The politics that Europe- lacks

The politics that Europe- lacks
The politics that Europe- lacks
from Ernesto Galli della Loggia

The European Union says it wants to set up joint armed forces without first establishing, for, who will have the power to decide how and where to use them and through which procedure


In the end, the brutal evidence of the facts prevailed and in recent days the leaders of the European Union and the major states that compose it have declared practically unanimously that the time has come for the EU to have a common army (and also a common intelligence, they went so far as to say). An army – it seems to understand – not already conceived for the so-called peace missions – such as those that the various European armies have been conducting for decades, coordinated but each on their own and with not excellent results – but to do what they have needed for some millennia armies: to make war or threaten it.

But it is difficult, very difficult, that the intentions are followed by the facts. For one reason above all: that the European Union says it wants to set up an army without first establishing, for, who will have the power to decide how and where to use it and through what procedure. Not a small oversight. From now on, in fact, it will no longer be a question, as has always been the case for the various European armies, of adhering to intervention decisions taken by third parties, such as NATO or the United Nations. From now on, vice versa, it is imagined that there is some specifically European authority vested with the power to pick up the phone and – with a completely autonomous initiative, unrelated to any other – to order the commander of the army of the Union to intervene in this or that part of the world.


to what authority will ever be endowed with such power? A power that is all the greater since, among other things, the envisaged European army is certainly not conceived only as a defensive instrument, to respond to a (completely unimaginable) aggression against a State of the Union (a case, possibly, of immediate relevance of NATO), but in a completely different perspective. Indeed, it should serve as an operationally offensive instrument, to protect key EU interests to be defined from time to time. With an intrinsically foreign policy decision, in short, involving a military projection that in some way could also give rise to a war conflict, albeit of limited scope.

But at present, what European institution could ever make a decision so fraught with consequences? Evidently only the Council of Heads of State and Government. That is, a top body composed of 27 people, (perhaps) authorized in this case to decide – as practice suggests (because such a matter is not foreseen or regulated by any treaty) – unanimously. Which immediately raises the crucial question: it is never imaginable that 27 political leaders – expressions of electorates, traditions, interests that are enormously different from each other – decide to embark on a military action that can become warlike and cost the life of some of their fellow countrymen. to create complications of unpredictable gravity? And that they do so, remember, not already under the threat of serious and imminent danger, of an attack by an enemy, but only for a political-strategic interest, albeit as important as one wants? I leave the answer to the readers.

In short, history takes revenge on the sin that at the origin of the European construction. The sin committed by its founding fathers when they deluded themselves to exorcise the failure of the initial unification project – that of the EDC, of ​​the European Defense Community: an entirely political project, which not surprisingly had at its center the constitution of a common army – when they deluded themselves, I said, of exorcising that failure by taking the path of economic unification, in the hope that sooner or later it would also lead to political unification in this way. However, seventy years (seventy years!) Have passed, the world changed, but only the economy was born from the economy: confirming that politics – and war, which is one of its supreme summaries – are quite another thing.

Today, for the EU, returning to politics seems extremely difficult. Among other things, also because in the meantime, on the basis of that distant choice of seventy years ago, the entire vast official European establishment has built a real ideology of Europe, a widespread common sense, which goes in exactly the opposite direction. In fact, the formula – purposely and inappropriately repeated by all the progressive half socks in search of a beautiful demagogic formula – has taken root in Europe as civil power. the image, that is, of a Europe as a space of freedom and justice that intends to place all its power and sense of itself solely in the law and in the decisions of the courts (almost as if one and the others, alas, did not need, to count for anything, even a rag of police and some sad prison). And together, of course, the image of a Europe which, precisely because it is civil, is always ready to discuss, to promise benefits, to negotiate, to convince, but never willing to beat its fists on the table, to be a military power as the bearer of own determined and strong political identity.

In short, Europe continues to lack politics, a true political existence, and it seems very difficult that from this void an army worthy of the name could arise tomorrow, almost like a miraculous phoenix.

September 21, 2021 (change September 21, 2021 | 22:15)


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