a image prelaunch of the new European Romania and Bulgaria of 2017 beyond to ensure a public consensus for the next enlargement round. From the Balkan 6 countries in accession and promised accession in Thessaloniki in 2013 not a single one was ready in 2008 and only Albania and Montenegro have made significant progress all respects and are moving closer and given their NATO membership since 2009 in case of Albania and now in 2017 in case of Montenegro the vital security guarantee is there and the countries save and protected which makes EU enlargement much more realistic. But still Albania being Albania and its reputation and reality and despite significant process there are still major challenges in rule of law and organized crime and first of all the perception of it in the EU. Montenegro is much more developed in terms of Rule of Law and size does not help in terms of transparency but Montenegro could be the next Croatia in terms of accession? All 4 other countries like Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Kosovo do have still significant issues of their relations with their neighbors and themselves that despite major structural progress major political issues still have to be resolved. The same is true from the countries of the Eastern Partnership as the EU calls to 6 remaining former Soviet colonies or socialist republics. Moldova has such structural problems and now is leaning eats again. Ukraine moved to the west with the Euromaidan and President Putin created the Crimean annexation and Donbas aggression to create such structural issue to impede Ukraine EU and NATO accession. Belarus is careful not to be next on the list, careful in its statehood separate from big brother Russia but careful not to create a reason for aggression. And Armenia has such issues as well with Azerbaijan and stays careful and Azerbaijan is more focus on spending its wealth to buy friends and preserve the status quo. Georgia has it issues since 2008 and despite excellent reforms and real progress these issues of the occupied territories remain. And all the 12 countries of SEE and EaP have issues like corruption, image, economic differential with EU and reputation issues attached so all of them still require significant investment in all aspects and a image relaucnh and most of them still require major political capital inside and outside support for transformation in terms of territorial issues, neighborhood recognition, constitutional reform or human rights and democratic development to be fully integrated in sit on the same table with the same rights as all the 28 member states. And in terms of Ukraine, Georgia and to an extent Moldova there is no guarantee to EU accession ever and in some EU countries even opposition and when it comes to Belarus for fear, Armenia for economic calculation and adversary with Azerbaijan and in Azerbaijan for reason of independent wealth and no interest of the current regime in EU human rights and democracy and so we are where we are with 9 interested countries, 6 of them with a promise and 4 of them still having to work on their constitution and internal political system and Serbia and Kosovo to recognize each other first. To put a long story short. All the future candidate countries still had and some still have significant work to do. The message of President Juncker at the start of his mandate, which send shock wave, thought he Balkans and Eastern periphery that there will be no enlargement in this mandate was therefore realistic and correct. It will take time to bring the countries in such a condition to make accession realistic. And yes we can. Romania and Bulgaria are the best example how the challenge of corruption can be overcome. The recent reforms of the Albanian justice system are quite a remarkable success to be followed. And the issues of minorities and frozen conflicts please we have managed to solve Alsace, Southern Tyrol, the German Polish border and so many ancient and significant conflicts with the power of the European trinity of equal status of all member states, the internal market and the European Law that once inside you can live your German identity in Italy and France nobody with bother you and live as a Greek or Croat in Sweden and all is fine and the same miracle based on European human rights will work for Serbs in Kosovo and Albanian in Serbia as it will work to heal the wounds of conflict and separatism in Ukraine and Moldova and Georgia and in Bosnia and Armenia and Azerbaijan and Serbia and Croatia. This is very much our core competence of the European Unification process and this is how Central and Eastern Europe is as the inheritance of the breakdown of 4 Multiethnic Empires and we can heal all wounds by time, respect and the magic of European Law inside the EU and the faster integration happens the easier such issues get. Freeze the conflict, never change border, integrate the country in the EU and heal the wounds by the European magic of freedom and human rights. And yes all these conflicts are bitter and the animosity acrimonious but compared to Alsace and the only reason this compares is not so strong is because it is no issue anymore as it was for centuries dominating European peace and war. Yes we can, yes we did and we will heal the wounds of ethnic hatred and bring us all the conflicts and let us heal them together.
The answer to these 4 challenges of the EU not willing and ready for further enlargement was conditionality for the Balkan 6 and the Eastern Partnership for the 6 Eastern Europeans between the EU and the Russian Federation. Conditionality, meaning to increase pressure on the candidate countries to increase governance and improve standards does not work with a clear accession time line and perspective, the less realistic accession the more short term the political elite on profit and not on reform. It works best where the benefit of EU accession is most realistic like in Montenegro and Albania and to an extent in Serbia but much less already in Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia. A new faster approach is required to inspire the Accession process with new credibility and keep the EU open and support the EU reform forces in all the 6 countries. The current stability focus without a clear perspective on fast track EU accession will only further induce migration pressure from especially for the 4 inner Balkan countries to EU central Europe as people vote with their feet and leave, legally or illegally further retraining the growth potential for the Balkans by lack of skilled labor and blocking the migration systems of the EU already at maximum capacity due to the Syrian, Iraq and Afghan crisis. People are clever and they understand and decide what is best for them and look for a better life, as we are not serious enough with enlargement. For the 6 Eastern Partnership countries we have seen a similar situation. As good as the concrete opportunities of the Eastern Partnership instruments are it is not the same like full accession perspective and Ukraine being the best and most significant example this is what people fought for in Maidan and rewarded with the Crimean annexation and the Russian aggression in Donbas the Ukrainian have made their choice clear. It is the West, and what is our European response? Do we welcome them or are we careful on language not to encourage them and wait on the results and not to annoy Russia? Similar the situation is in all 6 countries. The more the EU is hesitant for a full Thessaloniki style EU accession guarantees the more the elites and people understands that it is reasonable to bow to Russian pressure. There is no doubt that all 6 countries would follow Ukraine once the EU option would be open and Russia would not threatened violence like a lost lover.
Why enlargement matters – and what the EU is very much about …Stability for Central and Eastern Europe is the key mission to stabilize all new countries between the Russian Federation Russia, Turkey and the EU. It was just at the Berlin congress in 1878 that many Balkan countries got their full sovereignty from Istanbul recognized internationally and mainly the 4 major powers controlled all area of Central and Eastern Europe. Russia, Germany, Austria and Turkey and Turkeys decline and the issues of the European territory of Turkey and Macedonian question very much led to the great war and Poland and most of eastern Europe was devised by Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 and in many ways the Soviet –Russian power reached towards the neutral Central Europe and to the inner German border until 1989 and to stabilize the Balkans and what the blood lands in War 2 is essential allowing these areas to drift and be dominated by force by the taker against the will of the citizens will accelerate the volatility we need to avoid. Clarity in its mission is required and the EU is a threat to nobody. No EU troops will invade anybody, no have they nor will they. And leaving a strategic vacuum between eh Russian Federation, Turkey and the European Union will just emboldened the opponents of freedom to fill it and with such efforts instability and crisis will be created and accelerated. The adversaries of a united Europe starting from the sad forces of American, British and Turkish Isolationist – Nationalist which will only self inflict pain and be a nuisance to the EU until they recover and stabiles in reason again and what better answer we can give than to show the attractiveness of a Open and strong Europe able to stabilize Eastern Europe and the Balkans, ready for responsibility and spearheading freedom east, once the Trump Putin honeymoon is over and it will be soon due to fundamental diamentral interest the US and the UK will be the first to advocate and support enlargement as they always have done and not to forget even Brexit Boris famous visit to Turkey pledging his support to Turkish EU ambitions after the referendum. What else to promise if they Turks want it and the same logic will be for all Eastern European countries true. The US and the UK will want stability in Eastern Europe and only NATO and the EU can provide it. And the Islamic Fundamentalist which grow in the hatred against Christian Crusading West supposedly discriminating which better way to counter this false pretense and propaganda than integrating Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia and Kosovo with their large Muslim population and defend the rights of the Crimean Tatars? And win the struggle for the mind and hearts of the Balkan Muslims already in the EU and in the Balkans with a clear EU accession. The only real power against EU enlargement will be Russia for the reason listed and we cannot allow Russia to project power in the EU and veto enlargement with the threat of nuclear war. Not the Ukrainians and nobody else are the hostage of Russian discretionary will but all nation of the European continent can decide their fate themselves and if they choice the Western direction the European way the European values the European trinity of Equality for Member states, The freedoms of the Internal market and the protection of the European law than nobody can or should stop them. And the once you do for fear or being afraid of the challenge undermine the very reason why the EU exists and continue to allow a dangerous vacuum of instability from the Baltic’s to the Caucasus and the consequences of such vacuums attracting the vultures we are just seeing in Syria. And we have seen them in Eastern Ukraine and waiting for their turn and their time. But before we got too gloomy let us develop a clear action plan calling for the EU of 37 by 2029. First to focus on the possible and focus on Montenegro and Albania and allow them to enter towards full membership during the next EC and EP mandate from 2019 to 2024. Montenegro is especially advanced. Albania is catching up. No major structural problems in terms of territory or minorities need to be solved anymore and both are NATO members if we soon can celebrate the Senate agreement. These will lead the way. And open the corridor for the 4 inner Balkan countries to follow within the 2024 to 2029 Mandate. For this to happen the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue has to be intensified, and Russian influence in Bosnia, Serbia and Macedonia reduced by accelerating the EU integration and making clear that all countries interested have to follow the EU Sanction regime against Russia for the Ukraine intervention and basically asking the Serbs for a decision between EU and NATO and the Eastern option which in fact does not exist for Serbia neither from geography nor in terms of trade or investment, just politically it is attractive to irritate and feel flattered but at what costs for real integration and all its benefits? This has to stop and a real integration option will stop it. And with it as well the present flirting of the Bosnian Serbs with Russia. You cannot marry two brides not in the EU and not in the Balkans and not as Serb. Clarity will help even if painful and potentially risky but in terms of choice where is it in reality? Serbia and Bosnia have to recognize Kosovo in the framework of a EU brokered peace treaty by 2020 and so open the door for full accession by 2029 of all 3 countries.
Than a special EU Envoy has to be appointed for new Greece – Macedonia Dialogue with that name to be sure to end the fiction of FYROM or end the economic assistance to Greece. Blackmail works to an extent but there is a limit of patience. Greece has to come to terms with its northern neighbors and end it sad period of troublemaker in the Balkans and grow up. Recognize the Republic of Kosovo, Agree on borders and peace with Albania and settle the name issue in a European brokered agreement possible leading the Republic of Northern Macedonia or simple Republic of Macedonia. And so the road for the 6 countries into the EU is open and the rest is investments and joint reforms and build on the major progress of the last decade and with a credible EU perspective the resulting in the progress which technically is already feasible but is blocked for political reasons as a kind of chip in the game of EU accession by the Balkan elites. Things can go now very much faster once the right decision is taken. But the Balkan 6 have a task to fulfill still for enlargement by opening the post-stability pact for SEE mechanism which have transformed the Balkans within a decade so successful for the Eastern Partnership countries ready and longing for it. From CEFTA for trade and investments to the energy community, to the EU Interconnectivity agenda and the Berlin for the Balkans process to the RESPA for Public Administration reform in Montenegro to the Bled Center for Public Finance Excellence to the police and military and anti corruption platforms to the infrastructure platform there are about 10 such sectors some from 2006 on some new like the Tirana based Balkan youth Exchange platform and all should be opened for Ukraine and Georgia and Moldova and as well for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, always on consent and application and support with a budgetary support by the EU for ensuring mission success and right capacities and ensure that the Balkans EU accession countries and the potential new EU accession countries exchange experience and best practices and learn from each other and develop a strong powerful alliance effort a open Europe ready for enlargement. Some might worry that Ukraine and the region might be a burden for the Balkans now in integration and having overcome the dark period and now to connect with Ukraine and the open conflict but on the contrary is true. The power and market strength of Ukraine will help the Balkans and the enlargement mechanism with help Ukraine and the region to speed up and the once willing should be allowed as well to enter in this mechanism and later by 2029 into the EU. Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are already undergoing similar reform processes and a clear EU perspective will further strengthen this effort and bring the whole nation, society, civil society media and business community behind this overreaching strategic objective of western values, security and safety inside the EU. Given the Cyprus example partly occupation of the future member state can not be an fundamental obstacle of EU accession and let us not forget the EU Founding member the Republic of Germany BRD and the idea let us wait until Russia has liberated Transnistria, Donbas, Crimea, Avchasia and South Ossetia would mean given Russia a defacto veto on EU accession and even the best friends of Putin in some EU member state would not go that far I hope. We would have to discuss the treasonable crime of accepting benefits from a country hostile to our allies and in anything but the term in war with the West since the Ukrainian have dared to escape their control and decided west and were punished by the Russian annexation of Crimea and the Russian aggression in Donbas and the all the Russian, Ukrainian and EU citizens who died during the last 3 years during war and war related accidents some having led to war in the past and that airplanes were downed and innocent tourist killed will never be forgotten and sanction, just sanction seem a modest and mild form of answers to such crimes. So certainly no veto for Russia can be accepted on which peace loving European national based on full consent and public support is decided to join the community of European peace loving nations –the European Union. A EU of 37 by 2029 including Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia is possible. 2014 the start of the western direction to 2029 is a 15 years timeline. 3 already used with major reforms here in Ukraine in all sector might seem a short time line but Ukraine has great capacities able to mobilize and will be ready and such a perspective will make the Russian gamble costly in life and funds much less attractive as it derives it reason to block EU accession and once this is denied as a basis as the Caravan of Europe is moving on the whole exercises will be much less fun for the Russian President who indeed already today is starting to see that his war has too less attention and is accelerating the bloodletting in a bid to raise global attention. If more is his objective, which can be doubted stronger resolve of Ukraine and the West might similar surprise, the present leadership with Stalin was surprised by the defense of South Korea at the start of the cold war. The West has all the resources and capacities require in case necessary and as well the new flirt with Trump might proof short lived once passion, ambition and interest collide. Let us do what is necessary to avoid it and again fundament well documented strength, moral conviction and determined will to act are the best way to avoid real world conflict. Showing weakness by rejecting the western orientation of Ukraine and so pushing the whole region into a strategic vacuum, possible repeating the failure of the Orange revolution and the 2010 return of the dark times to Ukraine with all its costs and consequences will possible results in a similar setback and more instability instead of less. So will the European Union perish if enlargement stops now for several decades and wait until the Balkan is ready and never gives a green light for Ukraine and the eastern European desiring to join? Certainly not immediately but the forces drawing the EU apart have gathered strength with Brexit, the new US President and sad events during and after July 2016 in Turkey. The southern economic policy failures are as well not helping. And if you cannot solve key trouble spots like the Balkans and the Eastern Europe at your doorstep what is the EU contribution to peace in the Middle East, Southern Asia and the East Asia? How relevant is the EU when not in its central neighborhood with countries clearly European aspiring to join and rejected due to Imperial Russian Njet? Not to talk about global power projection or super power status of the EU but to integrate and so support Albania and Moldova please that is what can be expected of a serious Union of the European States. Of course potentially adding up to 12 countries with more than 95 Million people is a major effort and allowing them in and extending the magic of that famous trinity of equality of states to countries dominated by their large neighbor for too long and offering the opportunities for freedom of movement of goods, services, people and capital to the whole of Europe and the protection of European law equal for all from Ireland to the Caucasus is the mission of the European Union and once the European house is completed, no strategic vacuum is left and in partnership with its NATO allies and in cooperation on equal level with the Russian federation Europe will be completed and ready for the challenges ahead. It will be a EU of 37 member states, 600 Million citizens and consumers and a powerful model for the world how ancient animosities can be overcome and instead of exporting imperialist force, fascist destruction, destructive communist ideology Europe could export its model of peaceful, successful integration based on the European trinity of equality of member states, powerful freedoms of movement of good, service, capital and people all across the European continent and the magic of European Law protecting and empowering and in fact liberating people, some of time first time in their national history. Will the EU perish if we delay this process? Most likely not and we can stay a happy Union of rich 27 but will the 12 stop knocking at our door and how justified is it to let them wait? And if they fall into the Russian orbit or decline in chaos instead having lost hope and quenched between powerful geostrategic forces who will take the reasonability and pick up the pieces and costs? And why loose the opportunity to help and to grow in global significance and contribute with powerful impact to a better world of freedom and prosperity? Can a public consensus be established for a EU of 37 countries as this has to be the basis of such an enlargement and yes it can? We should start to remind the elite of their enthusiasm of uniting the European house before 2004 and the success of enlargement, which has delivered unprecedented results of prosperity and freedom to Europe. And to remind the population, voters and citizens that the European Union is not finished, we are not the club of the rich west, we are not the smaller brother of America or Russia. We have a mission to fulfill and as well the western Europeans were dead poor and many simple dead after the war just luckily for geography and history to be supported by US funds and far from communist reach after we decided to self deconstruct us from 1914 to 1945 and that was no European choice where the US and SU armies met and froze the border of freedom for a half century. Now we have to shift that border east and help the people of Eastern and South Eastern Europe. To their benefit and ours. United all in the European Union of 37 by 2029 and possible 40 onwards. And yes we can and yes we will.
The future of EU enlargement under the Trump Presidency
All will be fine and soon back to engagement and active support of EU enlargement. President Trump does not like the EU and supranational integration and so it seems and judging his adrenaline inducing start of rolling out his agenda it seems Europe has lost the US as partner and the enemies of Europe and America seem to have won and finally the Lenin-Stalin concept of a divided Capitalist West seems possible after 70 years of Western Unity and the resulting success in Democracy, Capitalism and Freedom. And true Trump sees his America First more like a real and simple nation state like the rest of the almost 200 countries of the world today. And in this he is in line of a strong segment of American policy and thinking since its foundation. 1776 last year 240 ago. Remember the US independence revolution very much against European Domination in its Imperial British wing, remember the Monroe Doctrine of America for the Americans – meaning European out of Central and Southern America, remember the damage the south had in terms of reputation with its alliance with French Imperialism, remember that President Wilson still in November 1916 won on a no to US intervention in the European war ticket and remember the anger of the US once the lunacy of a German Empire alliance with Mexico in 1917 was hallucinated, remember the defeat of Wilson in the Senate in not ratifying the US membership of the league of Nations and remember US isolisationism between the War and remember it took the shock of Pearl Harbor to get the US in WW2. Than came the shock and costs of WWII and the challenge of the Communist World Order a concrete threat and the US first time in history for the last 70 actively engaged and formed the free world in the same way the founding father founding their new found home land based on the American trinity of Democracy, Capitalism and Human rights given by God and enshrined in the Constitution. And it worked and won first in Western Europe and Japan with a amazing reconstruction and reduction success and then in the rest of the free world and after the morally, financially and ideologically exhausted Communist world opened up won as well in the rest of the world and the last 25 have been a amazing success in terms of human progress in all possible parameter. So satisfied American falls back into its standard modus of pre 1941 isolationism and NATO is obsolete and EU a bureaucratic monster and all that bullshit we have to hear now from the President of the USA trying to turn the tide and transform American into a normal state like any. But will the world be so kind to allow America to retire from the world stage and the burden of global responsibility and enter the nice happy family of normal countries? Was it America or Americans choice to levy higher tea taxes on American colonies? Was it Americans choice that cotton because such an important commodities in the UK and Western Europe that slavery continued to be so lucrative hard to renounce? Was it Americans choice that the European Imperial Power balance collapsed with the German and Italian unification and the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the territorial contest for the European Turkey led to World War 1 or was it Americas choice that German occupied and destroyed most of Europe or was it Americas choice that Leninism won in the largest Empire of all and rose to govern half the world in the form of the Soviet Union and its allies or was it Americas choice to get attacked by Al Qaeda on 9/11? Certainly not, any of them are American choice and still it had to respond. And its responded. And as John Lewis Gaddis so well outlines in this book The Cold War the reason why the world is why the world is that the USA after WWII had simple no choice than to form and lead the Free World to such levels of prosperity as the competition and ambition of the Soviet Union was real and tangible. So will the world medium powers and force of 2017 feeling empower by the reluctance of use of force under Obama already gathering strength to dominate their areas of Eastern Europe, the Middle East to Central and East Asia and everywhere on the world will these forces allow American to retire? Renovate its infrastructure raise it’s manufacturing bases and reduce its global responsibility and be a normal state like any? Look we will see but the last 200 years it has not been so. Events, Events Events as McMillan has said tend to come and dominate the agenda. And as the period before the World Wars has shown, just winning wars and not winning the peace order afterwards is not a very long-term strategy. After the defeat in the Senate of the League of Nation in 1921 it took only 20 years for American to be attacked and to be back in European war theater and for a much bigger war that the Great War as the first war was called back then du to its immensity. The success of European reconstruction and its main instrument the ERP, the EU and NATO is unprecedented and real. Tangible and concrete, so not to support it now that Russian Imperialism is back in power in its 21st century guise? How long can you allow a Russian backed war in Donbas develops and the flagrant infringement of the post War consensus with the annexation of land always the reason for war between nations happening as now with Ukraine? And not support EU enlargement and take consideration for Russian interest when Russia breaks all the rules? What deal can you make then when any deal requires good faith and implementing it? Dealing in bad faith and being betrayed possible mutually and in meantime taking NATO and EU down and former weaken so already weak allies how long makes that sense in the real world? Already both NATO flanks, fundamental pillars of the Cold War are trembling under the Brexit uncertainty leading possible the dismemberment of the United Kingdom but certainly to insecurity in NATO and the authoritarian direction of Turkey must make the US military planners sleepless nights and now talking the EU and NATO down the Russian instigated double crisis in Ukraine burning and the Middle East – not so far from Europe in flames like not seen since the end of the Ottoman Empire. And again recent history teaches that just going in, winning as in Iraq and not having a peace and reconstruction plan and a political order ready and acceptable by the population and the elites of the region concerned requires coming back, first with the 2007 surge, than with the Anti ISIS intervention since 2014 and as President Trump has announced the will destroy IS and how to do that without military intervention so no post war planning requires now the 3rd post intervention? Better have a plan and order concept in place and once in place support it and do not delegitimatise it and as this is called NATO and EU it is better to have it and support it and allow it to extend and use it for the new crisis as they develop in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Supporting enlargement of the EU as the US is doing actively in the Balkans already since a decade or more and making sure this is happening as well for the countries in Eastern Europe ready for it is the much more rationale policy than scarifying nation to Russia interest when Russia is not ready for improved behavior or having instability in Eastern Europe and the Balkans requiring US assistance and intervention drawn from limited resources needed to develop a similar post war order in the Middle East and keeping the Far Eats at peace from each other. The costs of war are immense and incomparable higher than supporting such complicated, time consuming, but highly peaceful supra national bodies like the EU and it is still more useful to speak to 2 President of the EU one for the Council and now for Commission than speaking just to three Prime Minister and forgetting the rest of the 25 nations who as well like to be consulted and taking seriously. We Mr. President we are 28 – possible 27 soon but 9 in line and it is so much better for the US to have the European part of Eurasian continent under these complicated multi language and multi institutional order of the EU than having to send Navy and Armadas over again to help to keep us from each other or from Moscow dominating the rest as this would most likely be the natural outcome due to brutality and resources and will once the US would be out of the calculation. Not really the desired result Mr. President, it is different to go to Moscow to Beauty Contests than negotiate with the Dominator of Eurasia. In reality the focus on the US must and will be a new Order established in the Islam dominated half moon of Turkey, Middle East, North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan the southern and South Eastern twin of Europe and Russia to allow it to further explode with all its repercussions for the world can not be in the interest of the USA and who will be the partner in such a undertaking? President Putin and his handling of Arab affairs we have just seen in Aleppo, painfully and bloody. Only the EU and its member states, the northern partner of such a new Middle East, North Africa order system can useful and helpful in financing, ensuring and making such a peace order for the middle east possible with all the effort in organizing new states, rebuilding the war area, helping with refugee s and migrations and policing and enforcing anti terrorist measures and ensuring market access for regional goods and services investing in the area and many items on the agenda ahead. Leaving it unattended and withdrawing from the region we have seen under President Obama in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and now it will be for you to sort out the mess after you have offended all allies? Anyhow the focus is enlargement and it would be childish to see Europe fall and fail and laugh hysterically and see the failure of Europe taking down the west and the us with it and still laughing? Much better to stay united, ensure Europe enlarges in SEE and Eastern Europe supported by the US and enlarging the prosperity zone of NATO protected and EU politically organized Europe to have a reliable partner in the confrontation with Imperial Russia and to establish peace and a new reliable order system for the Middle East and ensure it works and prospers the same way Europe has the last 70 years and more to come in friendship and with guidance of your great nation which is not just a nation state but the cradle and global protection of the trinity of freedom, Democracy, Capitalism and Human Rights.
European Southern Twin -The Islamic Economic Community – Repeating the European post war miracle and establishing a growth and peace platform for the Islamic World
The Arab Spring was as promising as the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989. People suppressed by Arab Socialist Dictatorship rising from Tunisia, Libya, Syria to name to socialist Arab states and in Egypt as well still run on Nasser’s socialist lines with strong role of the military and even in the religious dictatorship of Iran there were strong protests for a moment the world wanted to believe that the Islamic world is moving towards Western Democracy overnight. But it did not happen. What happened were chaos and civil war and a cold war proxy war in Syria, civil war in Libya, a difficult and fragile transition in Tunisia and a return to military dictatorship in Syria after a roller coaster of Islamic Fundamentalism and people’s power. The reason is simple, political and radical Islam is still a stronger mass identification platform than Western democracy so long crucified as imperialist or crusading enemies. The pro Western Democratic elite was too weak and the population and public not prepared. The more to the West of the Islamic world like in Tunisia it went a bit better, and in the center the lack of such a consensus and the internal ethnic composition of basically artificially states created by the Paris Peace of 1919 and the geostrategic vacuum crated by US withdrawal under Obama, the vacuum filled by the new IS and the clashing interest of medium power like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia led to total war for terrible 6 years now. Why these great opportunity for freedom for Arabs and a modern Islam has not succeeded there was no common frame and common narrative to join. The Central European had the EU and NATO as strategic model to aspire and achieve jointly and Russia common threat to escape. In the Arab situation there was no platform and the West was the enemy of 1500 years so what model to choice. And similar efforts will fail next time as well if we can not develop a new narrative, anchor it in a historic fundament and put all right mechanism in place to ensure success long term on a proven path and have the right resources and backing to make it happen. So the basic idea is repeat the foundation of the European Community in Messina in 1956 and extend and transform the EU partnership countries south into the southern twin of the EU and establish the Islamic Economic Community all along with the same institutions like the EU. And base it in Istanbul the former capital of the Ottoman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire if you want. All it center instead of capital and say economic community of independent states but have the same institutions with the same powers like the EU had at the start or better during the 90ies. Establish a council of states with equal rights and a Parliament Assembly of national parliamentarians and a commission with the nucleus of supranational power and in Istanbul possible the most meaningful place not longer the capital of Turkey but still a holy place and a mythic place for all Muslims and a central location with excellent infrastructure between European and Asia in a powerful nation member of NATO and possible never able to join the EU mainly for political reasons hard to overcome rationally. And with its history a place possible to be accepted for all sides relevant in such a complicated project. And alluding to what is in place a common project from Morocco to Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and Mali and all countries in between in close coordination with the European Union and supported by all NATO members. And not in association with the EU but with its own institutions in Istanbul with 3 major exceptions. A common court of Law in Strasbourg, a EFTA or CEFTA style authorities in Brussels and a Common Fiscal and Monetary Authority in London mainly to ensure the twinning and long term cooperation between the EU and the IEC in a close partnership and to ensure UK support as well once no longer in EU and still a key financial center as well for the Islamic world, for the coordination of the EU internal Market with the IEC Internal Market and to ensure that the existing legal framework existing in Strasbourg with the EU Court and the Council of Europe supports the development of a IEC Court which will be not so easy undertaking. And from the start the inherent complexity of the Islam world any such platform can only work with supported financially, technically and legally from the EU in significant manner. The IEC should have a political integration agenda modestly starting, a ambitious internal market agenda with free movement of goods, services and capital but not people along all the same technical and legal standards of the EU internal market and a justice and home affairs pillar for ensure close security and legal cooperation between all member states. Starting with the existing neighborhood member countries of the EU and Turkey all Islamic countries of Northern Africa, Middle East and Southern Asia are eligible including Afghistan and Pakistan. Membership shall be based first on the group of existing founding members invited from the existing members of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) which includes ten partner countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine*, Syria and Tunisia adding Turkey and excluding Syria and Israel.
Israel – as part of a two state settlement and as a incentive to comply should be invited to join the European Union and NATO so extending the security guarantee of Israel existence to the NATO objective of Article 5 and ensuring a political framework and umbrella for Israel inside the European Union. That will be the only way ever to get Israel accepting a Palestinian state. Such a state will be the only way of not having the Palestinian question overshadowing any meaningful political and economic integration platform of the Islamic World and as well is the only way for take this issue out of the West relation with the Muslim world with all its propaganda value for the Islamo-Facsism. Extremism or terrorism however the violent form of extremist political ideology abusing religious and the Palestine issue for their propaganda and legitimacy might be termed. Serious efforts in a peace settlement can only be acceptable by both sides have the assurances in terms of credibility international guarantees and as the USA is already securing Israel since the start the way to extend this further is to include all European partners in it and the political military framework of NATO is the only way for that. But this can only work if the Palestinian State of the future is as well renouncing violence against Israel in credible form especially as both countries in what ever border line will be finally drawn will be so connected in a hard to defend borderline that only a Palestine State securely based in a peaceful political, economic and military defensive organization with all neighbors included can be acceptable for Israel as well. And based on such a new international order as well serious reconstruction and economic growth effort can take place in the Middle East.
For Syria to join it will require first a clarification of its viability of a state. One of the reasons of the IEC project and indeed a key pillar is as well to create a scenario where a supranational economic and political framework acceptable for the Islamic world is developed supported by the European Union and secured by the West and NATO which allows a settlement of Syria and Iraq, possible as well for Afghanistan which are all political constructions of European Imperialism and either nation states of European tradition or Value based Immigration states like the USA but have been triangle drawn in the sand in 1916 with various religious and ethnic groups dominated by families, clans, socialist of military dictators and as they started with the British Middle East Intervention in War 1 and a deal with Paris in Paris to divide the spoil of the German Ally the Ottoman Empire they end started with the US led intervention in 2003 set in motion by 9/11 justified or not but that invasion, victory, liberation depending on perspective has set in motion the end of Iraq and a decade later Syria and both having been part of Ottoman Empire and than under Imperial rule again battle field of European powers in for most of the 20th century in form of WW2 and the Cold War and then settled in for Arab Socialist Dictatorship in the form of Baathism they were never able to peacefully keep their contributing parts, tribes, religious group united and the main strategic mistake of the US after the victory of 2013 was to sadly declare Iraq unity as a objective and pay dearly for it. It took the major effort of the surge to settle that issue partly and once Obama retreated in 2011 it took just moments of having the IS take over and what an effort to remove it and who thinks that Shiite Iraq Army will be able to establish permanent rule in Sunni Iraq is an optimist. Once the IS defeated there will be another movement if not Iraq would turn into an enlighten soft federation. That would be the only possible scenario to keep Iraq united maybe a controlled supervised separation with offering all new states a membership perspective in a economic supranational community of independent states and repeat the post YU scenarios of the 2000 which has help the North-Western part of the former ottoman Empire and would be the best scenario to stabiles and allow growth in the south east of the former Ottoman Empire now still know as Iraq and Syria. And again with Istanbul as a symbol for unity, peace, order and possible prosperity based on European standards. For Syria currently at a fragile armistice with main force having blooded out and the Western and Saudi backed Islamist defeated by the more brutal Russian backed Assad forced and the IS and many more forces on the ground, how can expect that Syria will be a happy unitary state again? Even worse crimes than in Bosnia bode not well for a possible international enforced unity instead of a allowing a organized break up into new political units which allow a secure and shared destiny of the political unit endorsed by the majority of its citizens, Why not a states for the Syrian Kurds, the Allewites of Damascus and the Coast, why not a Arab Syrian State and why not focus on the criminal elements called IS all together? And support the new states reasonable well and ensure an integration perspective via the IEC all along with governance, economic and legal standards gradually improving on the way. For any such new countries which seem inevitable the challenge will be to establish themselves and their relations with other new countries part of them they have been in one country for a century and major conflicts could arise for borders and minorities and resources and past and future animosities if not frame in such a IEC based on the past WW2 European reconciliation model.
What about the UN? The Arab League? The Afrian Union? Obviously all states should be in the United Nations and fulfill their obligation but that is the global level and there is not economic and political integration attached and possible. The Arab League is not an option for all and has not been the success story in the past. Same like with the African union parallel membership of the IEC and the AL and the IEC shall be possible and fostered. The Islamic Community, based on the European Integration success story of past world war 2 reconstruction and reconciliation is a new and specific platform and we have in Europe as well the Council of Europe and the European Union and the OSCE and NATO and all fulfill their role and requirement but only the EU has a political and economic and legal mandate for supranational integration and so the Islamic world south and east of the European continent can and shall have as well a number of forums and platform but only one that is working with such a political, economic and legal supranational mandate with full support and endorsement of the EU and the West.
The opponents from ranging from European and American and Russian to Arab nationalist to Islamic Fundamentalists will say a lot against the IEC establishment from a Peacenik illusion to capitulation to Islam to the nurturing of a future enemies to the 4th Eastern Rome to the Second ottoman Empire to the Neo Colonial Neo Imperialist Experiment to a tool for the Crusaders to a Trojan horse for Capitalism in the holy Islam land to an Western inspired domination platform for keeping Islam enslaved, exporting the European failure, showing the true nature of European twinning with Islam world and all the propaganda efforts of the extremist from all side and wings of the ideologically debate will be actively opposed. But image how difficult the global setting was in Messina 1956 with Budapest burning, Suez in crisis, after the Korean debacle and just before the Cuba crisis at the height of the Cold War. And see where we are today inside the EU with peace since than and unprecedented levels of prosperity despite the ups and downs but never so many Europeans and so much of the European continents lived in peace, prosperity and security for so long and at such levels. And should we not be courageous to ensure similar success for the Islam world and our neighbors to the south and east? And is the hope of the Arab spring and the failure to translate in a long-term growth platform not telling? And the crisis of the Middle East not requiring new approach? And is not enough blood spilled in Syria and Iraq and the West having tried both intervention and non-intervention and a bit of intervention all with questionable result despite mostly good intentions?
Some European candidate or potential candidate countries from the Balkan candidates with Muslim majority might be considered to join both but there should be not double membership of the EU and the IEC. Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia are European countries and clear cases and the IEC is not about religion but about the common denominator for a geographic area dominated by one religion. The case of Azerbaijan has to be decided by Azerbaijan. If it choices a European direction it would require major changes to government e and political system, If it is not ready for it the IEC might be the better option but the road to the EU should be open for them as for all 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership. As well to add some futurology the EU might be in a position to face a break up of the Russian Federation if current trends continue with commodity price and force the main denominator of the unity of the federation and the task of the EU might be to enlarge further to include break away republics after a Russian break up later in this century. The 5 central Asia countries should be allowed to join if they choice the IEC as their main form of economic and political integration. Fragile States like Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan should be allowed to join but as discussed the option to integrate their success states will be an option as well to allow a soft and managed break up if that is the direction it is going like for sure in Iraq and Syria but possible in Afghanistan and Libya.
Will the IEC be the rebirth of the Ottoman Empire or Eastern Rome 2.0 or New Ottomans for a Turkey with Imperial ambitions under Sultan Erdogan?
There is a reason to assess such arguments, some use them against the EU as the new German or Roman Empire but how serious is that? If you see decision-making and reality in law and power this not a serious assumption. The is though a logical of geography and economics and question of regional stability which makes a case for such common platforms given the cost of war and the closeness of some many nations and people in this part of Eurasia. Some is true for our southern twin area south and east of the Mediterranean Sea. And possible it is true and useful to have some ancient role model based on geographic and economic reasoning. Possible there was reason why the roman empire decided for 2 capitals and possible there was not just political but as well economic and ideological reason why the Ottoman Empire lasted so long until the Great war blasted it into pieces starting with Italian aggression in 1911 or better said with Balkan Christian independence drive or even better with Russian ambition to inherit the capital of Eastern Rome and the access to the Mediterranean world. And for sure nobody wanted to support Imperial Turkey but a medium power like Turkey now fully on European standards in everything but politics and a power like that with a past like that why not give it a more useful role than knocking the EU doors with we have the embarrassment to say polite no to our dear partners in NATO and in migration and possible all questions but political equality EU style and the right of free movement t of all Turks in the EU. Why not give such a small super power a major role which it always had as a host of such a multi national organization with all the honors and obligation attached but not as a dominator but as well host on equal basis and a pillar of both East and West and a bridge between Christina Europe and the Islam World? And the new organization and institution should be like in the EU with the same mechanism like the EU with a population weighted Parliament and the Senate or Council of Member States with a vote each and the equal treatment of all states small, medium or big of all members?
How would Russia, China and India react? Look it is not their call to stop it but all would be opposed fearing their Islam minority in upswing and a stronger economic potential for the Islam world but give the peaceful transformation of European and the EU such a threat and fear should be dispersed and India and China will be their security increased on their borders and their minorities appeased. The Russian federation will be the main opposition jointly with the Islamic Fundamentalist. The Soviet Union was as well not a friend of European Unification and the success of the EU as part of the Cold War effort the main reason for the Soviet efforts petering out and the end of aggressive communist world revolution efforts. And the Islamist world will have to deal the central issue of its place in the modern world and within the IEC effort this debate to confront t Islam Fundamentalism and show the success of modernity in terms of prosperity is the central answer how we in Europe have overcome Fascism and Communism in a century long struggle. Such a struggle the center of the Islam Countries society can only win once set on the right track same as the Europeans have one this step by step only with American help, backing and guidance and yes reduction in case of Germany and Austria. Nobody likes to concede this but re-education it was and it worked. And anyhow a new open society and economic system based on SME, Manufacturing and Western Capitalism is anyhow needed as the Arab socialist is finished and the energy fuelled model of the Gulf States in soon coming to an end with the end of carbon energy and new revolutionary energy generation.
And is the terms IEC right and should Islam be used in such an economic integration project? Religion as denominator- not the best but what else and it is strong and powerful. The success of Islamic Fundamentalist and the IS itself to the surprise of the world shows how powerful the term is even when the content is terrible destruction, it is the main identification platform and the direction of such a powerful force has to guided in more productive and peaceful trajectory based on a proven track record based on Common standards in human rights, economics, and political equability of states not matter the size and the right institutions to handle the internal misbalances and conflicts and interest. Who would have ever believed Europe to be so successful with 28 states and 9 trying to join? Would Jean Monnet dreamt of it or considered it too ambitious?
And is it a neo colonist or neo imperial project and tool to dominate Islam and continue its present das decline and poverty and civil strive? Similar like with European Anti-Americanism and Anti- EU positions from the extreme right and left as well Arab nationalist and Islamism Fundamentalists and well a coalition of Anti American Socialist will try to portray such a effort but is this enough not to try for the Islam world what was successful in post War Europe? Do we have to right not to try what worked for us? Truman and Marshall tried to learn from Wilson effort and successes. Shall we not try as well? From the Sahara to the Central Asian Steps the Islam world in either in oil wealth backed authoritarianism Islamic Fundamentalism to Military Dictatorship to Socialistic Republic and the situation in terms of economies and social situation of the general public is like it is and beside some resource course haunted island of elite prosperity the difference of living standards between the West, Emerging Asia and even Latin America and most the rest of Asia and Africa is astonishing. And it is not a Western intrigue but the result of the lack of common trajectory towards prosperity and stability, which were well in the west only a few countries managed to establish by themselves.
Even more difficult but of similar significance will be to establish a IEC partner for Defense, Military and Security Issues a kind of Islamic NATO. A ITO A Islam Treaty Organization based in Naples in partnership with NATO southern Command and in close cooperation with NATO and as well with a political assembly and a common defense infrastructure in which NATO is part as an institutions and as asset provider and all the same IEC countries cooperate in military, defense and security issues based on the NATO model and in coordination with IEC.
Should, will and can all these pose a future threat to the EU and US and NATO and the EU? Will the IEC and ITO turn into a new Caliphate and finish us off and we better not guide them towards cooperation and integration based on the European level because they will once overrun us? America supported China significantly in the 1900 century, under nationalist China, Nixon opened China and the USA is as much responsible for Chinese success like Deng Xi Ping with granting China the MFN status and allowing it to be the manufacturing center of the World and now Trump thinks he can turn China and trade with China around? Should we fall back in colonial patters of exploitation by force driven by fear of being overtaken once in the future? Should not all be allowed to compete, contribute and generate wealth based on ability and skills on more or it level and is freedom and propriety just for the West or for all? Of course for all and as shown prosperous free societies are not aggressive. And so such a Southern Islam Twin and Partner of the European Unification success model will be as well a reasonable foreign policy actor and the trajectory of prosperity will guide the energy of Islam and its believers, citizens and people into a more productive direction than short terms destruction leading to simple no result but momentary attention and the sad loss of live of perpetrators and victims mourned by their families and loved ones and possible their nations for a moment but with no effects on improving the situation of Islam and with minimal harm of the Western prosperity trajectory towards even more differential between the Western world and their partners in prosperity worldwide and the Islam world in continuous decline and poverty with the potential of a negative escalation spiral downwards which we had to witness in Syria and could be repeated elsewhere.
The IEC provides for a positive alternative trajectory for growth based on the access to the Internal Market based on the same technical and product standards of the EU. There is nothing religious on product standards and in the few area where there might be than there will be adoption as decided on the way but the power of such a market based integration approach will set a unprecedented SME manufacturing growth in motion leading to a middle class development not seen in most of the Islamic world up to now and required for further democratic development which will come in stages based on such social transformation and the new focus on individual human rights and property rights protected by a new legal framework developed along European lines but separate in all religious and other aspects but with clarity in protection of property and human rights.
Will it all be possible or is it simple fiction or vague vision close to fantasy? Let us start with the alternative of the status quo prolonged. Too satisfactory. Further decline? Rise of Islam Fundamentalism all over. Military victory? That is always certain in short terms due to the overwhelmingly industrial, technology and military resources and than what? Mission accomplished in June 2003 and than back every 4 years in force? Or sending the Syrian middle class over the Aegean sea and the Balkans walking to safety in Austria, Germany and Sweden and creating little England and Trumpistan as a response? And pledging again to defeat ISIS on Inauguration Day and fulfilling the cycle of destruction and hate without a scenario for long term growth and a similar trinity of success for the Islam world based on Democracy, Capitalism and Human Rights and instead stuck in a sad triangle of civil war, stagnation and anarchy?
The West led by the US was able to defeat European ideologies from Slavery and Colonialism, Imperialism, Fascism, Communism and lead the free world to such unprecedented prosperity and progress in human welfare as we witness now and all based on the post war Western institutions of EU and NATO and similar pillars in Asia and why should we not be able and ready to repeat the success in the Islam crescent from Morocco to Kirgizstan all the nations, people, citizen and believers in between and so develop a European Southern twin as neighbor and friends for the long term and repeat the European post war miracle and magic based on a proven success track? At least to be shown trying would take a lot of negative energy out of the opponent of the Western trinity of Democracy Capitalism and Human Right and allow us to regain the moral high ground essential to ensure the consensus to as well establish such a new set of long term institutions link the IEC an ITO. Worth trying. It works.
A European Future for Ukraine and European cooperation with the Russian Federation
The IEC will be the key pillar of European policy and support for the Islam world, help to set the Middle East on a peace and growth trajectory and reduce migration pressure but the main challenge to the West and the focus of attention must be the aggression of Nuclear Armed Neo Imperialist Russia under Putin and the aggression in Ukraine from 2014 onwards. One reason for the IEC policy must be from an answer to Russian assertiveness from the Balkans to Syria to Iran and the effort to build platform with NATO Turkey and obviously the aggression in Ukraine all part of the same patter and not meant as useful contribution to the challenges of the time but as form of anti status quo, irredentist effort to project power irrespective of morals of a post Imperial Former Superpower in decline overstocking its resources and overstretching the patience of the West and overcompensating its post imperial loss trauma. This is the most dangerous challenge for the time being and we have to address it peacefully, consistently and with competence and without fear. First the principal assessment that it will be only temporary challenge as the last 100 years have seen the demise of the Russian Empire in 1917, the end of the Warsaw Pact, the break up of Yugoslavia and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the various failed efforts of reuniting the former Moscow colonies in the CIS or the Eurasian Economic Union and what is the reason to consider the present Russian Federation of 86 regional subjects as the final form of political organization between the Caucasus Ridge, the Polar Sea, Petersburg and Vladivostok? After all these 4 major Slavic Empires, all united by force, technical-military competence and not able to solve the drive for prosperity and freedom of their subjects people why should the Russian Federation in its present set up held together again by force and central power, how ever competent in technology unable to provide prosperity for their middle class and their various minorities be the final form of political organization matter how long that takes it will happen and the world has to be prepared. The Russian leadership is very well aware of it and that is one of the reasons for the 2 wars in Chechnya and the fear of color revolutions and the aggression in Georgia and the climax of all the white protest against Putins 3rd term and the aggression against Ukraine in 2014 meant both to punish Ukraine for its westward drive and as well to make the westward drive more complicated with the 2 open wounds of Crimea and Donbas and especially the Donbas perfect to keep the war there on that intensity burning as required to focus the attention of Ukraine away from real reforms and remind the West of Russian power and will to use it. And the success of Ukraine in the 2 could encourage reform in Russia and the aggression makes that more complicated. To be clear nobody in the West elites wants a breakdown of the Russian Federation controlled or uncontrolled as this can bring along civil war as in Former YU or worse and new Islamic Fundamentalist states like Chechnya or loose Nuclear weapons and capabilities and similar like the US President Bush tried to keep YU together and the SU as well the Western establishment will try to avoid a collapse of the Russian Federation same as the Moscow elites so it might take a long time and come only as a surprise to all when it suddenly happens. It would be wise to be prepared with a EU 37 ready to integrate some of the new Republic and the IEC ready to integrate and with a model like the IEC for all the former subjects of the Russian Federation wanting to integrated and cooperation on real consent and in partnership with the EU and the IEC once this is on the agenda. And it will be one day.
In the mean time we have to face a Nuclear armed former superpower with world class military technology ready to use and a trigger happy leadership using such triumphs as they call it like the ruthless bombing of Aleppo or liberation according to Russian State TV to distract its patriotic population with myths of past glory from the economic decline mainly stemming from the decline in energy and commodity prices and the lack of friends and trading partners of a more and more isolated Russia still able to impose itself on the close neighborhood allowed by Western fear and smart avoidance of open confrontation with Nuclear Russia. But as always fear or avoidance of a show down should not be confused with consent or acceptance on long term. There is as well no way to end sanctions against Russia for Crimea, Donbas and the shooting down of innocent European citizens from the skies above Ukraine intended or not as long as Russia fools the West on the ground and in the real world. European and Western Democracies are not so monolithic that you can buy some leaders, media, interest or parties but buying all would be too costly and in the free world there is better access to information and yes money, ideological allegiance and admiration of strong leadership and short term economic benefits for a few have some impact but not on all and in the way anticipated by Russian leader of 2017. As well deals with Trump as kind of last desperate hope will not deliver results, as the world is not longer at in the 1960 or 1940 with 2 or 3 leaders having the power to divide the world. There is a lot of factors now at work in the West and just the will of the leaders and agreement between gentlemen will not deliver the results some tend to except. Russia under Putin needs to be confronted and engaged at the same time. How can such a policy be affected? One and the key pillar are to foster Western meaning EU and NATO integration of Ukraine, all Ukraine including Crimea and Donbas. This is the will of the Ukrainians and their elite and after 3 years of war this has even deepened and is more lasting than most observers accepted. Clarity of strategy and purpose is the best way to confront Russia in peaceful and constructive terms. And for principal reasons aggression and change of borders by force can never be accepted in Post 1945 world. But Russia will hardly consent now that Crimea’s is in Russia view official part of the Russian Federation and Donbas is an internal rebellion in self-defense of Russian speakers feeling suppressed by Fascist Kyiv in their narrative. Here the experience of the break up of Yugoslavia is useful. Putin himself started it with comparing Kosovo and Crimea which was ludicrous as there was no suppression of people in Crimea and there is now a lot of it sadly underreported in Western media but happening very day. The more meaningful compares not just from geography are Crimea with Montenegro and the Donbas with Kosovo. But stop a moment and let us focus on the short term how to ensure a face saving solution, legal and political solution possible now as Russia has nuke and is in Crimea and Donbas and on acceptable for the EU, the US and most of all for Ukraine. The only option possible and with a track record of success is to internationalize it and had both territories to the UN and ensure a full UN mandate for a UNMIK style full power administrator for a 10 years mandate with a further 5 years transition of assistance towards a status referendum with the choice of Ukraine or Independence and a 5 years non alignment period before a further possible referendum with the options of joining Ukraine, staying independent or joining the Russian Federation. Such missions should have 5 pillars one for Democratic Institutions and Rule of Law supported by the EU and the OSCE, One Military and Security supported by the Russian Federation and the UN, One for Economic Assistance, Reform and Local Governance assisted by the US, Israel and Japan and one for public Infrastructure assisted by China and one for Culture Heritage and Tourism supported by Turkey and other nations welcome to assist the lead nations in their pillars. Ukraine itself will commit itself to cooperate in terms of infrastructure, e-government, and with all pillars as possible and useful but will not extend governance to the two new UN Missions formally still Ukrainian territory but facilitate cross border movement of goods, services, people and capital under EU guidance and with EU support. UN and Russian personal under pillar 2 of that mission man the internal and external borders of both Mission with. All Russian troops in both missions will operate under UN flag and under UN rules. The costs of the reconstruction and the mission will be carried by the participating nations. Sevastopol itself not be covered by UN but will be leased in a Hong Kong style 99 years lease to the Russian Federation by Ukraine under international monitoring by the UNO with a status decision postponed and open for a referendum at the and of the lease. Russia will remove all troops from Crimea outside of Sevastopol and not required for the UN mission pillar 2 and will stop delivery of arms beyond the peacekeeping necessities under UN supervision. A major effort to demilitarize the population and collect small and all arms in circulation will be undertaken as part of the peacekeeping efforts. With the effect of the start of the negotiations Russia, the rebels in the regions and Ukraine commit to an end of hostilities under OSCE and UN supervision. Russia and Ukraine have a clear interest to stop the fighting in 2017 due to the high political, human and financial costs and the lack of a perspective for decisive victory or game changing gain or blow to the enemies. Just bleeding for the pleasure of seeing the other side bleeding but not able to win or gain anything leads to a readiness for a face facing compromise for both sides. Ukraine under this scenario wins the fast track EU and NATO accession in real terms and a perspective for peaceful integration if the referendums in the future in 15 years decide so. At current Ukraine has no access for both regions and no prospects of winning so clear as to remove Nuclear Russia. And as well both territories and as well Sevastopol will stay Ukrainian territories even when there will be no Ukrainian governance or official there. Ukraine has to see as well that the last 3 years as much as they have led to pro European determination of the Ukrainian the citizens of today’s Crimea and today’s Donbas most likely will be not happy Ukrainians and forget the last 3 years same as nobody in Ukraine is ready to forget and forgive Russian aggression in since 2014. And the benefits of real and not just unilateral wished for Western integration are major and important and might put Ukraine after 2035 in a position to be an attractive offer for the people of Donbas and Crimea based on their free, fair vote and consent. Russia now in full decline economically has troubled carrying the cost of war and reconstruction of a remote peninsula and war inflicted Donbas with its Soviet industrialization ruins all requiring major investments to compete globally and significant environmentally liabilities and under such a scenario can come back from international pariah status and an ever tougher sanction regime towards a new cooperation phase so often offered by the new US administration and hope for by Russia but impossible under present circumstances. The US cannot and will not allow open annexation of territories simple like that. Even if Trump and even if Le Pen would win in France they can say it but will can not happen as it is simple beyond the post war 2 world concepts and would set a more than dangerous precedent which nobodies want s to allow to happen or take the responsibility for. And from Russian perspective as a UN Veto Power such a conclusion can be sold as success, Sevastopol and the Black Sea fleet are save and there will be no US and Ukrainian soldier in Crimea and Donbas and military control will be in Russian hands under UN framework but normality and reconstruction can start and people stop dying in war and suppression as they do there very day and investment and economic development can start to ensure people have a living and a perspective. The Western interest is to hold international peace, rule of law and contain Russian aggression and regain some international system out of balance since 2014 from Syria to Ukraine and if not contained might further destabilize international order and get out of control with all its potential major costs and consequences. Neither Ukraine nor Russia can find that solution alone and making a deal between Trump and Putin without consent of Ukraine will not work as well as leaving the status quo for years as it is the most likely result will not be the road to prosperity and peace. It will just result in more open wounds inflicted on peace and international order by the forces ready to tear it apart and if the West can not form a power vision in itself what were the alternatives forces which could? The assumption there are not has proven wrong since 2014 and will in the future so better start shaping events and set up institutions the West knows work and start to reengage and not disengage with the world as the world for sure will engage the West. For all this we need more EU and a more powerful Western partnership based on NATO, US support for the EU 37 and the TTIP and yes the IEC and for Ukraine in the EU and NATO and some leadership, courage and vision like the post war generation of leaders had and we do not need a 3rd War to teach us the lessons the 2nd has thought us already. Peace and prosperity needs reasonable governance and this can happen in Europe only with the EU strong and able to integrate all countries and a southern twin of the EU for the Islamic world, the IEC and ITO.
The beauty of it all is that it is possible and with the action range of the EU to start and implement simple by giving Ukraine and the eastern partnership countries and the Balkans a fast track green light for EU accession. And by talking and guiding EU candidate Country Turkey and the southern neighborhood members into this trajectory towards IEC. It does not need a big Paris 1919 2019 conference for a new world order with all its difficulties and challenges which such global gatherings have and the lack of legitimacy of such a new order. It does not need a major confrontation with Russia. Actually there is a lot in for Russia in such an arrangement and its does not need a major reform of the UN security council which given the current veto power could only works as a Trump inspired re-established of a parallel UN 2.0 nothing the EU and its member states can easily agree and want to be associated with. And an effort like enlargement of IEC does not need full US backing by a hyperactive Trump administration. Just a passive agreement would suffice which is possible and fitting to the new administration demand for more engagement of Europe with its obligations. Of course there are major forces and interests which do not want Europe to have such a role in shaping world affairs from peace in Balkans to Eastern Europe to the Islam World and Central Asia but as the biggest soft power and the neighbor to it all Europe will always be in the front line of between Russian and Islam power as its different forms or denominations over the last 1500 years and will be so Europe should be most concerned to shape the format and organization of its eastern and southern neighbors on a peace and prosperity trajectory and so support the people of our neighbor same way as America has supported us during our reconciliation and reconstruction phase after our big civil war from 1914 to 1945 the modern 30 years civil war. Which the US could be in a position only by winning its civil war by 1865 and to continue the analogy a civil war the Slavic and Islam world is in right now and only we now as Europe backed by the US can help them to find a way towards reconciliation and reconstruction and peace and prosperity.
Scenarios for the future of the Russian Federation
The EU 37 and the IEC as well are essential to prepare the world for the scenarios possible for the future of the Russian Federation. Despite the hopes of the post SU Russian Federation in the 90ies and possible many had at the start of the Putin years in 2000 it is clear now that the Russian Federation is today neither a Democracy nor a Western Market economy but more a modern authoritarian state copying some aspects of what works combine it with brutality and natural resourcres and deflecting from the lack of freedom with foreign aggression starting in 2008 and destroying the post war world in 2014 with its answer to the Ukraine westwards orientation and the aggression against it to punish Ukraine for it with the occupation of Criema and Donbas. The conventional wisdom is that Russia will always be like that we will have the resources to continue to be the Rogue Superwower armed with nukes and ready to use them and we shall be afraid. The continuation of the Putin periode and further escalation is one of the scenarios. Other options would include the Russian Federation transforming itself into a EU style Federation or a US style state based on real democracy, a market economy and the the rule of Law. One scenario might the the break up to the Russian Federation in its 86 federation subject or any kind of combination of these subjects in a peaceful manner like the end of the Warsaw pact or the break up of the Sowiet Union. Or a disorderly brak up of the Russian Federation more like Yugoslavia and with civil wars between its ethnicitivs and nuclear weapons and technology all over the place and chaos and danger of a new Russian civil war destablising Europe and Asia and the world. Or any form of combination of these scenarios. Who can tell the future and as always it is anybody’s guess and of course the hope is for a Western style EU or US future for Russia and noboy wants a new Russia civil war with all its hardship vicitms and nucelr dangers. But whatever the future of Russia, a assertive aggressive one based on the Putin 2014 doctrine or a chaos between Rostov to Vladiwostok the World has to be prepared. The idea that all will be like it is now does not seem based on solide assumption given the diversity of the Russian Federation and main bond seems to be still violence and force. And the same centrifugal powers of individual empowerment of information and military technology and of the enthinic and reliogious division and the lack of a common narrative and the one on which the current Russian state depends the nationalistic, neo imperial and Orthodox does not include major part of non ethnic and non Orthodox people and the Oligarchic Klpetocracy does not build such a powerful letimistize that these trend of disintetrguion along the southern and eastern rim and the as well inside the Russian society will allow such a power projection and assetiveness for the medium term. The West and especially the US will try to hold the break up of the Russian Federation as it tried with the Sowiet Union, Yugoslavia in the past and is trying now with Iraq and Syria and Lybia but it was not successful and will not be once the certigufl powers get more dynamic than the unifying powers of central force and uniting narrative and a basic reason of shared destiny and common economic and social success. The EU can serve as we role model for a new Russian Union of States based on a similar offer as the the Islamic World with the IEC but not all new states will be ready for serving Mosow and its elites as in the past. The EU and the IEC could be alternatives and should be prepared for such a role. Not – to be sure that anybody wants this to happen – not who will ask once the centrifgul powers are stronger than the central uniting and a world of 300 states is possible and all of them will require a supranational platform or values and laws to rely on. It might sond like science fiction political science fiction can who can exclude it as one of the scenarios? Should we just look at current nuclear and convetional military forces and the sheer land mass and accept it as the status quo for ever and be afraid? How likey is nuclear war given the fact that the logic of mutal assured destruction has protected the world from nuclear weapon in war since the tradgety in Japan in 1945? And yes nobody want a big conventional war in Europe but this includes the Russian populaition and elites. As that a aggressive Russia is now more armed than a more or less disarmed Europe and a US focsed on the Middle East since 25 year is sad but given the industrial capacities of the US and EU and now Ukraine united compared to Russia today there is no reason to be dismissive of Russia but it is useful to remind everybody that Industrial Germany was outproduced by the US industrial potential within 2 years and once a full confrontation NATO with Russia would be the sad reality it is hard to doubt which industrial potential would be bigger and carry the day. And as well in all aspects starting from nuclear ro convential to financial to economcu to industrial the result of any confrontation is clear from the beginning. And clear as well to the Russian population and elite on which as well power in Russia depends and it is telling that the great design of Russian agreggion in 2014 of taking the Balkc Sea coast to connect with Trasnistria and these dreams of Novarossia evaporated once the Ukrainian self defence forces put up serious resistance and real casulities of the Russian forces mounted beyong the digestable level. Marginal pain leval and margin benefit levels crossed for the Russian leadership the aggression froze into the current stalemate which is enough from the Russian leadership to increase the costs and invrease th attention at digestable costs internally. So where does this leave us? The proposal outlined in detail for the Ukrainian situation in short with integration Ukraine into EU and NATO but giving Russia as face saving role within the UN framework as the main military and security partner of the UN and no NATO troops and no Ukrainian troops in Criema and DOnabs until a final status settle,ent in 25 years from now and a Hong Kong Style agreement for Sewastopl and the UN in full responsibility for Criema and Donbas is a good proposel for Russia and already hard to accept for the Ukrainians and not easy to communicate to Westner audience but within the post war consenus. And Russia will no longer be the pariah and is relveced from the cost of war and reconstruction and responbslint for 5 Million people now in hard ship,
But what if Russia is not ready and plays the Rogue and Putin and Trump united and Europe and the internatlao community can jyst want unlawful gaisn turing reality on the gorund? The central argument is that the EU decides who it accepts under which and in which condition and same a Germany was divived and occupied and EU founding member so is Cyrpus and so will be Ukraine and we have all the mechanism in palce for prepare Ukraine for EU mebership same as well do with Kosovo and Bosnia and Maceodnia all of them not easy cases as well. Europe has developed all the necessary institutions and process from the Stablity Pact for SEE and its 10 successor sector organistions from CEFTA for Trade and Investment to the Energy Community for SEE where Ukraine is member already to the Regional Cooperation Council to the Center for Excellent in Faincne to the police and defence cooperation councils to the Berlin Dialogue for the Balkans and the the EU Interconnectivity Agenda and the Regioanl School for Public Administation and the regional anti cooruption organistion and for sure there are more and Ukraine can simple join and so accelerate capacity building and form a power alloiance of the existing canidate countires with the new cnadiate countires from the Eatsenr Partnerhsip and so ensure fast track accession best with in decade. Ukraine add the market size and economic potential the Balkans 6 require and together it is a attarcive package for a EU 37 as a pillar of freedom, security and prosperity from Mariupol to Cork. Sure there can and will be interventions, advice and opposition from inside and outside but essential it is our business, European own affairs who is part of the European Union and sits on our table in our parliament. Nobdoies else.
The clarity in accepting Ukraine EU accession should create already the incentive for the Russian Federation to accept such a settlement and withdraw under UN cover and if not it is important what kind of mechanism for compliance a confident European Union has. And just to make it clear short of Nucelar War which will not happen due to MAD and short of a military showdown which as well will not happen neither with NATO in the Baltics nor with Ukraine at the current front line because the Putin administraion is not interested in providing the Trump Presidency such a opportunity to show resolve and leadership and as defeat would be certain it would not just be irrational but outright silly to further escalate from the Russia side and what Europe can do without war or hard confrontation work steadily in key sectors to include Ukraine into the European EEnergy Union and under the umbrella of the EFSI and the ESM and yes to allow Ukraine to develop it infrastrrcure especially still decisive railway infrastcrure with major EU backing via the Jucker fund ESFI. It is not agrreesive but clear and understood what it means. As well including Ukraine into the Energy Union and to step up the ante possible introcude a 10% energy independence surcharge for all energy consumed in the EU 37 ( in anticipation) and pool these funds to make energy indepencen reality. A evil European tax, expensive and wasteful of a necessary contribution to finance mainly Eastern European Energy Infrasturuce projects a kind of Energy sector Marshallplan consiting of infrastutcure investment, generation capacity, energy effiecny and alternative routes and scources financned by the EU and with the clear objective to reduce European Energy improts from Russia – who as broken with Europe in 2014 and so we could decide to cancel all energy import conteract within the next decade starting from tosay and as most business and SME know the customer is king and not the seller. Russia is the seller Europe the buyer, We have the money they have the product but as the German Energy turn around has profen major progress is possible once you are ready to accept the cost and have a mechanism to share it widely and a ideologicay bases to justify it and communicate it. 10% surcharge does not increase poverty and we do have working social system anyhow and the volume collected always for a lot of investment in energy setcpr. And we are not talking still of a whole scale interdiction to trade with the enemy. And we are not talking about a boycott of Russia neither of the World Championship of football nor in terms of compelte interdiction of trade and travel. These things happen in war like situation and we do not want to provoke the bear who just invaded a European country and destroyed the post War order. No. But we have to work on the energy sitiation anyhow….
And we have to work and improve the defence situation of the EU now that President Trump considers NATO obsolete and the UK leaves the EU and President Putins is on war path in Syria and Ukraine and considers the Balkan his turf to plot for power. Sure the main pillar of defence of Europe and the the West is and will be NATO and once sober America is be the first to remind us and indeed Trump is clear that we spend too less and are too inactive on defence and it can be as well understood as a commitement to a active joint defence of the free world. We will see the resuslt of Trump later and there will be a world after trump as well.
So how we can get more effective NATO and European Pillar of Defence and how to make clear –short of war – that we are still the continent who right or wrong but dominated the world just before the Great war and the European Civil Wars leading to the end of such a domination. Not that we aspire it again but to be sure to show the world that we are not the old useless continetnt but as well able to make and keep peace in the world today and tommorow.
A start would be to establish a European Defence Council chaired by the French President. Yes the French President. Given the UK preferring to go global and the French the only European power with nuclear arms it gives France a special role and as it is the only European army after the UK sadly now leaving that is a full fighting force a European Defence Coucil has to be chaired by the French President. It would be still a European body and all states should send their members and powers and competence should be shared but the ulimate power the control of the use of nuclear force should be still by the French President. The Europeans should share the costs and the policy behind the Force the Frappe and yes the Force the Frappe del Europe will be the nuclear defence of the European Union. And it will be further developed and significantly increased and the decision to use it will be with the French President. Good only French can vote for this decision maker but so what as now only American s can vote for the President of the US who is as well the defender of the West most of the people not being able to vote for him. And we need a nuclear defence to be credible in Europe and who wants a Ukrainian nuclear weapon – Or a Polish one ? Or a German nuclear bomb maybe in 2039 – 100 years after the start of WWII? Sqeezed between a isloasitist Amerian and a aggressive Russia who blieves the Ukrainian have forgotten how to make nuclear weaposn and who blames them to regret them giving up their prime assets in 1994 in Budapest. Common thinking in Kyiv is the Putin would not have dared to take Crimea and Donbas if some assets might be still under control of Kyiv and as Goegre Bush Junior famously said you cant bomb knowledge meaning if you was had it you might be able to do it again. And Poland possible does not fancy a European order dicated by a Czasr. And Germany can be trusted for a long time not to consider. But the main principle was NATO and America providing cover and once that is less secure it would be not responislel of the staregic thinkers of Germany not to consider such ascenario. This is all very serious and potentially very costly and as well dangerous and so why not to Europeanise the Force the Frappe. Keep the power to use it with the French President and share the cost and the development and the deployment but be credible rrwsdy for defende Europe itself and it was to be anyhow from the subs in the Atlantic which again need to be in French Atlantic ports. And why not to base such a Defence Council in Bordeaux and concentewt the Dencfec there and not in Paris and so symblose it is a sencond mission the French voters vote for and goive them a special role. It is as well the German economy and the Gemran state and taxpayer untimalty backing the ECB and the EURO in Frankufrt and it is kind to have a lot of voting members but the it is the crebility and power for the German state and economy which makes sure the Euro is strong and credible and so it will be with the European Defence. And sharing the cost of doubling the Force the Frappe with all than 600 Million European citziens and tax payers and sneidng such signals to Moskow and the world might be welll understood. Translating industrial potential into strageic reality reduced the risk of real military confrontation as the prcie of such decision rises significantly. Same applyies by the way to Ukraine. Arming it will make Europe and Ukraine more secyure and not less.
All these measure like reorganizing energy, defence and including Ukraine in EU, Euro and the energy union and the infrastsrucre financing the EU and its member sattes can do alone, asking nobody only informing and consulting among friends. For Nato accession of course the US will be required and for the most far reaching reform th reform to the UN as well.
Somehow Russia has inherited the seat of the Soejet Union which from day one was questionable why it should have such a seat. Thinags are planned differently during 1941 to 1944 when the UN was designed by US and UK political plalners as a better frameworl for the post world 2 order than the league of nation san dht eUS not facying coming back a 3rd time to sort out Europe. The 4 winner of the War against Fascism and China by its size have a veto and this ina organistion meant to protect human rights and internalw law and peace? And Russia braking all of this in 2014, and many times before and blacking the UN and how credible is this?
Of course we should keep all the UN agencies in sectors from Development to children to food to refugees but do we need to keep the central organs and central organistion and maybe to show that first of all membership should be qualified on real implemtniaon of human right and international alw otherwise suspended and would it not be better to reform it and remove the veot and a reasonable organisztion. But how tore from it with Russia a vetopower? So here we go and let us launch a new UN and moving the HQ to London and turing London into the 4ht seat and HQ of the UN 2.0 ready for 2020. It would give London and the UK post Brexit some role and prestigious and Trump America less global why not relovate to Global Britain? And the key to reform is to have only 10 members of the Secuirty Council none with veto but a qualified mahorit of 7 to have desiivon and one vote for the US, UK, China, India and the Russian Federation and one for the OAS, IEC, AU, EU and SEAP meaning for the EU, the Islamic World, the African Union and the South East Asians and the organization of American States so forstering regional bodies and regional representaion and avoidnign votes on Sec Coucil memnebrs states and having permant members and from the start suspending Russia due to the break of international law would set a kind reminder for the necessity to uphold the rules of an orgnaistion if you want to be a decision making member and set the incentive right for compliance.
Do we really have to go that way? Relocation and given the UK a new role post Brexit would be anyhow good as a revamp of the reorganistion and the remaking of the security council, ending the veto and ensuring more broader participation are anyhow needed. Russia and its policy since 2014 is so detrimental to the values the UN was built upon and the reason that it exist ensuring peace and freedom after the long European civil war requiring 2 American interventions and still being not able to bring peace and freedom to the whole world and in many ways the European civil war ended only in 1989 with the end of the communist and Russia dominated world. And that Russia than was allowed to keep the veto power can only be explained by outher superpowers concern with the break up of the sowiet union in first place and a bit more dynamic answer to the situation would have at least required a reform than and the qualification for keeping at least a minimum standards. It was certainly not the idea of a veto power to break all fundamental principles of the UN and block any punishment and reform. And no the US did not the same anywhere. It never invaded anywhere with the intention of integration into the US like Russia did with Crimea. The case for and against Crimea has been discussed in length and what matters is not some Sowiet myth of donation and old rights we could resurrect many ancient empires in Europe on that basis all of them mutually exclusive but what matters is what was recongised international and it can not be changed by simple unilateral force. Periode. And never it can and will be accepted not matter what force level will be used. It is possible to reform the UN with Russia and have a seat and active membership in the security council but if not we should simple go ahead. And a combination of firm and clear EU and NATO integration of Ukraine and the clarity in the UN reform and massive energy reform reducing the consumption of Russia energy to close to zero and continuing the targeted measures against the Russia elite and their assets globally and yes if necessary introducing the same trade measures as Russia did and possible extend it while still offering a acceptable solution within the UN system with Crimea and Donbas moving into a UN mandate, still under Ukraine theoretically souvereignity but not under Ukraine but under UN control and the Hong Kong style solution for Sewastopol and the fleet seem a rather good deal for Russia and we have to work with the Ukrainian leaders and public to reconcile with it given that Russia has killed a lot of people in Donbas and no doubt is the guilty part in all of the post 2014 mess. The award for accepting such a solution for Ukraine is EU and NATO membership. Russia will have to accept or we simple thighen the screws. And further military escalation and the nukes should be not be afraid? Every reasonable human is afraind of war and nuclear confrontation but so is Russia and so are Russian and their leadership. Loosing unpopular wars is as well not a good reciepie for long term success and yes Russia is geographically close and has more assets in the region but again who can seriously doubt the result of any such real confrontation and who in Mosokow c=does not know.They all know the West so well that they bought their holiday homes in the most beautiful spost and most exclusive palces and there is a reason why Russian love to invest in the US and EU and for sure deep inside the Russia leadership is not suicidal. As a reminder the fate of Comrade Stalin can be read up in his biography once he started to plan for the final war his days were limited and not by foreign or dinvine intervention as they say. Nobody acts in a vaccum and certainly not leaders and todays powerful might be tomorrow former powerful and dead. As simple as that. And to be less apocalyptic it is good to talk before but to surrender seem not an option and what is it called when force is threatened and you say ok you can have it all? And anyhow it is not ours to give and neither of the countries have the fate of geographical proximity to the Russian federation will give its terroty without fighting and there is a reason why President Putin insist to adamantly that he is not in Eastern Ukraine. It would be even hard to justify in his own standards and to lead a conventional war even if in short and medium term might be successful how would the Russian public react? As simple as it is a real full land war with tanks and all is very expensive and once the full potential of Western industrial stregnh if mobilsied and the periode of 1939 from the Arsenal of Democracy to the 1942 landing in Marokko and the start of the Atlantic convoy to Murmansk have show it does not take so long under the conditions of 1940ies how would be the result of such a confrontation with todays Western world and a Russia Federation with Ukraines potential onour side and the chaos of the last 25 years and maybe there are some good troops build up in the last decade and the West most complacent and focused on oether issue but the fundamental differential between the combined industrial force of NATO and their allies and of the Russia Federation in 2017 is clear. And compared to the odds the 3rd Reich had against the Allies such a confrontation is by a multiple less possible to have a successful outcome for Russia. And there are no allies at hand and the whole postering of the last 5 years in Syria and Ukraine is only sad, painful and expensive and resulting in further isolation of Russia in the world. Yes Iran and what is left from Syria are allies but good lukc with them. Anyhow this is a situation which developed only as a response to Americans mega intervention in Iraq and the resulting election of Obama afraid oi his role in the world and allowing for a temporary vaccum in global power which will not comnitnue and should not be overstreched. Even with American under Obama President Putin was careful not to show Ukraine as a official invasion and who know the reacrtion of Trump but losing seems not his favorite sport. Anyhow and as painful it is we have to discuss these scenarios but they are sued to blackmail us. It is like with a case of domestic violence when the violent spouse threatends further violence and balmes the victim. So we shall be afraid and let Russia get away with aggression? No way we are not in medieavial times. We will not send troops and we try to calm down but the Ukrainians will develop their land forces and they will be ready for defeding further attacks and for the present status it is just expensive for Russia and we will anyhow never accept any of it so what is the use?
Russia is aggressive in a status of post imperial trauma and inferiority complex and only clarity in consequences and ability to punish will result in compliance with international law. It was a illusion that we can just peter out the Sowjet Union and than integrate Central Europe and the former Russian Empire and than Sojet Union will turn into something like the west from itselves. This is not going to happen and we will have to invest in both assistance and restructuring much more than in the 1990 with Yeltsin when the next time comes and it will be much faster than the common assumption and again will we allow ourselves to be surprised? What Russia is today is still a state built on a former colonial and than ideological empire and we have to see that all such empires have to undergo that cycle from ancient empire held together by mythological legitimation to a supranational union build on mutual consent and benefits with all the dangerous parts of fragmentation and segmentation and consolidation leading then to union in the option situation. Russia or the current Russian Federation still has to go through this cycle and when it is open but it will be in the foreseeable future of our generation certainly and the acute awareness of this scenario was the reason behind the Chechen wars and is the reason for the aggressions against Ukraine. Such aggression and the open wound created to countries and their body politics are so useful to block economic progress vital for EU integration and so blocking the development of a alternative scenario for the citizens of Ukraine – a real and tangible European future based on rights and freedoms and responsibilities and all clear and guaranteed by the law implemented equal for all.