Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #700 Deutschland Uber Alles

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Introduction: With the end of the Cold War, much of Europe realigned in accordance with the geopolitical goals of the Third Reich–Germany reunited, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia fragmented, the latter two along the paradigm instituted by Axis occupation forces during the Second World War. Germany is supporting drives to split up existing EU members, promoting the “independence” of ethnic groups within those countries.

In addition, other EU members–France in particular–are adopting German revisionist views of the Second World War.

Beginning with discussion of the observation of the end of World War I, the broadcast notes this fundamental revision of history. The Paris observation was highlighted by [French] president Sarkozy’s historical revision of the Versailles Treaty. Long blamed for the rise of Nazism by German revisionists, the Versailles Treaty is now cited by Sarkozy as a cause of WWII and the rise of the Third Reich.

Signifying the triumph of revisionist history of the twentieth century is the observation of November 9th as a day of national mourning for the fallen in Germany. That date is also the anniversary of Hitler’s Beerhall Putsch in 1923 and Die Krystallnacht in 1938.

Next, the program delineates German maneuvering to control the European Union. The Federal Republic is pressuring the EU to grant the posts of Council President and Foreign Minister to Germany.

Ultimately, Germany seeks to dominate the EU’s External Action Service, which will handle interface with the rest of the world, in effect becoming the “Foreign Office” of the union.

One of Germany’s major foreign policy goals vis a vis the EU is to diminish or marginalize the British conservative influence. Germany sees the United Kingdom’s Labor Party as a friendlier, less “EU skeptic” entity with which to work.

Among the foreign policy goals German interests are pursuing and that would be poorly received by the Tories is the creation of a “Greater Germany” that would include Austria!

Further developing pan-German goals for the geographical restructuring of Europe, the broadcast highlights plans to effect the secession of the North Tyrol from Italy, reuniting it with Austria. The Freedom Party of Austria–founded as a vehicle for the political rehabilitation of Austrian Nazis who had served the Third Reich and headed (until his death) by Jorg Haider– has been a major agitator on behalf of this goal.

In addition, Germany and its Green and European Free Alliance allies have been pushing for the secession of Catalonia from Spain.

Program Highlights Include: Review of fascist connections of the Green Party; German plans for an all-EU army; discussion of the Habsburg dynasty and the prospective recapitulation of some of its ethnic and geopolitical features; review of the UNPO; review of attempts to fragment the United States; speculation about the role of the newly “independent” ethnic groups as prospective voting allies of Germany within an expanded EU.

1. Beginning with discussion of the observation of the end of World War I, the broadcast notes the fundamental revision of history underway in Europe. In addition to downplaying the substance of the conflict, making victors and vanquished co-equal, the Paris observation was highlighted by [French] president Sarkozy’s historical revision of the Versailles Treaty. Long blamed for the rise of Nazism by German revisionists, the Versailles Treaty is now cited by Sarkozy as a cause of WWII and the rise of the Third Reich.

The French compliance with German historical revisionism is not surprising, given the fact that–as we saw in FTR #305, among other programs–the economic occupation of France by the Bormann capital network never ended, affording Germany de facto political control of that nation.

Signifying the triumph of revisionist history of the twentieth century is the observation of November 9th as a day of national mourning for the fallen in Germany. That date is also: the anniversary of Hitler’s Beerhall Putsch in 1923 and Die Krystallnacht in 1938. In the Nazi tract The Turner Diaries, the date November 9th is celebrated as “Martyr’s Day,” a day of commemoration of those who gave their lives in the service of Nazism.

At the end of this past week, the establishment in Berlin was reviewing with great satisfaction a week that brought several victories for its partisan interpretation of history. According to observers, the German Chancellor’s participation in the commemoration ceremonies of the Armistice ending the First World War in Paris was “a priceless political act”. The transformation of the memory of the victory over the German aggressors into a memorial, leveling for the victims “on both sides” of the war, was accompanied by the type of criticism of the Versailles Treaty of 1919, that is usually heard mainly from German revisionists. Berlin’s celebration of a “Festival of the Germans” on Nov. 9, the day of the commemoration of the Nazi Pogrom Night in 1938, is an “affront to the Jewish victims,” one that would not have been fathomable just a few years earlier, is a statement that was met with applause. “Making policy with history is staking a claim on spiritual leadership” is the way the press summed up the fact that the German interpretation of history is being imposed on the other European nations. This Sunday, Berlin will close the current memorial week with the annual commemoration of the German soldiers killed in battle (“Volkstrauertag” National Day of Mourning). As usual, also German war criminals will be honored at the ceremonies.

Equally for Both Sides

Berlin considers the historical political mega events, drawing to a close at the end of the week, a considerable success. Following the festivities in memory of the opening of the Berlin Wall, it was above all the Chancellor’s participation in the celebrations in Paris for the anniversary of the Armistice of 1918 that the press considers “a priceless political act”.[1] The ceremony that since 1920 had been dedicated to the memory of France’s victory over the German aggressors, was transformed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy into a memorial for the war dead on both sides. “On this November 11, we are not celebrating the victory of one people over another, but rather remembering a test of fate that had been equally horrible for both sides,” the president said.[2] Until now this version, placing aggressors and defenders at the same level, was principally found in Germany. Sarkozy has reaped enormous protest in France. As mentioned by the British press, a few war veterans voiced uneasiness at hearing the German anthem and seeing German uniforms at the Arc de Triomphe,[3] where they had not been heard and seen since the German invasions of France.

Admission

Ministers and parliamentarians in Paris have announced that a repetition of this ceremony will not be tolerated. But President Sarkozy was applauded in Germany. The “‘modernization’ of the understanding of history” is “essential” for the relations between Berlin and Paris, explains the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Concerning Sarkozy’s modification of the Armistice celebrations, the journal, which is solidly anchored in the German establishment, concludes with gratitude that “admissions that earlier triumphs were mistakes, are particularly high steps.”[4] As the French press rather ostentatiously noted, the memorial ceremonies include a clear criticism of the Versailles Treaty of 1919. For example, the German chancellor did not lay flowers at the statue of Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, who in France is known as the “Father of the Victory” over the German aggressors and had been decisive in the formulation of the Versailles Peace Treaty. Sarkozy readily accepted these gestures. “In 1918,” he said, Paris “had not understood” how to bring about true peace, “not only because the victors lacked generosity, but also because they refused to acknowledge how they were bound to the tragic fate of the vanquished.”[5] The point of view that the Versailles Peace Treaty was unjust and had contributed to a radicalization of German politics that led to handing power over to the Nazis, had been a point of view held mainly by German revisionists, but is now taking up more space in the German mass media.[6]

Shift of Accents

The November 9, celebrations in Berlin had also been applauded. According to the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, this year’s anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall has “conquered a status” that, until now “had been avoided.” The daily writes: “in accord with conventions of the now expired 20th Century, November 9 could not, was not even permitted to become the celebration of the Germans.” “Even fifty years later, no one would have dared to commit such an affront to the Jewish victims of the Nazi Pogrom Night that took place on the same day on the calendar in 1938 – neither in reference to the population at home nor public opinion abroad.”[7] In fact, in the second half of the 90s, when neo-Nazis used the commemoration of the Nazi Pogrom Night to stage a public commemoration of the opening of the Berlin Wall it was considered a violation of a taboo.[8] “Twenty years later, the accents have shifted” continued the Frankfurter Allgemeine and concluded “making policy with history is staking a claim on spiritual leadership, coupled with the will to take political action.” The journal points out that the presence of numerous officials representing their countries at the festivities, showed reverence to Berlin’s partisan interpretation of history.[9]

Hegemony

The “Volkstrauertag” (the National Day of Mourning) ends the current memorial week, which has brought Berlin significant inroads in imposing its partisan interpretation of history. Sunday afternoon, the German state-run “First Television Channel,” will make a live broadcast of the central memorial service from the German Reichstag, with the German president as keynote speaker. President Horst Koehler will commemorate all those who died in the wars of the Federal Republic of Germany and of its legal predecessors, including war criminals.[10] Also among the war dead being honored Sunday are the many German soldiers who lost their lives in 1914 when they invaded France. The fact that the German plans of occupation could be warded off, at the time, was no longer the focal point of festivities in Paris last weekend. On the other hand, tomorrow, Saturday, a preparatory “International Memorial Service” will be held in Berlin, which will set the mood for Sunday’s National Day of Mourning, bringing together representatives from about 30 nations – under the leadership of the German War Graves Commission, which will also preside at Sunday’s memorial services in the Reichstag. Step by step Germany’s political predominance in Europe is being also imposed through its hegemony over the interpretation of history.

[1] Novembertage; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 12.11.2009
[2] Le discours du président Sarkozy à l’Arc de Triomphe; Le Monde 12.11.2009
[3] Merkel and Sarkozy improve diplomatic relations on Armistice Day; The Times 12.11.2009
[4] Novembertage; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 12.11.2009
[5] La France et l’Allemagne célèbrent le 11-Novembre, devenu un “jour de paix”; Le Monde 12.11.2009
[6] see also Unbearably Harsh and Unjust
[7] Novembertage; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 12.11.2009
[8] Erneuter Naziaufmarsch in Marburg; Antifaschistische Nachrichten 24/1997
[9] Novembertage; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 12.11.2009. In spite of it all, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sounds a note of caution concerning the festivities around November 9. The chancellor will “have to make clear that protests and demonstrations can point to problems and solutions – ‘we are one people’.” But the journal hints that, in the future, the illusion should be avoided that the population’s repetition of protests could create serious problems for the federal government. In future commemorations of the opening of the Berlin Wall, it should be made clear that “responsible governments are the only ones that can regulate the suggested solutions or demands and apply them on a long-term basis.”
[10] see also Staatsoberhaupt ehrt deutsche Aggressoren, Wehrpropaganda, Gruften der Täter, Heldengedenken, Das große Gleichmachen and Hintergrundbericht: Der Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge

“History in the Making”; german-foreign-policy.com; 11/13/2009.

2. Next, the program delineates German maneuvering to control the European Union. The Federal Republic is pressuring the EU to grant the posts of Council President and Foreign Minister to Germany.

Ultimately, Germany seeks to dominate the EU’s External Action Service, which will handle interface with the rest of the world, in effect becoming the “Foreign Office” of the union.

Germany’s plans for an all-European army are moving forward.

Just a few days before the future leading positions for the EU are to be designated, Berlin is raising demands for access to leading posts in the European External Action Service (EEAS)and the EU Commission. As explained by the German Minister of State to the Foreign Ministry, Werner Hoyer, the EU Council President and the Foreign Minister do not have to be German, but Germany “lays great weight” on “relevantly participating” at the administrative level positions just below them, which are considered decisively influential on Brussels’ policies. Berlin is giving the new External Action Service a particularly high priority, since it consolidates the EU’s external policy and is supposed to provide Brussels with new global power impact. German policy advisors consider that the EU has the “potential of a world power” but point out that this potential must first be established through Brussels’ external policy. It was under German pressure that the decision was made to place the EU’s military planning and operation staff within the responsibility of the External Action Service, to be able to directly incorporate military operations into EU external policy. In the meantime, the German project of creating an EU army is winning favor. Last weekend the Italian Foreign Minister gave his accord.

Just a few days before the EU Special Summit on Thursday, wrangling persists over who will be given Brussels’ two key functions. Several prominent politicians are campaigning for the posts of Council President and Foreign Minister. It is said that a decision will be made soon. The government leaders of the Benelux countries are said to have good chances. The president of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert (CDU) has spoken out in favor of Luxemburg’s Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker. In the EU, Juncker is not known for obstructing German political projects. Belgium’s prime minister is considered a possible compromise candidate, since, unlike Luxemburg, his country is not under such strong German influence. A candidate from Austria would be particularly convenient for Germany. For years, Austria has willingly been ready to support Berlin’s foreign policy projects. But above all, the German government seeks to avoid having an official from Great Britain, who could thwart German projects.

Top Posts
As the German Foreign Ministry’s Minister of State, Werner Hoyer, explained Monday, Berlin is demanding two things in return for Germany’s renunciation on claims to the two top posts: Chancellor Merkel should have decisive influence over the decisions and secondly, Germany “lays great weight” on “relevantly participating” at administrative level positions just below the council president and the foreign minister.[1] These positions, whose officials, usually far from the public eye, can shape the EU’s development, are considered to be decisively powerful. The general secretary of the European Council will be among the positions that will be determined. It is the general secretary, who is the highest administrative head of the EU nations in Brussels. In the meantime, the German chancellor has made it known that she insists for Germany the post of EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs – a great advantage for Europe’s strongest industrial nation. After all, Berlin is seeking the leading posts in the newly created European External Action Service (EEAS), which, within the framework of EU external policy is extremely important.

External Action Service
German EU functionaries and political advisors are insistently pleading for giving the European External Action Service special attention. As Gerhard Sabathil, the director for strategy, coordination and analysis in the EU’s Commission’s general direction for external relations, declared the EU must be more decisive in its handling of world policy. Sabathil points to the replacement of the “G8” by the “G20”, which has dramatically changed the global position of Europe. Whereas Europe was represented by 4 nations in G8, it has only 5 in G20. “The decisive question is to what extent can Europe compensate for this quantitative loss of power,” Sabathil is quoted as having said.[2] It is “absolutely essential” that the EU’s influence be reinforced with a cohesive external and military policy. The effectiveness of the EU’s External Action Service will not only depend on its foreign minister but also the personnel at the highest levels of administration. This is the level Berlin wants to have direct access to.

Merge
It is quite possible to achieve substantial global political power, according to Werner Weidenfeld, one of the most influential German political advisors. Even though the EU’s global involvement currently is rather rudimentary, Weidenfeld writes in a recent article, “Europe has the potential of a world power – it has top positions in global commerce, in global production as well as in research and education.” Weidenfels resumes, “this potential (…) only needs adequate organization”.[3] The set-up of the European External Action Service, due to start work in April 2010, is serving this objective, as well as the incorporation of all military planning and operational staff into the EEAS, that Berlin imposed against the will of Paris and London.[4] The EU’s military operations and external policy planning will merge rendering consultations between the different branches of the bureaucracy superfluous.[5]

EU Army
The German call for a joint European Army (german-foreign-policy.com reported [6]), is gaining support. Last weekend, the Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, announced that his government will push for the creation of a European army, as soon as the Lisbon Treaty comes into force on December 1. If there were such a European army, “we could pool our forces in Afghanistan,” Mr. Frattini declared: “Italy could send planes, France could send tanks, Britain could send armored cars, and in this way we would optimize the use of our resources.”[7] Mr. Frattini said the Lisbon Treaty had established that if some countries want to enter into vanguard cooperation and establish a common defense, they can do so. Other countries could join later. This merger would deprive individual European nations the possibility of defending their sovereignty. It would also subordinate their armies to the European External Action Service in Brussels. And this would mean subordination under the power that can currently call the shots: Germany.

[1] Hoyer: Deutschland erhebt Anspruch auf wichtige EU-Ämter; AFP 16.11.2009
[2] Strategien für Europa in Zeiten des Übergangs; www.cap-lmu.de 10.11.2009
[3] Werner Weidenfeld: Mein Europa der Zukunft; Go Sixt Politik www.cap-lmu.de 28.09.2009
[4] Autonom oder angebunden? Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 23.10.2009
[5] EU military chiefs nervous about Lisbon Treaty implications; EUobserver 05.11.2009
[6] see also The Hegemon’s Army
[7] Italy’s Foreign Minister says post-Lisbon EU needs a European Army; The Sunday Times 15.11.2009

“Potential of a World Power”; german-foreign-policy.com; 11/17/2009.

3. One of Germany’s major foreign policy goals vis a vis the EU is to diminish or marginalize the British conservative influence. Germany sees the United Kingdom’s Labor Party as a friendlier, less “EU skeptic” entity with which to work.

German government advisors are insisting on concerted efforts to politically neutralize British EU-skeptics. As explained in a recent paper published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the British Conservatives’ attitude will have a “decisive influence on helping to set the EU’s future radius of action,” because the ambitious possibilities in EU foreign policy making, opened through the Lisbon Treaty’s coming into force, will depend, to a certain extent, on London’s cooperation. It is expected that the elections scheduled in May will bring a government change – from Labor to Conservative. The chairman of the conservatives, a flexible “Euro-pragmatist,” is taking a Euro-skeptic position because of the balance of forces within his party, according to the authors of the SWP paper, but he can be brought to oppose his party’s EU-critical wing. The main reason for British EU-skepticism is the fear of the loss of the country’s sovereignty. This is not unjustified, as can be seen in the controversy around Greece’s national debt. The German chancellor is threatening Athens that the EU needs to consider whether it should impose an austerity budget on Greece – if necessary, even against the will of the elected parliament in Athens.
Globally Designed
According to a recent paper published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), London should be more firmly integrated into EU foreign policy, if for no other reason, than for Britain’s political economic significance. The authors explain that “Great Britain, the second largest economic realm in the EU, with London being a hub of international finances” could definitely not be ignored “because of its globally designed foreign and security policy.”[1] Because of the United Kingdom’s well known EU-skepticism, continental European countries have paid “little attention” to London. That was a mistake. It would “behoove” EU members to insist on the British government’s firm engagement for Brussels after the Lisbon Treaty takes effect. Attempts should be made to gain influence on the Conservatives, since they will probably win parliamentary elections in the spring.
EU-Pragmatism
Because of the growing popularity of the EU-critical forces, the SWP describes the current development within the Conservative Party as “somber.” “The new generation of the Conservative parliamentarians will further strengthen the EU-skeptical camp.” Therefore it will “sooner or later” be necessary to seek a closer integration into the EU. To achieve cooperation with the current party leader, David Cameron, is not out of the question. Up to now, his EU-skeptical statements have “mainly been out of consideration of internal party power struggles,” whereas he, himself, tends more toward “conservative EU-pragmatism.” This has become clear already through his backing off from holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The SWP authors suggest that on the basis of this sort of “conservative EU-pragmatism” Cameron could “use his party leadership position, to place the [EU-skeptical – gfp] rank and file under pressure.” Of course Cameron’s previous “failure to settle accounts with the hard-liners of his party sends a signal” even “to the dyed-in-wool optimists that there is still a lot of work to be done.” But it is worth the effort to attempt to continue to marginalize the EU-skeptics.
Constructive Potential
According to the SWP document, various extraneous circumstances are advantageous to this project. The paper points out that the possibilities of the British Conservatives influencing the European Parliament have been “weakened” since they broke off from the European People’s Party, forming a new group (“European Conservatives and Reformists”) this year. The authors are also of the opinion that the US government, which is so important to Great Britain, is, under the Obama administration, increasingly seeing “Britain’s significance within the EU as a constructive rather than a conflict potential.” Therefore the conditions are not disadvantageous for taking action against the EU-skeptics. One cannot avoid the task of forcing the EU-critical circles into retreat, because even if Labor – against all expectations – does remain in government, it can “not be excluded that the national viewpoint, will not come to the fore” – meaning the EU-skeptical tendency. That is why, in any case, an “open debate” with and in Great Britain around the extension of EU activities must be initiated. The SWP authors’ suggestions concerning how this should be done remain non-committal and rather ambiguous.
Austerity Policy
The main reason for British EU-skepticism remains the fear that in the future the EU could usurp the sovereignty of the nation-states and blatantly rule the member states, even Great Britain from abroad, bypassing the elected national parliaments. That this fear is justifiable can be seen in the recent developments in Greece. Greece’s national debt has reached about 120 percent of its BNP, which is twice what is allowed under the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact. Several EU states, including Germany, are exerting strong pressure on Athens to reduce the level of debts at all costs. Whether this is a justified demand, is a matter of dispute. The Prime Minister of Luxemburg, Jean-Claude Juncker considers “the perspective being painted by some, as if Greece is on the brink of national bankruptcy, is at variance with my observations.”[2] Axel Weber, President of the German Federal Bank, on the other hand, demands that Athens impose a rigid austerity policy, that would also drastically cut salaries.[3]
Still Independent
The German chancellor is demanding that Brussels should be granted new rights of intervention into central areas of national sovereignty, for such cases. If, for example, an elected parliament refuses to enact substantial cuts in wages, Brussels must have the power to order these cuts against their will. “National parliaments do not like to have things imposed,” observes Angela Merkel and demands “we have to discuss this type of problem.”[4] The extent of this sort of intervention, particularly affecting the smaller EU nations, placing them under de facto direct control of the EU hegemonic powers, in particular Germany, has been anticipated by the Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou. According to Papandreou, the country’s sovereignty is under threat for the first time since 1974, through the external pressure on Athens to reduce its level of debts at all costs. In 1974 the military dictatorship in Greece was replaced by a parliamentary democracy. Papandreou added that Athens itself must institute the reductions demanded by Berlin and others. This is “the only way to insure that Greece does not lose its independence.”[5]
[1] Martin Kremer, Roderick Parkes: Großbritannien: “Being nice to a sceptic?” SWP-Aktuell 66, Dezember 2009
[2] EU macht Druck auf Griechenland; Handelsblatt 10.12.2009
[3] Bundesbank fordert Griechenland zum Sparen auf; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10.12.2009
[4] EU verweigert Griechenland Soforthilfe; Spiegel Online 10.12.2009
[5] Bundesbank fordert Griechenland zum Sparen auf; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 10.12.2009

“The End of Sovereignty’; german-foreign-policy.com; 12/14/2009.

4. Anticipating a Conservative victory in the upcoming British elections, Germany is pressuring the EU to speedily institutionalize changes to the European External Action Service to make it more serviceable to German interests.

Among the foreign policy goals being pursued by the European Free Alliance group within the European Parliament is the formation of a “Greater Germany” that would include Austria, as well as parts of what are now Switzerland and Italy! This is, of course, the Greater Germany that was realized for a time by Hitler.

Note that the Greens are part of this alliance. In the past, we have noted the Green Party’s fascist affiliations and their efforts at promoting the fragmentation of various European states.

Berlin is insisting on access to essential posts in the European External Action Service (EEAS). According to news reports, the German government is demanding that the post of EEAS General Secretary be given to a German. Leading personnel from the Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry are being suggested. The general secretary heads the administration and is second only to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, who is considered to be very weak, meaning that a German EEAS general secretary would have a free hand. The structuring of the EEAS is one of Berlin’s most essential objectives since the Lisbon Treaty took effect, reinforcing the EU on its path toward becoming a world power. As was expressed in Berlin’s foreign ministry, the basic features of the new administration must be institutionalized by April 2010, so that the British Conservatives, expected to be the victors of the next parliamentary elections in the spring of 2010, will not be able to have any influence. They are capable of putting up serious resistance to German hegemonic policy.
Accommodation Claims
The debate around the structuring of the European External Action Service (EEAS) is becoming more heated since the Lisbon Treaty took effect December 1. Whether this new administration should be an appendage of the EU Commission or be an independent structure is one of the issues of this controversy. Berlin is in favor of the EEAS being independent of the Commission. It would thus be more accessible to EU member nations. A central power struggle is around the question of who will get key positions in that administration. The approx. 5,000 assistants currently employed in the EU Commission’s foreign policy structures want to be accommodated. The EU nations are demanding that at least one-third of the future positions in the EEAS, mainly leadership positions, be set aside for their national personnel.[1] Since contradicting claims have to be taken into consideration, it is estimated that the final size of the EEAS will be between 6,000 and 8,000 employees.
Reliable
But Berlin is pressing for haste. Next spring, in May 2010 at the latest, parliamentary elections will be held in Great Britain. The replacement of the Labor government by a Conservative one is considered certain. The German government is doing everything possible that the basic structural features of the EEAS will be completed by April 2010. A Conservative British government could “otherwise complicate the implementation of the EEAS,”[2] as is diplomatically asserted in the German Foreign Ministry, where it is feared that London could seriously resist German plans to use EU Foreign Policy to rise to world power status. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[3]) The Labor government reliably accommodated German aspirations on decisive issues, for example the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The chairman of the Social Democratic European parliamentary caucus, Martin Schulz, noted with gratitude that during the vote on the treaty, the Labor MP, Catherine Ashton, was its dedicated promoter in the House of Lords.[4]
“Difficult Partner”
The German establishment is divided on the question of what role London should have in the EU. The chairman of the group The Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, Reinhard Buetikofer is against proposals to more intensely ostracize Great Britain. There are parties in his parliamentary group that are calling for the breakup of numerous European nation-states. The organization European Free Alliance (EFA) has published a map showing a greater Germany expanded to include Austria, as well as regions of Switzerland and Italy. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[5]) EFA partner, Buetikofer says that he “doesn’t place much stock in the discussion about whether we would be better off, if we didn’t have the British around.” One has to rather “possibly give a difficult partner responsibility.” “Better have them inside the tent pissing out, than the other way around.”[6]
“The biggest Wimp”
Catherine Ashton’s appointment as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is also to Germany’s advantage. The German government was particularly set on preventing a strong British EU foreign policy chief – someone like David Miliband for example. But Berlin does not consider Ashton a threat. “Everyone has driven it home to her that she is he biggest wimp under the sun,” according to Reinhard Bütikofer.[7] Berlin is now insisting on the post of general secretary in the EEAS, the highest ranking EEAS official, who will have decisive influence on EU foreign policy, given the weakness of the High Representative. It was to the German government’s advantage that it had renounced on the posts of EU Council President and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and that it had not insisted on another German being EU Industry Commissioner. The fact that Günther Oettinger was appointed only EU Energy Commissioner is regretted in Berlin.[8] One opinion in Berlin is that Brussels is now indebted to Germany.
Central Command Post
Two candidates are reported to be in consideration, with Christoph Heusgen, the German chancellor’s chief foreign policy adviser, being the favorite.[9] Heusgen, former chief of the European affairs division in the German Foreign Ministry, had directed the Policy Unit of the EU’s High Representative Javier Solana from 1999 to 2005, which was considered to be the central command post for EU foreign policy decisions. Heusgen had had a major impact on the beginnings of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). He also participated in drafting the so called EU security strategy adopted by the European Council in December 2003.[10] Since 2005 Heusgen has been working in the German Chancellery.
Several Times Daily
Helga Maria Schmid is also proposed as a candidate for the General Secretary post. Like Heusgen, Schmid had worked in the German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel’s office in the 1990s, and later served as office manager in Foreign Minister Joseph Fischer’s office. Then, at the beginning of 2006, she took on Heusgen’s earlier job in Brussels – in the directorate of Solana’s political staff.[11] Speaking of her work at the beginning of 2007, she reported, “I make calls several times daily to the Chancellery and the Foreign Ministry.”[12] Should she or Heusgen be given the top positions in the EEAS under Ashton, Berlin would direct EU foreign policy without rivalry. Both candidates are considered not only to be well connected, but highly assertive as well.
[1], [2] Angst vor Cameron treibt EU-Außenamt voran; EurActiv.de 24.11.2009
[3] see also Weltmachtpotenzial
[4] New foreign policy chief to start work next week; EUobserver 23.11.2009
[5] see also The German Ethnic Model (III) and The German Ethnic Model (IV)
[6], [7] Bütikofer: “Nicht immer hat die Mehrheit recht”; EurActiv.de 03.12.2009
[8] Neue EU-Kommission: Macht für Paris, Behelfsjob für Berlin; Spiegel online 27.11.2009
[9] Chefberater von Merkel soll nach Brüssel; Welt Online 05.12.2009
[10] see also A Greater Role in Europe
[11] Chefberater von Merkel soll nach Brüssel; Welt Online 05.12.2009
[12] Die wichtigsten 10 Deutschen in Brüssel; Welt Online 02.01.2007

“Assertiveness”; german-foreign-policy.com; 12/08/2009.

5. Further developing pan-German goals for the geographical restructuring of Europe, the broadcast highlights plans to effect the secession of the North Tyrol from Italy, reuniting it with Austria. The Freedom Party of Austria–founded as a vehicle for the political rehabilitation of Austrian Nazis who had served the Third Reich and headed (until his death) by Jorg Haider– has been a major agitator on behalf of this goal.

If realized, this will recapitulate the status quo of that region under the Habsburgs. (In numerous broadcasts, we have noted the House of Hapsburg’s efforts on behalf of secession-prone ethnic groups, whose independence would fragment larger nations, as well as the Habsburgs’ marital links to the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, part of the Bormann capital network.

In this context, it is important to note that the Northern League of Umberto Bossi, part of Silvio Berlusconi’s fascist coalition in Italy, also favors secession of Northern parts of Italy.

Other EU member states facing German-backed secessionist movements include Hungary, Romania and Spain.

Previously, Germany has granted passports to ethnic German citizens of other European nations, such as Poland. Hitler’s war of aggression was predicated in considerable measure on the alleged mistreatment of ethnic Germans in other European countries.

Ethnic chauvinist forces in Austria are demanding the practical application of German “ethnic rights” to the German speaking population of northern Italy. According to these forces, the government in Vienna should issue Austrian passports to the approx. 300,000 northern Italians (South Tyroleans), whose ancestors had been Austrian up until the First World War. Germany has a long practice of absorbing the citizens of its East European neighboring countries, but this would be the first time involving a West European neighbor. This demand accompanies talks about the addition of a paragraph to the Austrian Constitution, declaring Vienna the “protective power” of the “South Tyroleans” – a direct infringement on the national sovereignty of the EU member nation, Italy. At the same time demands are gaining momentum in South Tyrol for an ethnic based right of secession, also along the lines of German concepts. Already last spring, the word was going around in Northern Italian Green Party circles that the foundation of a “Free State South Tyrol,” along the lines of the Liechtenstein model was being considered. The ethnic chauvinist rightwing is seeking annexation by Austria.
Protective Power
Austria’s new “South Tyrol” debate originated with plans to amend the country’s constitution to include a protective power clause. This would mean that Austria would officially declare itself the “protective power” of all German language citizens of northern Italy. These plans, with which Vienna would presume a de facto right of intervention in northern Italy, have been in discussion for several years;[1] but a corresponding 2006 resolution, accepted by nearly all parties represented in parliament (SPÖ, ÖVP; BZÖ and FPÖ), has yet to be implemented. The ruling government coalition partner, Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), would now like to see it implemented. The spokesperson for South Tyrolean Affairs of the conservative ÖVP, Hermann Gahr, announced “that a common resolution will be tabled in parliament by December.”[2] The protective power claim will not be merely inserted into the preamble of the constitution, but will be expounded upon in its own paragraph. Protests from Rome, according to Gahr, have no impact. The South Tyrolean Affairs spokesperson of the ÖVP declared “this concerns the acknowledgement of Austria’s political approach, already in practice for decades.”
Convergence
The debate has grown sharper through a demand by the FPÖ. The party tabled a motion for a resolution in the National Council in Vienna, in which all “former Austrians” in northern Italy, and their descendents be granted Austrian citizenship. “Former Austrians” are former citizens of the Habsburg Empire, to which South Tyrol had belonged until the end of World War I. Nearly all of the German speaking citizens in northern Italy trace their origins back to this group. The FPÖ’s motion, calling for placing the approx. 300,000 German speaking North Italians under the protection of Vienna, by issuing them Austrian passports, is under consideration in the Interior Committee of the Austrian National Council. As Werner Neubauer, speaker for South Tyrolean Affairs of the FPÖ, openly declared, this motion is “about convergence.”[3] Already in October, the South Tyrolean Freedom, a northern Italian party, calling for South Tyrol’s secession from Italy, was in Vienna, according to the party, for “talks on the question of double citizenship” with “the parties represented in the Austrian National Council.” According to a regional parliamentarian of that secessionist organization, “a basic approval of dual citizenship for South Tyroleans could be discerned among all of the parties present at the talks.”[4]
German Practice
The ethnic chauvinist forces in Vienna and Northern Italy, who support these plans, can invoke the practice in use by Germany since the 1990s. The Federal Republic of Germany issues German speaking citizens of its eastward neighboring countries German papers, transforming, for example 200,000 former Poles into Germans. This German practice, which completely ignores the national sovereignty of its bordering countries, has repeatedly been the source of tensions in eastern and southeastern Europe. Back in the 1990s, Italy offered Italian speaking Slovenians the possibility of obtaining Italian citizenship. In Hungary measures are currently being planned that would affect approx. 500,000 Slovakians and 1.3 million Rumanians.[5] Rumania, on the other hand is toying with the idea of granting about a million Moldavians (“ethnic Rumanians”) Rumanian citizenship. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[6]) Moldavia has a population of approx. 3.3 million.
German Tradition
While claims of protective power and the incorporation of Italian citizens are being discussed in Austria, demands for an ethnic based right of secession are gaining momentum in Northern Italy. In Bolzano, South Tyrol, the November 22 – 23, 1969 referendum leading to the so-called autonomy package will soon be commemorated. This package granted extensive special rights to the German speaking minority in Northern Italy. The German minority subsequently renounced its plans to secede – but only temporarily, as the current development shows. On the occasion of the 40 anniversary celebrations, demands for an ethnic based “right to self-determination” can be heard, granting ethnic minorities the right of decision to secede from the nation. International law does not recognize such a right; but it corresponds to the tradition of German ethnic policy. (German-foreign-policiy.com reported.[7]) “Cheers to the package, but we prefer the road to freedom”, one could hear in the Union for South Tyrol Party, which is demanding the “right to self-determination,” including an option to secede from Italy.[8]
Courage to Change
Last Saturday’s meeting of the “South Tyrolean Freedom” can be considered paradigmatic. The “South Tyrolean Freedom” includes the milieu of the former “South Tyrolean Bombers”, ethnic chauvinist terrorists, who, in the 1960s and later, were pursuing South Tyrol’s secession from Italy with – occasional deadly – bomb attacks. At the meeting, Hermann Gahr, ÖVP speaker for South Tyrolean Affairs, demanded more “courage for change in South Tyrol”. The former Austrian justice minister demanded that Vienna intensify its struggle for the “preservation and development of self determination of the South Tyrolean people separated from Tyrol.” A parliamentarian of the “South Tyrolean Freedom” in the state assembly declared that there remains only “10 to 15 years” to “exercise the right to self-determination” of the German speaking population because of the steady influx of “foreigners”.[9] The South Tyrolean Freedom has observer status in the “European Free Alliance” that unites organizations from all over Europe seeking secession. In the European Parliament, the “Alliance” cooperates with the German Green Party in a parliamentary caucus. (This map excerpt is taken from the webpage of the “European Free Alliance” presenting a “Tyrol” formed through the unification of the Austrian federal land, Tyrol, with South Tyrol joining a new Greater Germany.)
Liechtenstein Model
These current demands for secession are not limited to ethnic rights. Already last spring, Green Party circles in Northern Italy were discussing the founding of a “Free State South Tyrol”, “Liechtenstein Model”.[10] The development shows the real purpose behind the “South Tyrolean Autonomy”, so heavily praised in Berlin. Whereas Germany is repeatedly using the South Tyrolean autonomy rights as a model for the peaceful settlement of secessionist conflicts while safeguarding the territorial integrity of the countries concerned, the current debate in Austria and Northern Italy show that the secessionist potential has only been suppressed – until there is another opportunity to secede. This is not only disastrous for Italy, but for all those states whose minorities seek advice on autonomy rights and their implementation in Bolzano – particularly in the “European Academy Bozen”. Among those who sought advice over the past few years were Iraq [11] and Tibetan separatists [12]. Godfather of the founding of this “European Academy Bozen” was the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. The academy cooperates with front institutions of Berlin’s ethnic chauvinist foreign policy, including the European Center for Minority Issues [13] as well as the Federal Union of European Nationalities [14].
[1] see also Schutzmacht-Klausel
[2] “Schutzmacht für Südtirol kommt in die Verfassung”; Tiroler Tageszeitung 15.11.2009
[3] Diplomatische Spannungen wegen Südtirol-Engagement; Tiroler Tageszeitung 23.11.2009
[4] JA zur doppelten Staatsbürgerschaft: In Wien bereits Gespräche mit allen Parteien geführt; www.suedtiroler-freiheit.com 25.11.2009
[5] see also The German Ethnic Model (I)
[6] see also Das deutsche Blutsmodell (II)
[7] see also Self Determination, Logik der Dekomposition and Moral Basis
[8] “Paket in Ehren, aber besser der Freiheit entgegen”; Südtirol Online 23.11.2009
[9] “Für Selbstbestimmungsrecht bleiben uns noch 10 bis 15 Jahre”; Südtirol Online 22.11.2009
[10] “Eine überaus reizvolle Idee”; ff – Das Südtiroler Wochenmagazin 12/2009
[11] see also Multi-Partisan Directorate
[12] see also Strategies of Attrition (III) and À la Südtirol
[13] see also Hintergrundbericht: Das Europäische Zentrum für Minderheitenfragen
[14] see also Freund und Kollege, Schwelende Konflikte, Cultivating Relationships and Hintergrundbericht: Die Föderalistische Union Europäischer Volksgruppen

“German Ethnic Model (III); german-foreign-policy.com; 11/26/2009.

6. In addition, Germany and its Green and European Free Alliance allies have been pushing for the secession of Catalonia from Spain. Note that Catalonia has established a working relationship with Bad Wuerttemberg in Germany, giving it economic advantages. (Bad Wuerttemberg also has similar relationships with Lombardy in [Northern] Italy and the Rhone-Alps region of France.)

It will be interesting to see how Spain’s dire economic situation affects the Catalonian secessionist question. Spain is among the EU members facing bankruptcy/default or requiring bailout from EU/Germany or the IMF.

Will Catalan independence be furthered by this crisis?

It is also interesting to contemplate the possibility that ethnic groups that realize their “independence” through the assistance of Germany could eventually evolve into political allies of Germany within the EU–voting in such a way as to maximize German control of the union.

Catalonian secessionists are progressing toward the ethnic dismantlement of Spain with referendums to be held in 161 cities and communities. Scheduled for mid-December, referendums will be held in one-sixth of Catalonia’s municipalities on a – non-binding for now – resolution on secession from Spain and the founding an independent country. Secessionists in other parts of the country – the Basque Region and Galicia – are carefully watching what happens. The referendums are providing new impetus to the German strategy of restructuring Europe along ethnic lines. The Federal Republic of Germany provided Catalonian secessionism relevant support over the past few years, most recently, two years ago in the framework of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Berlin’s foreign policy front organizations have long since catalogued the Catalan as a “Volksgruppe” (an ethnic entity) justifying eligibility to special rights. Catalan secessionists are being spoken of in the same breath as other ethnic minorities demanding similar autonomous rights, including the Bretons in France and the Welsh in Great Britain.
I’m Catalan
Referendums will be held December 13 in 161 of the 900 Catalan municipalities and communities, to determine whether Catalonia should secede from Spain. The referendum is not yet binding. They exclude the largest regional cities (Barcelona, Lerida and Tarragona). A response is sought to the question: “Are you in favor of the Catalan nation being an independent, democratic and social welfare nation in a European Union of peoples?”[1] The referendum was initiated by an organization calling itself “I’m Catalan. I Love Freedom.” The referendum is being flanked by an effective PR campaign, which included the chairman of the secessionist party, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya recently hoisting the Catalan secessionist flag on the highest mountain peak in the region. The secessionists are also trying to internationalize their cause. They have applied in the European Parliament for concrete steps toward independence and are seeking international observers for the December 13 referendum, particularly observers from the OSCE and the UN.
Disadvantaged
A Spanish Constitutional Court decision relevant to the secessionist plans is expected within the close timeframe of the referendum. Three years ago the regional parliament in Barcelona passed new autonomy statutes, declaring extensive special rights for Catalonia. There is not only controversy about the stipulation of autonomy status, that Catalonia is an independent “nation” and the claim that Catalonia deserves historical privileges. Most controversial is the obligation that all residents of the region learn Catalan. Since some time, this has led, to barricading tendencies. Two years ago, philosopher and regional parliamentarian in Barcelona, Antonio Robles complained to german-foreign-policy.com, that “if one was not fluent in Catalan, (…) it was very difficult to work in the Catalan communication industry” – a massive disadvantage to the citizens from other regions of Spain.[2] If the Constitutional Court rules the regulations in the Autonomy Statutes – which codifies this discriminatory development – unconstitutional, massive protests are expected.
New Borders in Europe
Germany, the EU trail-blazer of ethnic privileges and secession,[3] is no innocent bystander in these developments in Catalonia. Since the late 1980s, the German land Baden Wuerttemberg has maintained a “regional partnership” with Catalonia and two other regions (Lombardy in Italy and the Rhone-Alps region of France). This “regional partnership” brings this

northeastern Spanish secessionist region economic advantages, strengthening it in relationship to other regions of Spain.[4] The separatists are politically supported also by the German Green Party. The Greens are members of the same European parliamentary caucus as the “European Free Alliance”, which includes several proponents of Catalan secession as well as other separatists.[5] The “European Free Alliance” is not only supporting the secession of Catalonia, for years it has been campaigning with a map with completely new European borders: Spain is divided into seven new countries, Germany has annexed Austria, parts of Switzerland and Northern Italy (South Tyrol). The territory of France is half its current size. According to the map of the friends of the German Greens, the Bretagne, as well as the entire south of the country, the fictive “Occitan” have seceded. The map instigates diverse secessionist movements throughout Europe and is published in full knowledge of the Yugoslav wars of disintegration. German-foreign-policy.com documents excerpts here.
Partner Nations
Germany had created a new impulse for Catalan secessionists at the Frankfurt Book Fair, in the fall of 2007. Usually a country is chosen as “partner nation,” to be intensively promoted at the book fair. But this time it chose Catalonia, a region,

seeking to become a nation. But not all Catalan writers were to be honored at that book fair, only those, whose works were written in Catalan. Authors using the national Castilian Spanish, were strictly excluded. A map showing a “Catalonia” nation, extending from the Spanish coastline north of Valencia to southern France (Perpignan), incorporating both the Balearic Islands as well as Andorra,[6] was distributed at the book fair. The president of the Balearic regional government announced, also at this book fair, that his Islands would intensify their cultural cooperation with the Catalan region – an agreement providing further impetus toward separatism.[7] These activities take on greater significance through the fact that the German foreign ministry is an official partner of the Frankfurt Book Fair. The main European power’s toleration of their activities was an important symbol for the secessionists in Catalonia. (The excerpt of the map is also taken from the map published by the “European Free Alliance.”)
Weaken the Adversary
Front organizations of Berlin’s foreign policy have long since catalogued the Catalans as a separate “ethnic entity,” justifying eligibility to special rights. The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) speaks of the Catalans in the same breath as not only the Basques but also the Bretons in France or the Scottish and the Welsh in Great Britain.[8] The ethnic subdivision of Europe, as is supported in Germany, lays the foundation not only for demands for autonomy but also for secessionist aspirations, such as are currently escalating in Catalonia. This ultimately weakens the nation-states competing with Germany for influence in Europe.
[1] Spanische Unabhängigkeitsspiele; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 19.11.2009
[2] see also Wie ein Staat
[3] Since the beginning of the 90s, the Federal Republic of Germany supported Yugoslavia’s disintegration along ethnic lines and favorably assisted the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Various front organizations of Berlin’s foreign policy are supporting linguistic minorities in their struggles for special rights. See also Cultivating Relationships, Hintergrundbericht: Die Föderalistische Union Europäischer Volksgruppen and Hintergrundbericht: Das Europäische Zentrum für Minderheitenfragen
[4] see also Zukunft als Volk
[5] see also The German Ethnic Model (III)
[6] see also Language Struggle
[7] see also Ethnic Europe
[8] www.non-kinstate.fuen.org

“The German Ethnic Model (IV)”; german-foreign-policy.com; 2/12/2009.

Discussion

5 comments for “FTR #700 Deutschland Uber Alles”

  1. […] dis­cussed in FTR #700, Cather­ine Ash­ton was seen as being a use­ful tool for the real­iza­tion of Ger­man […]

    Posted by Snowden’s Ride, Part 9: Catherine Ashton, EU Defense and Intelligence Structure and the Muslim Brotherhood | The Freedom Report | August 2, 2013, 11:57 am
  2. Angela Merkel floated an idea that should sound very familiar within the context of the Syrian refugee crisis but hasn’t come up much with respect to all of the other nations with a large number of desperate fleeing people: In order to stem the flow of Afghan refugees, Angela Merkel would like to see the creation of “protected zone” within Afghanistan for would-be refugees so they don’t have to flee. Who Merkel had in mind for doing the actual protecting wasn’t clear from reports, but given the urgency of Europe’s refugee crises and the potential for more Afghan refugees over the medium-term, more details about her proposal, like who would be protecting the “protected zones”, are probably just a matter of time:

    Reuters
    Merkel says Afghans coming to Germany for better life will be sent back

    BERLIN | By Michelle Martin
    Wed Dec 2, 2015 10:27am EST

    Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that Afghans heading to Germany in pursuit of better economic circumstances will be sent back to Afghanistan and people still there should move to safe zones within their country rather than migrating to Europe.

    Hundreds of thousands of migrants, many fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, have streamed into Germany this year, and German authorities and communities are now buckling under the strain.

    Afghans – widely viewed as unwanted economic migrants – formed the sixth largest group of asylum seekers in Europe’s economic powerhouse in the first 10 months of this year.

    Speaking at a joint news conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Berlin, Merkel said Germany would meet its humanitarian obligations for Afghans who are in serious danger because they worked for foreign forces such as the German army.

    “But where refugees come hoping for a better life – and I know that this hope is big for many – that is no reason to get asylum status or residency status here,” she said, adding that in such cases people would be deported back home.

    Merkel said the training Germany provides for police officers in Afghanistan would be expanded to include lessons on combating smugglers, illegal immigration and passport forgery.

    Almost 21,000 Afghans arrived in Germany between January and October – up from just under 8,000 in the same period last year. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has previously said that Afghans should “stay in their country”.

    To that end, Merkel talked about creating “protected zones” within Afghanistan so that people living in unsafe areas can move within their country to another region that offers sufficient security, instead of heading to Europe.

    People would need to be offered prospects such as living space and vocational training in these zones, she said.

    Ghani agreed, saying that it was necessary to tackle the root causes of migration – namely instability and poverty.

    Merkel stressed there was false information circulating in Afghanistan about migration to Germany and said the embassy was taking measures to ensure people knew the rumors were not true.

    For months Germany has been using local media in Afghanistan and other countries to dispel the rumors that Europe’s largest economy has its doors wide open to everyone.

    “But where refugees come hoping for a better life – and I know that this hope is big for many – that is no reason to get asylum status or residency status here,” she said, adding that in such cases people would be deported back home.

    So will the path to a better life for Afghans fleeing the Taliban lead “protected zones” elsewhere in Afghanistan?:

    Almost 21,000 Afghans arrived in Germany between January and October – up from just under 8,000 in the same period last year. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has previously said that Afghans should “stay in their country”.

    To that end, Merkel talked about creating “protected zones” within Afghanistan so that people living in unsafe areas can move within their country to another region that offers sufficient security, instead of heading to Europe.

    People would need to be offered prospects such as living space and vocational training in these zones, she said.

    Ghani agreed, saying that it was necessary to tackle the root causes of migration – namely instability and poverty.

    Afghan President Ghani agrees with the idea, so it’s certainly a possibility. Of course, some sort of external military force would be required to create and maintain the “protected zones” and since a growing swathe of the Afghanistan is falling under Taliban control, those “protected zones” might need to be “steadily expanding protected zones to protected a growing population” before Afghanistan’s civil war finally ends. Yes, US forces and other NATO forces are still in Afghanistan, but how much longer they’re there and in what numbers remains an open question.

    So, with the “protected zones” idea and required military force in mind, it’s also worth recalling an idea that was floating back in 2009: The creation of a European army. It was an idea that found quite a bit of backing in some governments and as Italy’s foreign minister noted at the time suggested, one example of the utility of a European army was that “we could pool our forces in Afghanistan”

    German-Foreign-Policy.com
    Potential of a World Power

    2009/11/17
    BERLIN/BRUSSELS

    (Own report) – Just a few days before the future leading positions for the EU are to be designated, Berlin is raising demands for access to leading posts in the European External Action Service (EEAS)and the EU Commission. As explained by the German Minister of State to the Foreign Ministry, Werner Hoyer, the EU Council President and the Foreign Minister do not have to be German, but Germany “lays great weight” on “relevantly participating” at the administrative level positions just below them, which are considered decisively influential on Brussels’ policies. Berlin is giving the new External Action Service a particularly high priority, since it consolidates the EU’s external policy and is supposed to provide Brussels with new global power impact. German policy advisors consider that the EU has the “potential of a world power” but point out that this potential must first be established through Brussels’ external policy. It was under German pressure that the decision was made to place the EU’s military planning and operation staff within the responsibility of the External Action Service, to be able to directly incorporate military operations into EU external policy. In the meantime, the German project of creating an EU army is winning favor. Last weekend the Italian Foreign Minister gave his accord.

    Top Posts
    As the German Foreign Ministry’s Minister of State, Werner Hoyer, explained Monday, Berlin is demanding two things in return for Germany’s renunciation on claims to the two top posts: Chancellor Merkel should have decisive influence over the decisions and secondly, Germany “lays great weight” on “relevantly participating” at administrative level positions just below the council president and the foreign minister.[1] These positions, whose officials, usually far from the public eye, can shape the EU’s development, are considered to be decisively powerful. The general secretary of the European Council will be among the positions that will be determined. It is the general secretary, who is the highest administrative head of the EU nations in Brussels. In the meantime, the German chancellor has made it known that she insists for Germany the post of EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs – a great advantage for Europe’s strongest industrial nation. After all, Berlin is seeking the leading posts in the newly created European External Action Service (EEAS), which, within the framework of EU external policy is extremely important.

    External Action Service
    German EU functionaries and political advisors are insistently pleading for giving the European External Action Service special attention. As Gerhard Sabathil, the director for strategy, coordination and analysis in the EU’s Commission’s general direction for external relations, declared the EU must be more decisive in its handling of world policy. Sabathil points to the replacement of the “G8” by the “G20”, which has dramatically changed the global position of Europe. Whereas Europe was represented by 4 nations in G8, it has only 5 in G20. “The decisive question is to what extent can Europe compensate for this quantitative loss of power,” Sabathil is quoted as having said.[2] It is “absolutely essential” that the EU’s influence be reinforced with a cohesive external and military policy. The effectiveness of the EU’s External Action Service will not only depend on its foreign minister but also the personnel at the highest levels of administration. This is the level Berlin wants to have direct access to.

    Merge
    It is quite possible to achieve substantial global political power, according to Werner Weidenfeld, one of the most influential German political advisors. Even though the EU’s global involvement currently is rather rudimentary, Weidenfeld writes in a recent article, “Europe has the potential of a world power – it has top positions in global commerce, in global production as well as in research and education.” Weidenfels resumes, “this potential (…) only needs adequate organization”.[3] The set-up of the European External Action Service, due to start work in April 2010, is serving this objective, as well as the incorporation of all military planning and operational staff into the EEAS, that Berlin imposed against the will of Paris and London.[4] The EU’s military operations and external policy planning will merge rendering consultations between the different branches of the bureaucracy superfluous.[5]

    EU Army
    The German call for a joint European Army (german-foreign-policy.com reported [6]), is gaining support. Last weekend, the Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, announced that his government will push for the creation of a European army, as soon as the Lisbon Treaty comes into force on December 1. If there were such a European army, “we could pool our forces in Afghanistan,” Mr. Frattini declared: “Italy could send planes, France could send tanks, Britain could send armored cars, and in this way we would optimize the use of our resources.”[7] Mr. Frattini said the Lisbon Treaty had established that if some countries want to enter into vanguard cooperation and establish a common defense, they can do so. Other countries could join later. This merger would deprive individual European nations the possibility of defending their sovereignty. It would also subordinate their armies to the European External Action Service in Brussels. And this would mean subordination under the power that can currently call the shots: Germany.
    [1] Hoyer: Deutschland erhebt Anspruch auf wichtige EU-Ämter; AFP 16.11.2009
    [2] Strategien für Europa in Zeiten des Übergangs; http://www.cap-lmu.de 10.11.2009
    [3] Werner Weidenfeld: Mein Europa der Zukunft; Go Sixt Politik http://www.cap-lmu.de 28.09.2009
    [4] Autonom oder angebunden? Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 23.10.2009
    [5] EU military chiefs nervous about Lisbon Treaty implications; EUobserver 05.11.2009
    [6] see also The Hegemon’s Army
    [7] Italy’s Foreign Minister says post-Lisbon EU needs a European Army; The Sunday Times 15.11.2009

    Those were the ambitions in 2009. And while those ambitions may not have been realized yet, they certainly haven’t gone away either:

    The Telegraph
    Merkel ‘expects Cameron to back EU army’ in exchange for renegotiation
    German chancellor will ask UK to stand aside as she promotes ambitious plan to integrate continental Europe’s armed forces, The Telegraph has been told

    By Peter Foster and Matthew Holehouse

    9:19PM BST 12 Sep 2015

    Angela Merkel will expect David Cameron to drop his opposition to an EU army in exchange for supporting Britain’s renegotiation, the Telegraph has been told.

    The German chancellor will ask Britain to stand aside as she promotes an ambitious blueprint to integrate continental Europe’s armed forces.

    It comes as Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said Britain will get a deal if it gives the green light to a raft of powerful new EU institutions..

    A Berlin source said agreeing not to “block” Mrs Merkel’s defence plans is a “favour” that she would seek from Mr Cameron as he looks for her support in the renegotiation.

    “If you want favours, you have to give favours,” the source said.

    “If Cameron wants a ‘flexible Europe’, he must let other members integrate further. Yes – opt out, opt out, opt out – and then shut up.”

    While there is no expectation or obligation for Britain to take part in steeper integration, the creation of an EU army could marginalise Britain within Nato and result in the United States downgrading the special relationship with Britain in favour of Paris and Berlin, experts warn.

    While Mr Cameron backs tighter Eurozone integration, he faces a dilemma over whether the risk of a diminished strategic position is a price worth paying in his renegotiation.

    The Telegraph has seen an unpublished position paper drawn up by Europe and Defence policy committees of Mrs Merkel’s party, the CDU, that sets out a detailed 10-point plan for military co-operation in Europe.

    It is understood to closely reflect her thinking, and calls for a permanent EU military HQ, combined weapons procurement and a shared military doctrine.

    The paper says it is “urgent” to integrate armed forces “in the face of multifaceted crises”.

    It calls for “a permanent structured and coordinated cooperation of national armed forces in the medium term.

    “In the long run, this process should according to the present German coalition agreement lead also to a European Army subject to Parliamentarian control.”

    It adds: “In the framework of NATO, a uniform European pillar will be more valuable and efficient for the USA than with the present rag-rug characterised by a lack of joint European planning, procurement, and interoperability.”

    A similar paper has been circulated by Elmar Brok, a key Merkel ally, within the EPP party group in the European Parliament. It describes the lack of an EU military headquarters as “absurd”.

    Frances Burwell, vice president of the US-based Atlantic Council think tank, said the United States would welcome integration to make wasteful European defence spending more efficient.

    However, the special relationship could be “downgraded” if Britain refused to join, in favour of the “very active” French military.

    “In combination with the discussion about whether Britain will leave the EU, it would contribute to a downgrading,” she said.

    “If you did something like that, the natural leaders would be France and Germany and we’d have to spend a lot of time with them.”

    “There used to be no doubt about who we would call first – but things are now more complicated.”

    Mrs Merkel is backing a push by Mr Juncker to create an EU army..

    Earlier this year his defence adviser, Michel Barnier, issued a paper through the EU’s in-house think tank calling for permanent military integration among member states that are willing using legal mechanisms known as PESCO created by the Lisbon Treaty of 2009.

    Under the treaty, Britain could not be forced to join a joint army, but it cannot veto its creation. Until now, European leaders have been reluctant to push ahead with the plans, in part to avoid a split on defence with Britain, whose expenditure on defence is only matched by France.

    The paper proposes an Operational Headquarters, a European Medical Command and a Joint Helicopter Wing as first steps under a project that would save billions in duplication between countries.

    Since 2007 the EU has had two rotating emergency battlegroups of 1,500 men, but they have never seen combat – something Mr Barnier dubs a “failure” that “must be addressed”.

    A combined military is necessary “in order to become a vector of the EU as a global actor,” and to “significantly strengthen the European pillar within NATO”, the paper says.

    It notes: “UK does not share an interest in a closely integrated European defence, whereas Germany and France, together with the Benelux countries, Italy, Spain and more recently Poland are more open to the idea.”

    It adds: “Clearly, security in Europe is today high in demand and low in supply, begging the question: “If not now, when?”

    In a major address on Wednesday, Mr Juncker said Britain’s renegotiation will “recognise the reality” it has special opt outs on policy. But crucially, he added: “To be fair to the other member states, the UK’s choices must not prevent them from further integration where they see fit.”

    Mr Juncker proposed powerful EU institutions that Britain would not be obliged to join, including a Eurozone treasury, a border and coast guard, a ‘green card’ system of legal immigration and a new raft of laws regulating pay and conditions.

    A common EU army has been a goal of European integrationists for sixty years, but Britain has long been a major obstacle. Mr Cameron pledged to oppose “notions like an EU army” in the 2015 Conservative manifesto, and has repeatedly attacked the idea as Prime Minister.

    Geoffrey Van Orden, a Conservative MEP and retired British Army brigadier, said allowing a European army is “too high a price to pay” for Britain’s renegotiation.

    It could form a powerful caucus within Nato, and the United States would conclude “we no longer had any influence on the continent” and downgrade its relationship.

    It could also result in Britain being shut out the lucrative defence equipment market in Europe, he said.

    “I have always suspected that we were willing to make concessions in relation to foreign policy in exchange for French and German support in other areas,” he said.

    “I don’t accept we should have to pay this price. We should not trade away something so strategically important for some minor concessions in terms of reform.”

    Jan Techau, director of Carnegie Europe, a policy think tank, said defence integration “will probably come up” during the renegotiation talks with Germany.

    Might we see the setting up “protected zones” in places like Afghanistan or perhaps Syria? We’ll see, but it it does happen it will be a lot easier to organize with an EU army that could “become a vector of the EU as a global actor”:


    Since 2007 the EU has had two rotating emergency battlegroups of 1,500 men, but they have never seen combat – something Mr Barnier dubs a “failure” that “must be addressed”.

    A combined military is necessary “in order to become a vector of the EU as a global actor,” and to “significantly strengthen the European pillar within NATO”, the paper says.

    So top EU leaders like Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would clearly like see a permanent “EU army” set up sooner or later. How much of the public backs the idea remains to be seen, with the UK public split on the idea, but among the EU elites it seems likely that the desire to create an “EU army” which is capable of the kind of force projection that can make the EU a “global actor” in military affairs is probably only going to grow the longer the EU stays together. Of course, as Europe’s chaotic and increasingly xenophobic response to the refugee crisis reminds us, while the creation of an EU army seems inevitable the longer something like the EU exists, the creation of an EU army at some point in the future is still by no means guaranteed.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 8, 2015, 7:55 pm
  3. The Daily Express, a British tabloid that backs the ‘Brexit’ these days, has a piece that’s bound to ruffle some of the British electorate’s feathers with the Brexit vote looming: The UK’s secretary of defense announce the creation of a joint expeditionary force with France and called for greater military integration with Brussels:

    Daily Express

    EU ARMY? Fallon calls for greater integration with Brussels in future wars
    FEARS British armed forces could be dragged into an EU army escalated today after Michael Fallon said UK troops must further integrate with their European counterparts.

    By Tom Batchelor
    PUBLISHED: 15:00, Thu, Apr 21, 2016 | UPDATED: 17:28, Thu, Apr 21, 2016

    The Defence Secretary, speaking from Salisbury Plain where a joint exercise comprising British and French forces was taking place, hailed the “growing partnership” of European nations on military operations.

    Mr Fallon said UK military cooperated with their European neighbours on “every front”, including British and French pilots flying each other’s jets and both nations’ ship sailing alongside one another.

    But he added: “Today we take that partnership to a new level.”

    Describing the new Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), a 5,000-strong rapid deployment Anglo-French force designed to respond to humanitarian crises as well as conventional conflicts, he said a “new chapter” had opened that would take cooperation between the two nations “to greater heights”.

    The Defence Secretary said: “This is no paper tiger, this is a force that from now on has the teeth, the means, the speed and the agility to act.”

    Mr Fallon added that it was now unlikely that Britain would “ever go into conflict on its own again”.

    However, he later sought to clarify his comments, telling Express.co.uk Britain was not about to form an EU army but instead wanted simply to work more closely with its allies.

    Speaking alongside him, Mr Fallon’s French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian said the joint exercise was just the “start” of military cooperation across the continent.

    But the notion of a pan-European army has provoked outrage from critics on both sides of the Brexit debate.

    Former defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who is campaigning to remain in the EU, rubbished the idea of an integrated fighting force controlled by Brussels, telling the Express.co.uk militray maters were “not a responsibility of the European Union”.

    And Ukip’s defence spokesman Mike Hookem called for Mr Fallon to resign over his apparent support of further integration with Brussels, saying it was time for the Tory minister to “step aside”.

    The MEP said: “Fallon and his pro-EU cohorts in the Ministry of Defence, the same people who are denying troops the right to campaign in the referendum, deny an EU Army is being developed.

    “The British public hold our Armed Forces in high esteem and will not stand by as they see them handed over to a foreign power who does not have the interest and safety of the British public at heart.”

    “Describing the new Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), a 5,000-strong rapid deployment Anglo-French force designed to respond to humanitarian crises as well as conventional conflicts, he said a “new chapter” had opened that would take cooperation between the two nations “to greater heights”.”
    Well, ok, military cooperation between the UK and France seems pretty non-controversial. At least in the past it might have been. But note the clarification the UK’s defense secretary deemed necessary: No, this isn’t a step towards an EU army:

    However, he later sought to clarify his comments, telling Express.co.uk Britain was not about to form an EU army but instead wanted simply to work more closely with its allies.

    Speaking alongside him, Mr Fallon’s French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian said the joint exercise was just the “start” of military cooperation across the continent.

    But the notion of a pan-European army has provoked outrage from critics on both sides of the Brexit debate.

    Former defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who is campaigning to remain in the EU, rubbished the idea of an integrated fighting force controlled by Brussels, telling the Express.co.uk militray maters were “not a responsibility of the European Union”.

    That’s got to be a bit awkward: no, according to Fallon, this has nothing to do with creating a joint EU army. It’s merely what France’s secretary of defense said it was…the “start” of military cooperation across the continent.

    It’s a fine line that’s only going to be more and more difficult to walk at the EU continues to integrate because, at some point, a giant, increasingly integrate union like the EU that member states continue to pool greater amounts of national sovereignty into does call for some sort of military integration eventually. At least if the EU eventually becomes a “United States of Europe” and not the wierd quasi-nation-state/free-trade zone it current is today. But there’s quite a bit more integration that’s going to be necessary before the EU reaches that “United States of Europe” status and it’s very unclear which nations will still be a part of the EU at that point. In other words, the question of whether an EU army makes sense now or soon vs eventually are two relate, but still very different questions.

    So if the UK isn’t sure it’s going to still be in the EU next year, let alone decades from now, how should military integration with the UK’s neighbors be handled? Whether or not the UK stays in the EU, it’s neighborhood isn’t changing and it’s unlikely the UK will be in a state of war with the rest of Europe any time soon. That’s part of what makes military integration for the UK such a slippery slope. Because it’s a slippery slope that any European nation does need to walk to some extent. And sometimes the slippery slope is the only reasonable path to go down…you just need to make sure you never reach the bottom. Or, in the case of the EU army, you need to make sure you don’t reach that bottom unless you’re really really sure that’s where you want to go because climbing back up that slope won’t be easy.

    So don’t be surprised if questions about the risks of military integration become more pointed as the ‘Brexit’ vote approaches. And don’t be surprised if those questions about the UK’s military integration plans revolve around questions about other EU military integration plans:

    Daily Express

    SECRET PLOT EXPOSED: EU in stealth plan to set up ARMY by merging German and Dutch forces
    AN EU armed forces is being set up “by stealth” with the merger of the German and Dutch armies and navies, it has emerged.

    By David Maddox
    PUBLISHED: 03:37, Wed, Apr 20, 2016 | UPDATED: 07:17, Wed, Apr 20, 2016

    The plan is for the two countries to create a nucleus of an EU armed forces to fulfil the long term goal spelt out by German defence minister last year of having an EU army.

    Ukip defence spokesman Mike Hookem is to ask the Commission what role it has played in talks to bring the new German/ Dutch force together as a nucleus for an EU military.

    He pointed out that the developments are part of the centralisation by stealth going on in the EU which Britain will be dragged into if it votes to remain in the EU.

    He warned that the move is aimed at beginning a merger without going through the council of ministers and other EU bodies and then creating an EU military by stealth by adding other countries.

    And it has also emerged that the Czech Republic has also started talks to have its army become part of the Germany’s army.

    Last month the Dutch 43rd Mechanised Brigade came under German command as part of its German 1st Armoured Division.

    This followed the Dutch 11th Airmobile Brigade coming under German command in 2015

    As things stand the Dutch Army has been reduced to its 13th Mechanised Brigade along with special forces, support and headquarters staff but there are plans to merge these with the German Army too.

    In addition the sea battalion of the German Navy will be gradually into the Royal Dutch Navy by 2018 and the two countries are sharing Holland’s largest ship, the Karel Doorman.

    The acceleration of the merger of the German and Dutch military follows talks last year when the German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leye declared that the long term aim is to create an EU army.

    She said: “The European Army is our long-term goal, but first we have to strengthen the European Defence Union.’

    She added: “To achieve this, some nations with concrete military cooperation must come to the fore – and the Germans and the Dutch are doing this.”

    Mr Hookem MEP said that the the Germans and Dutch are “creating an EU army by stealth”.

    He went on: “The EU was supposed to be about corralling Germany military dominance in Europe.

    “And it has also emerged that the Czech Republic has also started talks to have its army become part of the Germany’s army.”
    Yep, and those reports are on top of the integration of German and Ditch forces into each other’s command structures. So we already have EU nations not just creating structures for close military cooperation like the UK and France just announce but the actual fusion of parts of their militaries. That may not be an EU army, but if this ends up being a trend a de facto EU army could emerge sooner than one might expect. And if that happens, we should probably expect an official EU army to follow shortly afterwards. Especially since the creation of such an entity was one of the demands Angela Merkel made to David Cameron when she agreed to the UK’s EU treaty renegotiations last year:

    The Telegraph

    Merkel ‘expects Cameron to back EU army’ in exchange for renegotiation
    German chancellor will ask UK to stand aside as she promotes ambitious plan to integrate continental Europe’s armed forces, The Telegraph has been told

    By Peter Foster and Matthew Holehouse

    9:19PM BST 12 Sep 2015

    Angela Merkel will expect David Cameron to drop his opposition to an EU army in exchange for supporting Britain’s renegotiation, the Telegraph has been told.

    The German chancellor will ask Britain to stand aside as she promotes an ambitious blueprint to integrate continental Europe’s armed forces.

    It comes as Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said Britain will get a deal if it gives the green light to a raft of powerful new EU institutions.

    A Berlin source said agreeing not to “block” Mrs Merkel’s defence plans is a “favour” that she would seek from Mr Cameron as he looks for her support in the renegotiation.

    “If you want favours, you have to give favours,” the source said.

    “If Cameron wants a ‘flexible Europe’, he must let other members integrate further. Yes – opt out, opt out, opt out – and then shut up.”

    While there is no expectation or obligation for Britain to take part in steeper integration, the creation of an EU army could marginalise Britain within Nato and result in the United States downgrading the special relationship with Britain in favour of Paris and Berlin, experts warn.

    While Mr Cameron backs tighter Eurozone integration, he faces a dilemma over whether the risk of a diminished strategic position is a price worth paying in his renegotiation.

    The Telegraph has seen an unpublished position paper drawn up by Europe and Defence policy committees of Mrs Merkel’s party, the CDU, that sets out a detailed 10-point plan for military co-operation in Europe.

    It is understood to closely reflect her thinking, and calls for a permanent EU military HQ, combined weapons procurement and a shared military doctrine.

    The paper says it is “urgent” to integrate armed forces “in the face of multifaceted crises”.

    It calls for “a permanent structured and coordinated cooperation of national armed forces in the medium term.

    “In the long run, this process should according to the present German coalition agreement lead also to a European Army subject to Parliamentarian control.”

    It adds: “In the framework of NATO, a uniform European pillar will be more valuable and efficient for the USA than with the present rag-rug characterised by a lack of joint European planning, procurement, and interoperability.”

    A similar paper has been circulated by Elmar Brok, a key Merkel ally, within the EPP party group in the European Parliament. It describes the lack of an EU military headquarters as “absurd”.

    Frances Burwell, vice president of the US-based Atlantic Council think tank, said the United States would welcome integration to make wasteful European defence spending more efficient.

    However, the special relationship could be “downgraded” if Britain refused to join, in favour of the “very active” French military.

    “In combination with the discussion about whether Britain will leave the EU, it would contribute to a downgrading,” she said.

    “If you did something like that, the natural leaders would be France and Germany and we’d have to spend a lot of time with them.”

    “There used to be no doubt about who we would call first – but things are now more complicated.”

    Mrs Merkel is backing a push by Mr Juncker to create an EU army.

    Earlier this year his defence adviser, Michel Barnier, issued a paper through the EU’s in-house think tank calling for permanent military integration among member states that are willing using legal mechanisms known as PESCO created by the Lisbon Treaty of 2009.

    Under the treaty, Britain could not be forced to join a joint army, but it cannot veto its creation. Until now, European leaders have been reluctant to push ahead with the plans, in part to avoid a split on defence with Britain, whose expenditure on defence is only matched by France.

    The paper proposes an Operational Headquarters, a European Medical Command and a Joint Helicopter Wing as first steps under a project that would save billions in duplication between countries.

    Since 2007 the EU has had two rotating emergency battlegroups of 1,500 men, but they have never seen combat – something Mr Barnier dubs a “failure” that “must be addressed”.

    A combined military is necessary “in order to become a vector of the EU as a global actor,” and to “significantly strengthen the European pillar within NATO”, the paper says.

    It notes: “UK does not share an interest in a closely integrated European defence, whereas Germany and France, together with the Benelux countries, Italy, Spain and more recently Poland are more open to the idea.”

    It adds: “Clearly, security in Europe is today high in demand and low in supply, begging the question: “If not now, when?”

    In a major address on Wednesday, Mr Juncker said Britain’s renegotiation will “recognise the reality” it has special opt outs on policy. But crucially, he added: “To be fair to the other member states, the UK’s choices must not prevent them from further integration where they see fit.”

    Mr Juncker proposed powerful EU institutions that Britain would not be obliged to join, including a Eurozone treasury, a border and coast guard, a ‘green card’ system of legal immigration and a new raft of laws regulating pay and conditions.

    A common EU army has been a goal of European integrationists for sixty years, but Britain has long been a major obstacle. Mr Cameron pledged to oppose “notions like an EU army” in the 2015 Conservative manifesto, and has repeatedly attacked the idea as Prime Minister.

    Geoffrey Van Orden, a Conservative MEP and retired British Army brigadier, said allowing a European army is “too high a price to pay” for Britain’s renegotiation.

    It could form a powerful caucus within Nato, and the United States would conclude “we no longer had any influence on the continent” and downgrade its relationship.

    It could also result in Britain being shut out the lucrative defence equipment market in Europe, he said.

    “I have always suspected that we were willing to make concessions in relation to foreign policy in exchange for French and German support in other areas,” he said.

    “I don’t accept we should have to pay this price. We should not trade away something so strategically important for some minor concessions in terms of reform.”

    “While there is no expectation or obligation for Britain to take part in steeper integration, the creation of an EU army could marginalise Britain within Nato and result in the United States downgrading the special relationship with Britain in favour of Paris and Berlin, experts warn.”
    That’s quite a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation: if the UK joins the planned EU army, it risks losing control of its military to an EU parliament dominated by Berlin. But if it doesn’t join the EU army, the UK risks becoming a sidelined NATO member and an effective downgrade in its relationship with the US. So one big possible incentive for the UK to stay in the EU would be to continue blocking the creation of an EU army, except David Cameron probably dropped the UK’s right to block it’s creation in exchange for the treaty renegotiations. Plus, Germany is going ahead and creating a de facto EU army anyways.

    So the UK’s two choices for military integration are either the slippery slope leading to an EU army or the road to reduced relevance and clout as the UK gets militarily left behind. Unless, of course, the EU eventually implodes, in which case keeping control of your own military would be seen as the clearly superior choice, which highlights the fact that the debates over the UK’s military integration or ‘Brexit’ aren’t simply questions of whether or not the EU is the right fit for the UK. They’re questions about long-term bet on the viability of the European Project in general, with or without the UK. You definitely don’t want to give your military to an institution you don’t expect to survive.

    To slip down the slope or not slip down the slope? That is the question, and it’s only going to be asked more loudly as the June ‘Brexit’ vote approaches. Watch your step!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 21, 2016, 1:51 pm
  4. Wolfgang Munchau has to advise for the UK if it wants to hold both its country and economy together in the post-Brexit environment: Take the ‘Norway option’, which is characterized as being in the EU, but without a vote. And that may indeed be the path the UK chooses, but as the Munchau also points out, if the UK chooses the ‘Norway option’, it’s going to be choosing to accept the EU’s free movement of labor laws that helped fuel the entire Brexit sentiment in the first place:

    Financial Times

    Brexit: The Norway option is the best available for the UK

    European Economic Area membership is the least economically damaging course for the UK to take

    Wolfgang Münchau
    June 28, 2016 1:18 pm

    The situation in Britain is messy but the way forward is not. There are, in fact, few alternatives to choose from. The most sensible one is membership of the European Economic Area, otherwise known as the Norway option. This gives countries full access to the single European market, albeit with no say in EU politics.

    It is the best that former Remain supporters can hope for. Many of them are backing the idea of another referendum. I can think of no single measure that would produce more acrimony, division and economic damage than a decision to ignore a democratic vote. The Remainers are still trapped in the second of the five stages of mourning: the anger phase. The first stage is denial, which is where they were during the campaign: they were in denial of the possibility that the other side might win; and of the political disaster of the Project Fear campaign.

    The Norway option is also the most realistic political path for the moderates among the former Leave campaigners. It is the only one they may be able to deliver without destroying their divided parties.

    The EEA has a large number of technical advantages. The first is that it exists. It does not need to be invented. There are draft treaties. The EU cannot really deny Britain this option; it would be a hostile act if they did.

    It would be the least damaging to the British economy and would best minimise the transitional costs of Brexit. No British company would have to leave Europe. No City firm would have to transfer employees to Dublin or Paris. The City of London would keep its EU passport, the ability to do business throughout the Union from London. The Norway option is the economically most benign of all. It is economically almost neutral.

    It would also reduce Scotland’s appetite for another independence referendum. That desire could be reduced if the EU made it clear to Scotland, as I expect it will, that if it were independent it would have to apply for membership under Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty. This means it would not inherit any of Britain’s opt-outs. In particular, Scotland would be expected to join the eurozone.

    The Norway option also has drawbacks. It would compromise several key messages of the Leave campaign. It would not allow Britain to curtail free movement of labour from the EU. The UK would still pay into the EU budget. That mythical £350m a week would not be available to spend on the NHS..

    If a new prime minister wanted to keep those campaign promises, he or she would need to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement instead of joining the EEA. There would be no single passport for the City. The economic impact would be greater. But it is the solution if the priority is to get out of the EU and throw away the key that would unlock a potential future return.

    For any of this to work, speed matters. I am relieved to hear that the Conservative party is bringing forward its leadership election to early September. The new government should then trigger the exit procedure under Article 50 as soon as possible. If elections were held, there would have to be a further small delay. But it would be in Britain’s interest not to draw out the process unnecessarily. The longer the uncertainty lasts, the bigger the economic impact.

    Also, think for a moment about the effect on other member states. Brexit has dramatically increased the probability of a victory for Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front, in France’s presidential election next year. If she wins, there would not be much of an EU remaining to leave any more.

    A time-limited but speedily agreed Norway option would respect the will of the voters, the political reality in the UK and in the EU, prove economically least costly and it is flexible. It is not the best of all worlds by any means. Before the referendum, there was a broad consensus that there is really not much point in leaving the EU in order to join the EEA. But if you have buyers’ remorse now, or if you are seeking a transitional arrangement to a new regime, this is the best choice there is.

    “The Norway option also has drawbacks. It would compromise several key messages of the Leave campaign. It would not allow Britain to curtail free movement of labour from the EU. The UK would still pay into the EU budget. That mythical £350m a week would not be available to spend on the NHS..”

    That’s probably going to be one of the biggest sticking points on any possible path forward: the economically smoothest path forward, the ‘Norway option’, is also a path that would negate the ‘Leave’ campaign’s promise to end the free movement of labor from the EU. Either that or the UK needs to renegotiate an entirely new trade agreement with the EU that doesn’t allow free movement of labor and someone allows the City to retain full EU access. It’s a tricky situation and one where the EU appears to be holding almost all the cards.

    Even more ominous for the UK’s negotiations could be the possibility that the EU’s remaining banking industry and finance giants like Germany and France wouldn’t necessarily mind seeing the UK not even get a ‘Norway option’ since that could end up driving a huge amount of the City’s banking business back onto the continent. That’s not chump change and a top ECB official has already said that there’s no possibility of the UK’s bank retaining their ‘passports’ to the EU if the UK leaves the EU single market.

    And while the ‘Norway option’ is now being viewed as basically the only way forward for the UK from an economic perspective, it’s unclear how the UK public is going accept that path forward when opposition to the free movement of labor was one of the primary social forces leading to this historic election result. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine the EU allowing the UK to negotiating a ‘UK option’ that allows for free trade and the City’s full access to the continent without the free movement labor. Because if the UK got a deal like that, you can be pretty sure there’s going to be a lot more EU ‘exits’ in the future, probably starting with France.

    So it’s clearly time for some ‘outside the box’ thinking within the UK. Who knows, if the whole process drags on long enough it’s not impossible that the rest of the EU could dissolve in the mean time. That would certainly reframe the nature of the negotiations. But assuming the UK isn’t interested in enormous risks the come with dragging this process out, and assuming voters will refuse a new treaty with the free movement of labor, there aren’t a lot of other options. But there are a few other options:

    BBC News

    Five models for post-Brexit UK trade

    After the UK voted to leave the EU, the country faces the prospect of having to establish new trade relationships – both with the remaining 27 EU members and other countries around the world.

    27 June 2016

    As a member of the EU, the UK has been included in trade deals the EU has negotiated. There are 22 trade agreements between the EU and individual countries, and five multi-lateral agreements covering multiple countries.

    This means that if the UK wants to retain preferential access to the markets of the 52 countries covered by these agreements, it would have to renegotiate trade deals with all of them.

    Britain is a large market, so there is a clear incentive for other countries to negotiate a deal. Advocates of Brexit argued that it would be in nobody’s interest to interrupt the current trading partnerships.

    But which of the other models discussed as potential post-Brexit options for the UK are realistic?

    1. The Norway model

    * Member of European Economic Area, full access to single market, obliged to make a financial contribution and accept majority of EU laws, free movement applies as it does in the EU

    Norway is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) – the single market – along with the 28 current EU members, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

    In return for that access to the single market, it pays a contribution to the EU budget and has to sign up to all the rules of the club – including its common regulations and standards.

    People from across the EU are free to live and work in Norway too, but the country is exempt from EU rules on agriculture, fisheries, justice and home affairs. The downside for Norway is that it has no say over how the rules of the single market are created.

    Senior Leave campaigner and Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson wrote in the Telegraph on Sunday that the UK would continue to have access to the single market.

    But would this be possible while also reducing immigration and cutting costs, as many Leave campaigners want?

    Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said the UK is unlikely to secure full access to the single market unless it continues to allow free movement of labour.

    And a senior German MP and ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Michael Fuchs, told the BBC that it would be possible for Britain to maintain access but at a price.

    “The per capita fee of Norway is exactly the same as what Britain is now paying into the EU,” he said. “So there won’t be any savings.”

    2. The Switzerland model

    * Member of the European Free Trade Association but not the EEA, access to EU market governed by series of bilateral agreements, covers some but not all areas of trade, also makes a financial contribution but smaller than Norway’s, doesn’t have a general duty to apply EU laws but does have to implement some EU regulations to enable trade, free movement applies

    Switzerland has a free trade agreement with the EU and a number of agreements which give it access to the single market for most of its industries.

    But it does not have full access to the single market for its banking sector and other parts of the services sector, which together make up almost 80% of the UK economy.

    Its agreement also requires the free movement of people.

    The Swiss voted against joining the EEA in December 1992.

    Instead, the country, which sells over 50% of its exports to the EU, has agreed more than 120 bilateral agreements with Brussels, designed to secure Swiss access to Europe’s markets.

    Switzerland contributes billions of dollars to EU projects. Its bilateral deals are now in danger of unravelling over the question of free movement of people, after a referendum two years ago went in favour of restricting the number of workers arriving from the EU.

    While no such restriction has yet been implemented, Brussels retaliated swiftly, stalling agreements and freezing participation in education projects.

    3. The Turkey model

    * Customs union with the EU, meaning no tariffs or quotas on industrial goods exported to EU countries, has to apply EU’s external tariff on goods imported from outside the EU

    Turkey is not part of the EEA or the European Free Trade Association but does – like tiny Andorra and San Marino – have a customs union with the EU.

    This means it faces no tariffs (taxes or duties on imports and exports) or quotas on industrial goods it sends to EU countries.

    The customs union does not apply to agricultural goods, or services.

    Turkey also has no say on the tariffs it has to impose on goods it imports from non-EU countries, as it has to apply the EU’s common external tariff to those goods (and is not involved in setting it).

    4. The Canada option

    * Ceta free trade deal with the EU has yet to come into force, gets rid of most tariffs on goods, but excludes some food items and services, and stipulates need to prove where goods are made

    The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) between the EU and Canada is not yet in force, although it has been in the making for seven years.

    It gives Canada preferential access to the EU single market without all the obligations that Norway and Switzerland face, eliminating most trade tariffs. However, some “sensitive” food items, including eggs and chicken, are not covered by it.

    Canadian exporters will have to prove that their goods are entirely “made in Canada”, which imposes extra costs, to prevent imports entering the EU through a “back door”.

    The services sector is only partially covered by Ceta.

    Crucially, a Ceta-type deal would not give UK financial services the EU market access that they have now. It would be hard for London-based banks to get “passporting” rights for their services in the EU – rights that they value hugely now.

    It would also mean that firms that export to the EU would have to comply with EU product standards and technical requirements without having any say in setting them.

    And critics of such a plan point out that the UK has a complex web of ties to the EU – much more than Canada.

    5. The Singapore and Hong Kong approach

    * City states do not impose import or export tariffs at all – a unilateral free trade approach

    Some advocates of Brexit have said the UK should adopt a unilateral free trade policy – dropping all tariffs and relying on the World Trade Organisation’s framework – as reported by the Financial Times.

    For example Hong Kong’s free trade policy means the Chinese special administrative region maintains no barriers on trade. The Hong Kong government says it “does not charge tariff on importation or exportation of goods. Import and export licensing is also kept to a minimum.”

    This approach may have some appeal to Brexiteers whose ideology favours no trade restrictions.

    It would be likely to gather less support from disaffected Labour voters and left-wing critics of the EU.

    No tariffs of any kind could have a strongly negative effect on the UK’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors, as importing goods such as food and steel would in many cases be cheaper than producing them in the UK.

    The default: World Trade Organisation rules

    * WTO sets rules for international trade that apply to all members, no free movement or financial contribution, no obligation to apply EU laws although traded goods would still have to meet EU standards, some tariffs would be in place on trade with the EU, trade in services would be restricted

    If talks – with the EU and others – do not reach a deal before Brexit takes effect, trade rules would default to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

    The UK and EU would be obliged to apply to each other the tariffs and other trade restrictions they apply to the rest of the world.

    “If talks – with the EU and others – do not reach a deal before Brexit takes effect, trade rules would default to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.”

    That’s the default option: do nothing and allow WTO rules to kick in. And while that seems like an unlikely option, when you consider all the deal-breakers with all the other options listed above it’s hard to rule out the ‘WTO option’, at least temporarily should talks get extended and then break down. And all of the other options other than the ‘Norway model’ would cripple the City’s access to the EU financial services markets which makes it unclear how they would be viable. So it’s looking increasingly like either the UK populace is going to have to get used to more EU immigration or its going to have to get used to being a nation with a much less influential financial sector.

    Also keep in mind that the longer it takes for the UK to work something out with the EU, the longer it’s likely to take the US to work something out with the UK too. And if the UK and EU can’t find a common path forward and the UK finds itself with a dwarfed financial sector and ailing economy, that’s probably going to impact the terms of a US/UK trade deal and not in ways that help the UK.

    At the same time, the potential complications the UK/EU negotiations could have on a US/UK deal highlight something the UK might want to keep in mind if the EU negotiations go awry the UK finds itself increasingly isolated from the rest of Europe: while geography suggest that the UK would only really going to be potentially interested in close trade relations with the EU, it’s not like this is really true anymore with modern communication and transportation. And there’s no rule that the EU is the only large internal free-trade market the UK can cuddle up to to find some security in a world that increasingly inhospitable to nations going it solo. So while President Obama indicated that a US/UK trade deal would have to come after the US/EU TTIP, there’s no reason that can’t change (and there are already indications it has), especially if the ideas on the table went far beyond trade. So, serious or not, how about the UK and US start talking about making the UK the 51st state! LOL, wouldn’t that be a great post-Brexit debate!

    And, yes, it would all be in jest. At at least first. But let’s say the UK and US did at least start playing footsie with each other along these lines. How would that alter the UK’s negotiating position with the EU? After all, if the EU totally screwed the UK and the country economically imploded, it’s not impossible we could one day see the US become transatlantic. Sure, the UK as the 51st state isn’t more than a remote possibility at this point, but just imagine how just the remote possibility of that scenario would freak out the EU’s powers and at least give them pause about making an example out of Britain. There aren’t a lot of scenarios one can imagine that would push the UK public towards even pondering joining the US, but getting isolated and economically devastated by EU would be one of those scenarios. Especially if it looked like the only option out of the mess was to come crawling back to the EU and accepting whatever conditions they demands. The 51st state wouldn’t have to worry about such demands.

    Strange times call for strange negotiation tactics. And the times are indeed strange. So if the UK’s negotiations go awry, let’s hope the UK and US can get together and make the times stranger. It would be fun!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 28, 2016, 7:39 pm
  5. With talk of an ‘EU Army’ growing in EU policy-making circles in the wake of the Brexit vote, here’s a quick example of how rapidly plans of this nature might expand in the coming months and years. First, take a look at this WSJ article from just a couple days after the Brexit vote, when the EU’s foreign policy chief proposed that moving forward with the EU army vision was clearly the thing to do to deepen European integration, especially since Britain was the biggest obstacle to such plans:

    The Wall Street Journal

    EU Pushes Broader Security, Defense Cooperation After U.K. Vote
    Proposal sets out plan for accumulation of European ‘hard power’ that would allow the bloc to achieve ‘strategic autonomy‘

    By Laurence Norman
    Updated June 26, 2016 7:59 p.m. ET

    BRUSSELS—Days after the U.K. voted to exit the European Union, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, is set to present on Tuesday a plan to broaden European defense and security cooperation, in a bid to bolster Europe’s ability to act independently.

    Ms. Mogherini will present her proposals, the first Brussels effort to lay out Europe’s global strategy in more than a decade, to EU leaders at a summit. Tuesday’s Brussels meeting is the first since the U.K. on Thursday voted to exit the bloc, a process likely to take over two years.

    The U.K. has long approached EU defense and security initiatives with ambivalence. While it has played a key role in crafting the bloc’s foreign policy and is a critical provider of security and military assets for specific operations, the U.K. has resisted efforts to craft a unified EU military structure. It has pushed hard for European defense resources to be channeled through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which maintains a large network of command and control headquarters.

    Ms. Mogherini’s proposal, which she played a central role in crafting, seeks to strike a balance. While she underscores the importance of the EU working closely with NATO and of the EU’s close diplomatic partnership with the U.S., she sets out the building blocks for an accumulation of European “hard power” that would allow the bloc to achieve what she calls strategic autonomy.

    There is no direct push for an EU army or military headquarters—both British bête noirs. However, there are ambitious calls for a buildup of shared military resources and planning and for increased spending on joint research and equipment produced by Europe’s defense industry.

    “In this fragile world, soft power is not enough: We must enhance our credibility in security and defense,” reads a draft proposal viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    The proposal says the EU should be able to mobilize resources rapidly to assist a member state threatened or hit by a terror attack. Security and defense operations should be able to work alongside EU border guard units and other agencies to boost border protection and maritime security and to disrupt smuggling networks.

    The plan calls for additional pooling of resources and more coordinated defense investment planning and EU-wide action to bolster the bloc’s defense industry. The proposal says enhanced EU intelligence and surveillance is needed, including investments in drones and satellite communications.

    NATO, the proposal says, “remains the primary framework for most member states.” However, European “security and defense efforts should enable the EU to act autonomously while also contributing to and undertaking actions in cooperation with NATO.”

    The proposal says all the bloc’s instruments, including security and defense operations should be able to deploy more quickly and flexibly. That also includes the EU’s battlegroups, rapid response units which that were supposed to allow the EU to rapidly intervene in a crisis; British opposition means they have yet to be used.

    The proposal also targets stronger planning and command structures. While there is no mention of an EU headquarters, the proposal does float the idea that a cluster of member states could craft more ambitious joint structures under the EU’s so-called enhanced cooperation process.

    Many of these plans build on existing capabilities. The EU already has 17 military and civilian missions outside its borders, including a year-old naval operation fighting people-smuggling in the Mediterranean and other missions for building up military, police and border management resources in Africa and Europe’s east.

    The bloc launched a successful maritime naval operation in 2008 that significantly reduced piracy off the Somali coast.

    There is no direct push for an EU army or military headquarters—both British bête noirs. However, there are ambitious calls for a buildup of shared military resources and planning and for increased spending on joint research and equipment produced by Europe’s defense industry.”

    Ok, so that was back in June: while there wasn’t talk of building an EU military headquarters, it was pretty clear that the EU was going to use the Brexit as a big opportunity to build up the EU’s military “hard power” and give the EU a big enough military to allow it to act with more “autonomy” on the world stage. In other words, while the EU isn’t declaring its plans to create a military that rivals the US, it would still like an EU military with the kind of hardware that will allow the EU to go blow things up halfway across the world and maybe invade a country or two.

    Since an EU army is a logical conclusion and inevitability of an “ever-closer Europe”, it’s not particularly surprising that this is on the agenda. Some sort of EU army was always coming, it’s really just a matter of when. But with the Brexit now a reality, it looks like “when” is now. Or at least soon. For instance, flash forward a few months to today, and the new big EU army idea is getting a headquarters:

    Reuters

    Post-Brexit EU needs joint military HQ, Juncker says

    By Alastair Macdonald | STRASBOURG
    Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:31am EDT

    The European Union’s chief executive called on Wednesday for a joint command headquarters for EU military missions and greater defense cooperation, reviving long-running efforts to reduce reliance on the United States.

    In his annual speech to the European Parliament, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said no single EU government had a military big enough to deal with security challenges on Europe’s doorstep, from Islamic militants to a more hostile Russia.

    The proposals, echoing a plan put forward this week by France and Germany, are part of a broader attempt to rally EU nations after Britain’s vote to leave the bloc and to capitalize on its departure – London having opposed the idea.

    “We must have a European headquarters and so we should work towards a common military force,” Juncker told the European Parliament, although officials stressed this did not amount to an EU army. “This should be to complement NATO,” he said, also outlining proposals for a common defense fund.

    Leaders must also compensate for Britain’s departure from the bloc. As Europe’s biggest-spending European power, the British exit could reduce the EU’s military capacity by a quarter without steps to remedy the situation, analysts say.

    Even before Britain’s decision to leave the EU, years of defense budget cuts, as well as militaries that work in isolation, have diminished Europe’s ability to run missions including peace keeping, disaster relief and counter-terrorism operations at home and abroad.

    The plan, which follows failed attempts in the 1950s and the 1990s, would not mean soldiers all wear the same uniforms, EU officials say. It involves more cooperation among countries that wish to run missions together, while avoiding duplication in developing military assets at the industrial level.

    More than three-quarters of EU government defense contracts are awarded to their national industries, while the bloc has 19 types of armored infantry fighting vehicle, compared to just one in the United States, according to EU data.

    “From an economic point of view, bringing together our military resources could be clearly justified,” Juncker said. “The lack of cooperation is something that is costing Europe 20 to 100 billion euros a year,” he said.

    Still, the United States is wary about a new EU military headquarters, worried it would replicate NATO’s command center, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, in Belgium.

    Washington wants to see EU governments spend more money on equipment and not waste it on headquarters. One solution could be to turn an existing national army and navy command center in Germany or France into a European headquarters, experts say.

    “We must have a European headquarters and so we should work towards a common military force,” Juncker told the European Parliament, although officials stressed this did not amount to an EU army. “This should be to complement NATO,” he said, also outlining proposals for a common defense fund.”

    While it’s true that creating a EU military headquarters doesn’t amount to an actual EU army, it is a pretty big step! And it’s another indication that this is really is just a matter of time and ‘EU army’-creep is probably going to be a significant part of the EU’s evolution over coming years. Especially now that Britain is out of the equation.

    But that doesn’t mean won’t be significant resistance from the remaining states as this evolution proceeds. Because while joining together a large number of militaries might sound like a neat unifying idea, it’s going to sound a lot less for a lot of nations once they learn that their local defense industries’ services are redundant and economically unjustified:

    More than three-quarters of EU government defense contracts are awarded to their national industries, while the bloc has 19 types of armored infantry fighting vehicle, compared to just one in the United States, according to EU data.

    “From an economic point of view, bringing together our military resources could be clearly justified,” Juncker said. “The lack of cooperation is something that is costing Europe 20 to 100 billion euros a year,” he said.

    It sure sounds like armored infantry fighting vehicle manufacturers are some downsizing ahead of them. And probably just about every other military manufacturer except for the lucky contractors who get the big EU-wide military procurement prizes. And that means that when we’re considering the economic impact of that “20 to 100 billion euros a year” in savings that could be achieved by consolidating and unifying the EU’s military supply lines, the “savings” is going to likely coincide with a big shift in defense spending away from local defense industries to a neighboring EU member state. And since France and Germany are the big military hardware manufacturers, with Germany being the third largest arms exporter in the world, it’s pretty obvious that the big winners from this plan are probably going to be German and French defense contractors, which might have something to do with Germany and France are the driving forces behind this plan.

    So while the EU army idea appears to be growing by the month, and the long-run formation of such an entity is going to happen in phases over a number of years, keep in mind that we haven’t actually reached the the phase where everyone learns that the creation of an EU army is probably going to turn into a giant subsidy project for the defense sectors in key member states. Or maybe it will be a widely distributed defense-spending bonanza that basically acts as a long-overdue EU-stimulus. Either way, the while the EU army may not technically be here as of now, it’s getting a headquarters soon so it’s presumably not too far away.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 14, 2016, 3:10 pm

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