EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described on Wednesday the European way of doing politics: with a smile.
Referring to the latest EU-US spat over the Iran nuclear deal and US President Donald Trump, she said that sometimes smiling needs more strength than shouting.
Her entire speech at an EU Social Democrats event was devoted to Trump, though she never once mentioned him by name.
She also clearly questioned US dominance in world politics. “There is only one global power today that is credible, reliable and predictable for the rest of the world and not only to its citizens – and this is the EU,” she said.
All of this raises some serious existential questions.
There is an ongoing clash of worldviews between the partners on the two sides of the Atlantic.
The European way, according to Mogherini, is the idealistic approach, compared to the “cynical Realpolitik” employed by others. Even so, both idealists and Realpolitik supporters seek peace in international politics, only by different means.
But there is an old saying that when people forget their past, they tend to come up against surprises in the future.
It is true that Mogherini’s words are a boost for the spirit of EU identity. She brings EU citizens closer to feeling as one nation.
But she also spoke against the militarisation of the EU. It was an obvious wink at Washington, trying to imply that the EU is attempting to keep its distance but not planning to go too far.
Did we forget why the EU was born? Did we forget how peace came to prevail in Europe?
There has been no serious crisis in EU history where the Europeans have not asked the US for assistance.
How can one aspire to be a global power without military capacity?
The American satellites on the periphery of Europe had already been activated well before Trump took power, and continental Europe is already under huge geopolitical pressure. The first calls have been made for Germany to rebuild its military might. We already feel the trend of destabilisation.
If the EU decides to walk alone, is Brussels convinced all member states will follow its lead? Not sure. Is this the fear that is hiding behind the idea of a multi-speed Europe?
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