The European Union What is it? Why does it interest us?
Where is the EU? And Where is Europe?? Europe may have to define itself by what “it is not.” Is This the border of “Europe?” Who Knows? How far East Does it go? Are Russians “Europeans”? Are Ukrainians? Are the Turks???
And What is this EU? • This is the hardest question of all • It looks like a state, but does not behave like one, which is really confusing for US Foreign Policy: Is it a State in Denial? • It is a group of countries with no internal boundaries for goods, capital and labor. • It used to be called the European Economic Community but has gone way beyond that.
These are the present members of the EU. Notice that Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are not members. Bulgaria and Romania joined 1/1/07. The W. Balkans are too unsettled
It Grew in Phases Sweden Finland Austria The UK Former Communist Europe The Core 6 Bulgaria Roumania 2007 Spain and Portugal
Remaining (2008) Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia.
The BIG Problem. • The EU has many of the attributes of a state, but is not a state, and this causes many problems—the most recent being Iraq. A Civil Service (The "Commission') This is where the Power Is, which is why people see the Commissioner more like this A Flag and Ambassadors too A European Court of Justice An Elected Parliament A Common Currency
Cancelled May 2005 A State in Denial. • The EU was drafting a Constitution defining human rights and coming close to defining a common citizenry. When does this entity become a STATE? The Lisbon Agreement 2007 Passed. Trying Again with The EU “Agreement” Fall 2007
The Lisbon Agreement 2007 • Long-term president • “High Representative” for Foreign Affairs • A little more power to the Parliament. • But, no mention of words like “citizen,” “constitution,” and the like. • Relationship between EU and its member countries still ambiguous—not like the states of the USA.
The Real Dilemma British we are. British we stay. Now, clear off. • The EU is made up of countries that do not want to stop being countries, e.g. Britain and France. • On the other hand, they have passed to the EU many—I would say most—of the functions of a national government. • The laws passed by the EU are binding on the member states, but they are not produced by the Parliament—so why have one? • Because, if the European Parliament were to have any serious legislative power it would have to come from the individual member states Likewise
"I'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?" This? Or this? The Faceless, Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrat.
Why it Interests Us • Defensive Alliance (NATO)—now in tatters? • Cultural Heritage—So What? • Huge Trade Competitor and Rival, and getting bigger rapidly • Europe has caused so many wars, into which the US was drawn • Leading to a new sense of regionalism in the USA • It is our natural trade rival in the world. $1.50: 3/3/2008
Why is this Important to the US: 1? • Traditionally, Europe has been our largest trade partner, but not any more 20% 30% 40% +
Who has the Lion’s Share of World Trade? But, trade remains a relatively small part of the US GDP EU USA
Why is this Important to the US: 2? The EU represents, potentially, the only counterbalance to the USA economically and politically. The September 2002 Defense Policy Statement from the US said that it would never allow any country—or group of countries—to rival the military strength of the USA. Right now, the EU does not form any sort of rival in military power to the USA. Why is this?
NATO • As we said before, Europe’s defense is wrapped into NATO, which includes Turkey, Canada and the USA • Europe cannot have a unified and independent defense policy as long as the components are “national” (French, Dutch etc); there is no “European” foreign policy as such; the USA controls all the air-transport and airborne fighting capacity of NATO.
Why is this Important to the US: 2? • Because the EU is not a state (meaning a country like the US), but a loose grouping of existing countries, it lacks two essential things: • It has no uniform foreign policy. Until now all the member countries have spoken with one voice and voted together. Not since Iraq. Frankly, the US has no-one to speak to in the EU in crises like Iraq. ?