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(45,290 posts)
Fri Jan 27, 2023, 06:54 PM Jan 2023

Europe in the jaws of history


It is very difficult to count the negative effects on Europe, and it takes some time to come to terms with some of the long-term implications. Nevertheless, after the initial shock one year ago, European leaders started to see more clearly the global ramifications of this tragic clash between two Slavic nations and the potential further escalation of their conflict. European solidarity with Ukraine – in military, as well as humanitarian sense – has been remarkable, but it remains a challenge to reconcile the open-ended war effort with the economic interests of the EU itself. For years, the European Union has been working on the concept, and the policy, of strategic autonomy. This dossier suddenly disappeared in a deep drawer in February 2022. Europe suddenly switched to security mode which also meant following the leadership of the US.

The European strategy in response to the Russian invasion has aimed at encouraging Ukraine and mobilising Western support, but it has not come without risks. In order to provide moral support to Ukraine’s war effort, EU leaders started to overstate the chances of Ukraine joining the European Union. They used bogus language (for example about Ukraine belonging to the European family) to make Ukrainians believe that somehow their country could naturally fit in the EU structures as we know them today. When speaking publicly with Ukrainian politicians about the chances of EU accession, the populist narratives suggesting that the speed of EU accession depends on the bureaucratic performance in Brussels, and not on the country in question matching EU standards and rules, frequently popped up, without being rebutted by EU officials.

At the same time, when speaking to the EU citizens, EU leaders constantly downplayed the expected costs of economic warfare. No wonder Europeans were disappointed when the sanctions imposed on Russia were not helping to force the aggressor to end its campaign and leave Ukraine alone, and even more when the continent slid back again into economic recession and started to face a long-term decrease in growth potential and living standards. Europe ended the year 2022 remarkably united in unwavering support for Ukraine, a new financial aid package was even adopted, together with another round of sanctions against Russian officials, as well as business and media persons. On the other hand, European views remained diverse regarding expectations about how the war should end, what kind of post-war security architecture should be built, and how much room would remain for restarting economic cooperation with Russia, once this war is over.

It is therefore quite remarkable that even without a coherent all-European view about the future, a new continental organisation was launched on 6 October: the European Political Community (EPC). Though surrounded with a high degree of scepticism, the EPC offers a broad framework to include the UK as well as potential future members of the EU. For sure, the EPC would need to be further developed to prove its added value and its potential to help members fulfil their ambitions for peace, justice, and sustainable prosperity. But as a first act, it still is an important one to start the construction of order when much of the daily action is still tied down by the ongoing war, and by the efforts to deal with its immediate consequences.


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Europe in the jaws of history (Original Post) Celerity Jan 2023 OP
Putin is happy to cause global starvation and financial disaster. Irish_Dem Jan 2023 #1


(52,835 posts)
1. Putin is happy to cause global starvation and financial disaster.
Fri Jan 27, 2023, 08:39 PM
Jan 2023

He thinks it will make the world bend to his will.
And he enjoys inflicting pain.

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