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FTR #700 Deutschland Uber Alles

[1]Lis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 [2] | Side 2 [3]

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 [4], 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 [5]. 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 [6]. 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 [7]!

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. [8] 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. [9]

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 [10], among oth­er programs–the eco­nom­ic occu­pa­tion of France by the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work [11] 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 [12],” 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. [4]

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. [5]

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. [6]

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. [7]

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. [8]

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 [13]

“The Ger­man Eth­nic Mod­el (IV)”; german-foreign-policy.com; 2/12/2009. [9]