Europe is becoming a world political power

Article published in Financial Times Laurence Boon, French Secretary for European Affairs, quoted from Radour:

The crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created new cooperation among EU member states.

Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine is shaking the EU and hastening its transformation into a fully sovereign political power in addition to its existing economic power.

The European Union has been strengthened by successive crises. Economic Europe has become a strong and stable single currency, making the era of flexible exchange rate systems a distant memory. After the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, the organization also strengthened its financial structure and monetary levers.

More recently, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union has developed unified economic structures and a common budgetary capacity. The organization also helped procure vaccines and laid the foundations for a “healthy Europe”. Now, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU has moved beyond swift sanctions against Moscow to concrete action in four areas.

First, a “security Europe”. The European Union is taking on new dimensions in the field of defence. Following the Versailles summit in March, the EU strengthened, increased and coordinated its national and European investment in defense capabilities. It also introduced some joint financial initiatives, such as the European Security Fund, and a new framework for responding to threats in the IT sector. A sign of this accelerated movement was the June referendum in favor of Denmark’s accession to European security policy.

The second, “Europe of Industrial Sovereignty”, focuses on energy, digital technology and industries. In the coming months, Europe will drastically reduce its energy dependence on Russia through integrated energy savings approved by the EU Council at the end of July. .

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This will begin to make a dynamic union a tangible reality. But this is just the beginning. The rapid energy transition strategy adopted in June will be a key factor in ensuring that European energy sovereignty remains on a stable footing.

And thanks to the EU’s Next Generation programme, a €750 billion funding program launched in the wake of the pandemic crisis, projects across Europe are building strong capabilities in sectors such as digital technology, health, hydrogen and semiconductors.

As Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron argued in December, the EU’s tax rules must evolve to support such large investments in defense and industry.

Third, “Europe of Democracy”. The EU will continue to assert its identity as a democratic power firmly anchored in the rule of law. In this regard, there will be no compromise and no mercy shown to those who seek to undermine the freedom and integrity of our electoral processes, our independence, our impartial legal systems or the struggle against it, both in Europe and beyond. Corruption.

Finally, there is “Europe as a geopolitical power”. The European Union must become an anchor of stability for the entire European continent. Half of the actions behind this hybrid war launched by Russia cannot be: its imperialist war in Ukraine and its use of energy and food as weapons designed to destabilize the entire world.

It is precisely in this context that we must understand the historic step taken by granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, recognizing the European status of Georgia, and opening negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. The EU must integrate the Western Balkans into the European family, a family to which they belong geographically, historically and culturally.

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We are not naive: we know that the EU needs to make some reforms in order to function effectively in an enlarged Europe. It includes decision-making factors such as the unanimity rule and qualified majority voting on certain issues related to corporate governance and common European security policy or taxation.

The goal of the European political union proposed by Macron is: to strengthen European stability through cooperation on foreign policy and security issues, cooperation in the field of trade, research and education.

Jean Monnet, one of the first architects of European integration, uttered some famous words: “Europe will be tempered by crises, and will reflect the sum of the solutions adopted for those crises.” Russia’s assault on Ukraine and European policies has made Europe a global political power an urgent collective priority for all of us. (Radar Translation: Alexandru Tanga)

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