Russia, the EU and Macron-cooperation or destruction of the EU?
Global Review has a good relationship with the think tank of the Russian foreign ministery RIAC, writes articles for them and reposts articles of them on our website to support a New East Policy and an EU-Russia ecoalliance and other areas of cooperation. I am very interested in what their chief Dr.Kortunov writes about the defrosting of EU-Russian relations. I have read another article of him, which made me think about how serious he is about it. He wrote that the idea of a treaty between Russia and the EU/NATO to stop its expansion to the East was flawed because treaties are not reliable and can be canceled at any time. Therefore the best way was if Russia changes the power relations in Europe, it should try to expand its influence and leverage. He doesn’t believe in treaties and diplomacy, but more in real power facts.
If we speak of EU-Russian relations we shouldn’t speak of the present status quo of EU and think that this was the end of the story. Decisive will be how the EU will develop after the Brexit.
A former German diplomat draws a rather pessimistic picture and outlook:
„A crisis rarely comes alone. That is why it is important to concentrate on the essentials.
The following points from my point of view:
The disintegration of the German party system is similar to the Italian party system about a generation ago. No wonder that the term „historical compromise“ left-CDU suddenly appears. It was at the beginning of the decay of PCI and DC.
Germany and France are losing their leadership in the EU. This does not happen overnight either, but slowly. But the participation of Macron and Merkel at the Erdogan / Putin summit is a signal. The EU leaders are sitting at the table. If they cannot contribute to a political solution, which I am assuming, over 1 million migrants will come to the Balkan route in 2020. The EU cannot cope with this.
Italy, the third largest economy in the EU, is dramatically weakening economically and politically. At the latest in the next parliamentary elections, I expect Lega and Fratelli d’Italia to be over 40%. You are anti-EU. Italy’s exit from the EU and the Eurozone seems conceivable and realistic by 2025.
In view of the great power competition CHN, USA, RUS and the continued destabilization of the NMO, I still expect a rapid political and economic decline in Europe in this decade, combined with the disintegration of the EU.
Who should and can stop it?“
Beyond a crisis in Italy and a new refugee crisis, other possible crisis could be: A new financial crisis along with a recession after 10 years boom and trade wars, Coronavirus, a Balkan crisis, a state crisis in Spain around Catalonian and Basque separatism.
In 2020 we will have the US elections with a high probability that Trump will be reelected if he doesn´t make a real dump mistake or a black swan occurs. In 2021 we will have probably a black-green government and more conservative and neoliberal Merz (who formerly retreated from his positions in the transatlantic Atlantic bridge and Blackrock and promotes now also a China Bridge) Laschet, Span or Habeck or Baerbrock as the new chancellor, maybe with a third coalition partner, if the CDU should take the way of the SPD after Thüringen. More European and still transatlantic, if Trump is not totally frustrating the transatlantism.
But even more decisive for the EU: The next time we will also face new presidential elections in France. We shouldn’t take it for granted that Macron will be reelected. Macron made a lot of initiatives. The European initiative, then the treaty with Germany in Aachen, then his restrictive ideas on further EU enlargement and a new relation with Russia and about European sovereignty, then after the Brexit his turn to Poland to replace the German- French-GB trio by the Weimar Triangle and the inclusion of Poland with France as a mediator between Russia and Poland and now his speech on security policy promoting more European security cooperation and bringing the French nuclear deterrence in an European framework as supporting force, but not under the integration of an European nuclear power.
I support all initiatives of Macron with the exception of the financial union as it doesn´t address the inner antagonism of the Euro as a common currency that is not based on currency-optimal economic space., but wants to expand this antagonism even by thinking of Bulgaria and Romania as new Euro members and collectivize debts. And Macron knows that his sort of financial union which would be a potential bailout by the North European countries and Germany in the event of a new Euro crisis might weaken the Front National, but on the other side strengthen the German AfD. And even then Marine Le Pen would claim that Macron is by his financial union even more submitting the Grand Nation France under German financial hegemony and austerity which exploits the French worker, middle class and honest Frenchman, while the AfD would say the opposite that the lazy South European parasites under the leadership of France would exploit the German tax payer and the honest German. It would cause mutual dissatsifaction.
But: First many French are dissatisfied that Macron’s European Initiative which was basically the financial union as he was a former banker at Rothschilds like Draghi at Goldman Sachs. and he didn’t find the appropriate enthusiasm by Germany and parts of the EU. Many French thought that Germany could be the paymaster for the weak French economy by Macron’s EU financial reforms, but Germany is refusing to do so. Then the EU could face a trade war with the USA and already shows signs of a recession, especially the powerhouse Germany.
Macron also thought that by his economic reforms France could become an economic powerhouse like Germany after Schröder’s Agenda 2010 reforms. However, the protests and dissatisfaction by the Yellow Jackets and now the unions about his pension reforms are gigantic. Marine Le Pen already said if she was elected president she would cancel the pension reform. Even if Macron pushes through his reforms, they need time till a positive effect occurs. Time could be on the side of Le Pen. Till now the political theory was that the French never could vote for Le Pen in the second round of the elections as the antifascist, democratic Republican spirit of the French would prevent such an outcome. However, nobody thought about the possibility that Trump could ever be elected or that the Brexit could happen.
In the next presidential elections, we will see whom Putin supports: Will he again support Le Pen like he did when a befriended Russian oligarch gave a 40 million credit to the Front National and meddle in the election in the hope that a Le Pen-France would be the end of the France-German axis, the Euro and maybe the EU, that a Le Pen-France will retreat from NATO and that Le Pen will even team up with Russia in an Eurasian axis. In Germany and the EU there is no Plan B for such a development as this could be the definite end of the EU. And how would Russia react if such a development occurs?
We have one major difference. Putin as Sasha Rahr don´t like liberal democracy and could promote a regime change policy in Europe. Of course, it´s logical if an AfD or the Front National seizes power in Germany and France, the EU and NATO were finished and Putin had an easy game, even could try to make an Eurasian axis with these fascists parties. Or Putin and Le Pen could team up against a neofascist Germany and bring the end of the German EU powerhouse together and militarily as only the USA and GB could support Germany. And the AfD is not sure to team up with the USA or with Russia. But while an AfD still would need time to seize power, in France Marine Le Pen could do this the next time. And then isolate a black-green-ecological value-based democratic Germany-maybe together with the Trump-USA and/or Russia, just to destroy the EU and the world export nation Germany.
And a black-green German government could also very quickly lose public support, because the CO2 tax, the loss of jobs due to restructuring of the traffic and transport system (Verkehrswende), digitalization, a recession due to trade wars and the cyclical downward recession after 10 years Merkel boom and the delays in the energy transition (Energiewende) as because ofother still unforeseeable factors. And as in many European countries, the dynamic is: The former people´s parties cannot rule by themself or in a 2 party coalition anymore but are vanishing and new parties and movements emerge. You even have to make 2-3-4 party coalitions as the planned Jamaika coalition or a Great coalition like in Germany but have to make foul compromises or getting paralyzed and appear totally disunited. Therefore all the euphoric enthusiasts about a black-green government shouldn´t think that this would be an everlasting entity for the future.
However, I don´t trust Putin, but the right-winged parties and Putin and China and such plans can´t be countered by the existing policy, therefore I wrote my Holistic Green Europe with a New East Policy. to give the EU its own vision. If the EU has not its own vision and programs, if nothing like this exists, the centrifugal forces will destroy the EU. Compare this also to my comments about Macron, the EU-Russian relations and that Macron might be not the last development of the future EU.
It is not the question if Germany, the EU or the West trust Putin or Russia, but that it has its own concept and strategy and vision which makes the EU strong enough that it can resist foreign or negative Russian meddling and influence. Only on this basis, an EU-Russian cooperation can materialize. I don´t blame Putin or Russia that they want to exploit weaknesses of the EU, but I mostly blame the EU for not having their own plan, strategy, and vision that could make them strong.
In our view the EU and Germany and France before thinking about further EU and NATO enlargement, EU military missions or new Euro members have first to stabilize and revitalize the idea oft he EU by three major projects:
- A New East Policy with Russia and Eurasia
- An European Silk Road Marco Polo 2 to renew the prosperity promise of Europe
- An EU Los Alamos project that invests heavily in new disruptive technologies and quantum computers as the new invention of the steam engine for digitalization.
These ideas were spelled out in a speech for an EU parliament candidate of the Greens but were rejected at that time and shall be documented here
How a new Europe could look like: Holistic Green Europe – for a peaceful, ecological, democratic, innovative and social Europe- Pedis Europe
Publiziert am 30. September 2019 von Ralf Ostner
This draft for a Holistic Green European Policy was mainly rejected and suppressed during the last EU Parliament elections by parts of the Green Party. Here the concept for a :
Holistic Green Europe – for a
peaceful, ecological, democratic, innovative and social (Pedis) Europe
We support a Green New Deal, a green revolution in agriculture, the energy sector, the transport industry as well as consumer behavior, want to Europeanize the energy transition and create green jobs, bring together economy and ecology, resource efficiency to use Europe as a pioneer in climate protection and to use and advance the EU internal market as a global lever for global social and environmental standard-setting. We are absolutely in agreement on these goals and we will fully support them in the European Parliament and beyond. But such a Green New Deal must not be seen in isolation from other global political factors that threaten to condemn it to the ecological niche existence of a Bio-Biedermeier insofar as it is not translated into a holistic Green Europe and a holistic green policy. We would like to present these factors and hitherto untreated topics here, especially with practical proposals for solutions and not-well-known demands, in a manner that is not inflationary, prayer-like, and mantrendious, but rather brings a new perspective into the discussion that has so far been missing.
The Green New Deal, the ecological and social transformation can only be organized in a peaceful environment. Therefore, green peace and European peace policy are urgently needed.
Europe faces many threatening challenges: In terms of foreign policy, Europe stands between three major revisionist powers, the Trump-USA, Russia and China, and in the Middle East between three regional revisionist powers of Erdogan-Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. They want a rewriting of the world. The consequences are wars, refugee flows and mass misery, which threatens to escalate in an upgrade spiral into new wars, and perhaps even a war in Europe.
The new national security strategy of the Trump administration, speaks of coming major power conflicts, ie possible world wars with Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
The statement of the head of the Munich Security Conference Ischinger that wars between major powers are likely again, should be a clear warning. It is not enough for Europe to make only a more social green deal, but the Greens must remember their roots in the peace movement and revitalize it.
The Greens must transform Europe into a power of peace, contributing to defusing the dangerous tensions through a New East Policy ( Neue Ostpolitik) and disarmament initiatives. Because without peace, everything in war is nothing! Also the most beautiful green deals!
In addition, there are the challenges of climate change, the waste of resources, digitalization, the emergence of authoritarian and right-wing extremist movements and parties that are nationalist to fascist and seriously challenge the existence of the EU.
Furthermore, the upcoming deregulation of the financial markets, as already driven by the Trump USA, China and Great Britain, will lay the foundation for a new financial and euro crisis.
At the same time, the further social polarization of income gaps and housing shortages, while digitalization threatens to exacerbate this, as long as the education system and the welfare state are not put on a new foundation, but not in a neoliberal way.
Likewise, Europe’s technological backwardness must be overcome in the majority of disruptive new high technologies through European research and start-up support programs and a digitalized and reformed education system.
Solving these problems requires not just a New Green Deal, which focuses only on the environment, but a holistic green approach. The goal must be a Holistic Green Europe, which has a peaceful, ecological, democratic, innovative, and social (Pedis/ German: Födis) Europe as a holistic goal and a green strategy for this development.
In order to survive in globalization, Europe must become a powerhouse of peace, an innovation center, an ecological, democratic and social powerhouse, in order to remain a model for global attractive societies and by this approach to become it for its own people and for the world’s population.
The lessons of the Euroscepticism: Against EU tons ideology and expansionism-for a qualitative further development of the EU. Stabilization, consolidation, democratization and modernization
A major mistake of the EU, and with
it NATO, was to expand and expand the EU so fast that Greece was included in
the euro, Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine wanted to join the EU. This
overstretched the EU, especially as the EU institutions, with the exception of
the eurozone and the Schengen area, were not developed for this at all.
The EU’s external borders remained unprotected, the refugee crisis, which brought emergency national solutions showed this as well as the asylum law was not Europeanized, this was shown. The financial crisis, which then transformed itself into a Greece and euro crisis, was the second decisive event that caused the dissemination of nationalist and right-wing parties. The Ukraine crisis, due to EU and NATO expansion into Russian spheres of interest, provided us with the next deep crisis, culminating in a new Cold War.
And the EU has apparently learned nothing from these mistakes. The latest proposals for an EU-reform are on the table-side by Macron and the European Commission . It is planned that bankrupt states that are even more in deficit than Greece as Bulgaria and Romania shouzld be included in the euro area.
On the one hand, it is questionable whether the euro in its present form is sustainable, since the eurozone is not just a currency-optimal area, but combines economically completely different states with especially stark differences in productivity and economic development.
Nevertheless, we now see the hope of the EU Commission and Macron in a European Monetary Fund, an European Minister of Finance and a de facto transfer and banking union, which is to pool the risks. Where the stronger states will be paymasters, while conversely, the weaker states are exposed to a brutal austerity policy to mutual dissatisfaction.
Now also to incorporate Romania and Bulgaria in the euro zone would mean to increase the risk of a renewed euro crisis and rescue packages, especially since even the much stronger countries such as Spain and Italy are considered insecure members.
Furthermore, Juncker has proposed to extend the Schengen area to include Romania and Bulgaria despite the fact that the EU’s external borders are still not sufficiently protected from new refugee flows and thus creating new entry points.
The next idea is that you want to include the Balkan states, especially Serbia and Montenegro, as EU members until 2025. These nationalist mafia economies, which are economically less likely to be included in the EU, means to reproduce the negative experiences with Orban-Hungary, and Kaczynski-Poland.. The democratic community of values in the EU would fail, because these authoritarian nationalists will be new political as well as economic disruptive factors in the EU.
In its attempt to make itself after Brexit and Catalonia appear stronger and intact in the sense that they are continuing to push ahead with EU expansionism, despite growing opposition from European populations, the European Commission plans to expand the eurozone, the Schengen area and the EU , In this fatal development, the EU Commission and the driving forces in Paris and Berlin seem undisturbed.
Instead of integrating the EU, making it more transparent and social, the neo-liberal course will be maintained and EU expansionism will continue, which will further undermine the EU and further discredit the European idea.
A new EU policy would take on the new global political framework and formulate a new holistic EU policy. In addition to the New Green Deal already formulated in full by other Greens, this would, above all, include the following essential points that make up Holistic Green Europe:
The leading national and EU circles want to unite the EU only for the military and fiscal transfer union and further advance the neoliberal EU course. Therefore, it would be important to promote the following policy projects, at least at the national and European level:
- A New East Policy (Neue
Ostpolitik) -prevention of a new arms race
1) Germany is working within the EU and NATO to ensure that Ukraine receives a neutral status comparable to Austria in the post-war period and serves as a bridge state between the Eurasian Union and the EU
2) Germany is working within the EU, NATO and Ukraine to ensure that Russia is guaranteed its Black Sea port in Crimea, irrespective of the respective Ukrainian governments and, in contrast, reverses the annexation of Crimea and stops support for the pro-Russian rebel groups in Eastern Ukraine and the first step: compliance with the Minsk Agreement
3) Disarmament Initiative Germany is working within the EU, the UN and NATO to ensure that both Russia and NATO prevent an arms race, and / or renegotiating the previous treaties on conventional and nuclear restrictions – with the inclusion of cyberspace and space and maybe China.
4) Resumption of the modernization partnership, especially in the economic sphere-negotiations on the long-term objective of a free trade area or a common market from Lisbon to Vladivostok
- 5) An EU-Russia ecological cooperation for a sustainable Eurasia from decarbonization in a strategic transition period, hydrogen technology, gas as a bridge technology, sewage management, limiting the deforestation oft he Siberian woods, and other fields of cooperation still have to be discussed.
2) European Silkroad Marco Polo 2
Instead of EU membership for mafia and nationalist Balkan states: an EU Silk Road Marco Polo 2, which is expanding public transport, as well as an infrastructure program, which also enforces the complete digitization of Europe. This also and above all in order to release the 16 states of the 16 plus 1 group from the Chinese influence and to integrate them into the EU and also to bind them to the EU without EU membership. As a result, this is also would be a uniting and connecting European project, which appears as a counterweight to China’s New Silk Road, but also in cooperation and could be connected with Russia. Unlike abstract institutional reforms, the population can be shown a tangible material benefit of an increased EU budget that does not go into the non-binding, intransparent euro rescue programs whose beneficiaries are hidden. A European Silk Road Marco Polo 2, providing a European analog and digital infrastructure, creating jobs, economic growth, revitalizing Europe’s prosperity promise, giving Europe a concrete vision and a common goal. In addition, the European New Silk Road should be an ecological, sustainable infrastructure project in contrast to the Chinese New Silk Road.
3) An EU-Los Alamos research project for the development of quantum technology, blockchain technology, AI, digitization and its socially responsible promotion and implementation, including binding European social standards.
The quantum computer is comparable to the invention of the steam engine and that the EU is not investing in this new technologies and makes itself dependent on the quantum computers of US-IBM, Google or the Chinese as well in 5 G and other disruptive technologies needs to be overcome by EU industry policy and an EU Los Alamos Project. Otherwise, Europe s in danger to ignore the invention of the steam engine of digitalization, the quantum computer and related technologies and applications. On the one hand, such a new EU Los Alamos project has to overcome the technological gap to the USA and China in these main disruptive technologies. On the other hand, in order to exploit the opportunities of new technologies socially and ecologically and sustainably, the leaps in productivity must improve the lives of the European population.
4) EU refugee fund Instead of further demanding EU quotas for refugees, although the Eastern European, Scandinavian, France and Austria have made it clear that they will not accept refugees in their countries:
A fixed EU refugee fund, with the agreement of the Eastern European countries, which reject EU refugee quotas to improve the situation of the refugee camps in Greece, Italy and the Greater Middle East. Here, the multiplier effect of purchasing power on the ground must be exploited, in order to provide viable social conditions, to establish ecological and sustainable standards and new modern urban structures – from sewerage, job creation to education and health systems.
5) Democratization of the EU
Juncker’s only positive proposals are to introduce a bicameral system between the EU Council of Heads of State and Government and the European Parliament, and to be able to choose an EU president more „directly“, with further discussion of what „more direct“ means and nobody knows how this then happens concretely.
Juncker again restricts that this is a long-term issue, while the EU under him wants to expand in the short and medium-term the euro area, the EU and the EU Schengen area, as well as a transfer and banking union. These disastrous measures are expected to go very quickly, as opposed to a democratization of the EU, which will be postponed to a distant future.
6) An EU Climate Fund that
compensates for climate damage, promotes restructuring oft he European
agriculture to a sustainable economy and climate-smarting technology.
Instead of letting the EU continue to expand frantically in the euro area, Schengen area and membership, pushing transfer unions and military unions alongside NATO, the EU should consolidate itself, initiate a New East Policy (Neue Ostpolitik) including disarmament initiative and unifying concrete European projects, while at the same time addressing the new social issue. And revitalize a European spirit.