Before the elections, world leaders made important declarations about their intentions, which now prove to be incoherent with their actions.
At West Point – the first American military academy – US President Barack Obama affirmed that their country “must always lead on the world stage: if it does not, no one else will”, thus warning any potential competitor – firstly Russia and China – to not challenge the US’ authority as a world leader.
Nevertheless, he promised “more diplomacy and fewer conflicts, less war and more peace”, but in his successive tour of European capitals he pressured national governments to increase their contribution to NATO, with a special regards on the necessity to develop new weapons.
Obama’s speech resulted from months of military tension with Russia and the uneasy relation with China.
Since April, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been telling the world that he wants nothing more than a “rapid and synergic resolution of Ukrainian conflict through diplomacy, in order to preserve all citizens’ security and whole country stability”. But at the same time, he ordered a dozen Russian army divisions to move towards the Ukrainian border.
Similarly, China – in the person of the Communist Party Foreign Affairs Delegate – recently condemned American foreign policy, “for its approach to global and regional problems that does not take into consideration the new assets and needs of the international community, thus menacing its order and future”, before signing an bilateral agreement with Russia, including a provision to foster more and better cooperation between their armies.
Neither before nor after the European elections did EU institutions and representatives formulate any official position or expressed any shared comment about the world main actors’ assertions. In this context, it could be useful remembering the following verse of the German poet Bertlot Brecht: “When leaders speak of peace, the common folk know, war is coming”.
In other words, the EU is again showcasing its inability to produce a common and effective foreign policy, not even on internal and external strategic questions as the situation in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq or Venezuela, just to cite some of the current issues threatening the maintenance and promotion of global peace.
Being mindful of both Brecht’s quote and the centenary of the Great War, I have a request to the new members of the EP: as your first act, vote on a general statement repudiating war as an instrument of offence to the liberty of people and refuse to use it as a means of resolving international conflicts; and draft a shared document outlining the pivotal points of the future European foreign policy.
Perhaps, through such a decision, its members would begin to regain the confidence of some of the hundreds of millions of Europeans who chose not to vote as a way to show their disapproval with a European integration that is drifting further and further from the original European dream of Peace, Solidarity and Wealth for all European peoples, conceived and built by those Europeans that survived the worst financial crisis in history and fought two world wars.
Speaking about peace and brotherhood, they will catch the attention of and energize those youths that are today, more than ever, disaffected by the EU and its politicians, who talk too much about the top nominations or group compositions and too little about the central themes that in some Member States already affect the present and risk to jeopardize their future.