THE super-imperialist ambitions of the European Union (EU) have begun to emerge in the wake of its Brexit defeat in the UK.
So far, its military experience has been extremely limited and unsuccessful. In the Ukraine, where the grand design was to turn the country into a semi-colony of the EU, the EU leaders were able to egg on, plot and even participate in, a coup to overthrow the government of Yanukovych, but after that was done, did not have the military power to complete the job, and turn the country into a vassal dependency of the EU.
It was left unfinished, with the west of the country under the heel of pro-Western oligarchs and major parts of the east under the rule of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
As well, the US had its own irons in the fire in the Ukraine, and again the EU just did not have the firepower to deal with the US intervention into ‘Europe’s affairs’. The EU has just released a strategy document that suggests the bloc can no longer rely on NATO for the provision of security, stressing the need for a ‘more credible European defence’.
The 60-page document, titled ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe’, has been drafted by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s security and foreign policy chief, and seeks to lay out a new global strategy for the bloc at a time when the ‘purpose, even existence’, of the EU ‘is being questioned’.
It states: ‘As Europeans, we must take greater responsibility for our security. We must be ready and able to deter, respond to and protect ourselves against external threats.’ It makes the point that this task cannot be left to the US-dominated NATO alliance. It explains that, ‘While NATO exists to defend its members – most of which are European – from external attack, Europeans must be better equipped, trained and organised to contribute decisively to such collective efforts, as well as to act autonomously if and when necessary.’
The need to act autonomously means having EU military forces that can act without regard to NATO, and even in opposition to NATO if all of the trade deals proposed between the USA and Brussels go sour. This new vision does not stop there.
Referring to perceived threats from Russia as well as acts of terrorism within Europe, the document goes on to call for greater ‘autonomy’ from NATO. ‘An appropriate level of ambition and strategic autonomy is important for Europe’s ability to foster peace and safeguard security within and beyond its borders,’ it reads.
This ‘ambition and strategic autonomy’ is a very heady brew and a clear challenge not just to Russia but also to the, until now, clear-cut military domination of the USA through the NATO alliance.
The strategy document then calls for a new form of defence strategy but does not as yet provide specifications, merely calling for ‘investment in security and defence’ by EU members and ‘defence cooperation’ among them.
The document continues to urge members to ‘systematically encourage defence cooperation and strive to create a solid European defence industry, which is critical for Europe’s autonomy of decision and action’.
The message to Russia is clear. It is ‘beware’. The message to the US is also clear: it is ‘hands off’, and the EU is about to look after what are perceived to be its real interests, and is no longer prepared to leave these in the hands of the USA.
The document was presented to the bloc’s leaders at the European Council meeting on June 28. It declared: ‘Our Union is under threat. Our European project, which has brought unprecedented peace, prosperity and democracy, is being questioned.’
The statement echoes earlier remarks by EU officials on the necessity to form a specific armed force. ‘We need a common (military) headquarters and a coalition (of EU countries) acting in accordance with the permanent structural cooperation of the EU Treaty,’ said Elmar Brok, the head of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, last Sunday.
The UK workers were correct to vote to quit the EU, which is now revealing its imperialist ambitions. The UK working class must go forward to socialism and work with the workers of the EU to replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe. This will mean the end of NATO and all imperialist alliances.