Rejected by U.K., Europeans to seek ’empire’?

By Garth Kant

European Union Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
European Union Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

WASHINGTON – Now that the European Union will be losing the United Kingdom as a result of the Brexit vote, concerns are growing that the E.U. is seeking to expand intercontinentally with the aim of establishing an “empire.”

A week after the British vote on June 23, E.U. Vice President Federica Mogherini released a document outlining the union’s plan for expansion, “A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign And Security Policy,” raising some eyebrows in foreign policy circles.

Not only does the document suggest the possible formation of an E.U. army, it explores expanding the multi-state entity into Asia and Africa.

It even envisions a global government.

“We will invest in regional orders, and in cooperation among and within regions,” Mogherini wrote in the foreword. “And we will promote reformed global governance, one that can meet the challenges of this 21st century.”

“The E.U. wants its own Empire as former Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made clear when he was in charge,” flatly declared U.K. Independence Party defense spokesman Mike Hookem.

Indeed, the executive summary of the E.U. document suggests a possible expansion into two neighboring continents, Asia and Africa.

“It is in the interests of our citizens to invest in the resilience of states and societies to the east stretching into Central Asia, and to the south down to Central Africa. Under the current E.U. enlargement policy, a credible accession process grounded in strict and fair conditionality is vital to enhance the resilience of countries in the Western Balkans and of Turkey.”

EU Vice President Federica Mogherini
E.U. Vice President Federica Mogherini

This wording in the document stoked concerns the E.U. will try to become a major military power: “Gradual synchronisation and mutual adaption of national defence planning cycles and capability development practice can enhance strategic convergence between Member States.”

It also called for the technological and industrial means “to act autonomously.”

Mogherini’s foreword stated, “And wherever I travel, our partners expect the European Union to play a major role, including as a global security provider.”

All of that led Hookem to observe, “I’m not sure whether in reality it will be a threat to NATO.” He added, “Although I am sure it would like to be, because NATO are competent.”

A number of European policy makers have called for an EU army and the British paper “The Express” reported, “the latest strategy document suggests Brussels is pushing ahead with plans for further integration on defence.”

Mogherini suggested the time is right to consolidate the various European armies into a single force, because, “the idea that Europe is an exclusively ‘civilian power’ does not do justice to an evolving reality. For instance, the European Union currently deploys seventeen military and civilian operations, with thousands of men and women serving under the European flag for peace and security – our own security, and our partners.’”

However, the British prime minister’s office has flatly stated there was “no prospect of an E.U. army.”

Mogherini left no doubt the new E.U. strategy was in response to the looming departure of the U.K. from the E.U.

“We have learnt the lesson: my neighbour’s and my partner’s weaknesses are my own weaknesses,” she wrote.

Despite British rejection of the E.U. model, Mogherini clinged to the belief that the various member states could become a cohesive force, claiming ” Joining all our cultures together to achieve our shared goals and serve our common interests is a daily challenge, but it is also our greatest strength: diversity is what makes us strong.”

Fifty-two percent of the British public disagreed, taking with them the U.K.’s armed forces, which have the biggest military budget in Europe.

Leave a Comment