The paradox inherent in the planned Greek referendum is that a “no” vote directed at the EU might be a “yes” for a better Europe. The same Europeans, whom the EU is now trying to force-feed a false “salvation”, might end up saving the true European Idea, even if it’s at the price of renouncing the current institutional attempts to implement it.
If you blinked you might have missed it. The 17th EU-Ukraine Summit in Kiev has come and gone without too much fuss. Little media coverage, few analyses, only a joint statement and Donald Tusk’s Tweeter feed to remind us that Ukraine and the European Union have met for the very first time under the new Association Agreement. It is also the first Summit to take place after Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from power more than a year ago. The importance and outcome of the Summit remain by no means secondary. If anything, resuming this high-level bilateral meeting signals a less volatile, albeit still dangerous situation in Eastern Ukraine
Jean-Claude Juncker can sometimes be very daring. But words count, and should be used with precision. Speaking to a German newspaper, the President of the European Commission has called for a ‘European army’ to help cope with the challenge posed by Russia, to defend European ‘values’ and for the EU to take up its ‘responsibility in the world’ and be able ‘to react to a threat to peace in a Member State or neighbour’. He even said that ‘it would have been useful during the crisis in Ukraine’. But how?
Europe’s security, just like its economy, should be integrated for greater efficiency and impact. United, Europe’s defence mechanism could deter any potential outside threat. The idea is not to merge all national armies or replace them by a pan-European one, rather to create a force that will complement and assist them in case of emergency. Hopefully Mr. Juncker’s call will find strong support from the majority of EU members. We should not wait for a crisis to come to our door to try to tackle such important issues under duress. Now is the time to lay the foundations for the future continent that we would like our children to live in.