EU leaders will meet in the Slovak capital on Sept. 16 to discuss the future of the organization. They will just meet, talk, have lunch, take pictures and say goodbye to each other. Once again nothing will happen, nothing will change. The fact is the EU leaders really do not know what actions to take but need to portray activity. Europeans are beginning to get used to the uselessness and ineffectiveness of such pathetic and costly events.
Meanwhile, the most vital issues on the European agenda include Great Britain’s leaving, regional security, and immigration. Today it is absolutely clear that Brexit won’t dominate the upcoming European Union summit, though the other two topics will be at the center of attention. Now it is difficult to say from what point of view the leaders are going to touch upon them because they all directly depend on London’s decision to leave the EU.
It is impossible to ignore the fact that the necessity to make changes to the international security system is urgent. The appropriate decision can no longer be postponed. The existing instruments, such as Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), do not function any longer and the alternative ones have not been developed yet. According to Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, it is high time to revive arms control in Europe and try to build bridges. Obviously, it is Europe who should be very active in this process; the European leaders should be more independent in decision-making and developing new instruments and mechanisms to advance the regional security system.
The matter is that the only organization the Europeans consider as intended for international security is NATO. But it should be noted that international security is not the same as European security. The United States bears the main financial burden and it is absolutely logical and understandable that this particular country leads the security policy and chooses the priorities. Europe is only part of their agenda. There is also Africa, Asia, and Middle East. All of these troubled regions need Washington’s attention too.
It is not Russia or the U.S. or NATO who are responsible for European security, but Europe itself. The superpowers have their own vision on regional security issue and will for sure present their plans. But these new strategies will be their plans, convenient and profitable only to them, not to Europe. Are European leaders really happy with this state of affairs? And if they are, is it Ok for the Europeans?
It’s fair to say Europe is actively discussing the creation of its own armed forces. Some experts say that this project makes no sense at all. Critics insist that the project is only an attempt to fuel the arms industry, most notably that of the U.S. Others are in favor of the idea, considering it as a possibility to maintain independent European politics. It could be a step towards a multipolar world or just wasting money. In any case it is worth listening to Frank-Walter Steinmeier and trying to seek European methods of regional development.
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