Core Europe and Greater Eurasia

A Roadmap for the Future
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Peter W. Schulze Core Europe and Greater Eurasia
Peter W. Schulze - Core Europe and Greater Eurasia

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Foreword Peter W. Schulze In 2016, two interconnected events unleashed the potential to change or even deconstruct major trends which have shaped the configuration of international actors for decades. Brexit could undermine the economic and political unity of the European Union and bring both its enlargement and its objective of being regarded as a relevant geopolitical actor to a standstill. Additionally, the election of a US president whose "America First" policy oscillates so extensively between more protectionist and less interventionist goals, without any strategic concept at the centre, will weaken Washington's globally hegemonic position. Nonetheless, the "New World Order" cheerfully announced by the Bush administration after the collapse of the USSR put an end to the bipolar system and ended threats of Europe's nuclear annihilation in a case of war. In retrospect however, Eastern and Western experts both agree that neither the bipolar order nor the United States' subsequent unipolar hegemony have succeeded in creating a peaceful world. The inclusion of most former Warsaw Pact countries within NATO and the EU factually eliminated the danger of European interstate warfare; but a unified security order encompassing all European states has not emerged. Pushing aside the opportunity offered by the Charter of Paris, Europe has been divided into several spaces of security. While Western Europe has enjoyed security and economic wellbeing, institutionally enshrined in NATO and the EU, the majority of the CIS countries have only been limply regulated by Russia in security arrangements, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Moreover, the space stretching from the Baltic Sea to the area in between the Black and Caspian seas, Europe-in-between, is composed of states too politically unstable, economically weak, and torn apart socially by ethnic strife to guarantee either the welfare or the security of their citizens. The present crisis in Ukraine is indicative of the complexity of internal problems and their exploitation by outside forces. Undoubtedly, the last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the new millennium witnessed fundamental shifts in the power constellation of international actors. So far, transformations have been influenced by the interplay of Washington, Moscow, and Beijing, and, less significantly, by the European Union: The current global order, established by the hegemonic US and founded on liberal institutions and universal values, is now being challenged by nascent counter forces. If successful, these forces will eventually create a multipolar or polycentric global order. Nevertheless, the central question remains unanswered: can the emerging polycentric global order provide security and welfare for the international community? In the midst of these changes on a global scale, the European integration process has run into an impasse of internal contradictions and external challenges. The EU is undoubtedly in dire need of reform; some European perestroika and glasnost are required. The debate on deepening versus widening which dominated the 1980s has appeared on the agenda again, but has been addressed differently. Given the economic and political turbulence since 2009, widening seems to be out of the question for the foreseeable time. But deepening is subject to harsh populist reactions. Core Europe, the democratisation of the EU, and/or the regression to a commonwealth of nation-states that reduces supranational authority, are fiercely debated concepts. The issues are complicated by the impasse of EU-Russia relations which had already started nine years ago but escalated to reciprocal sanctions during the Ukraine crisis. Antagonistic narratives on both sides have caused the destruction of a formerly high-level and intensive network of interest-based, cooperative, multilateral and bilateral relations. But the question is: how to reach a negotiated and peaceful solution, agreed by both sides, on the Ukraine crisis? Time is running out because we are seeing a change of paradigm on both sides. Frustrations about Brussels are growing, and nourish the shift towards a Greater Eurasian concept. Russia is tilting to the East, to the Pacific Rim and China. The EU is no longer the sought-after partner, but has been reduced to the status of a neighbour. Yet without the common and shared responsibility of Brussels and Moscow, the potential for explosive conditions in Europe-in-between cannot be resolved. Quo Vadis Europe? Further, can the European Union and Russia build a common and shared understanding for creating welfare, peace, and stability in Europe? The main issues addressed in this book were debated in two DOC workshops in Rhodes and Berlin in 2016. Introduction: Quo Vadis Europe- The End of a Dream? Wendelin Ettmayer The Diplomatic Revolution in Europe During the last two generations, the legitimacy, goals, and means of diplomatic relations among European states have totally changed. What have also changed are their attitudes towards war and sovereignty. The legitimacy of foreign policy, throughout the centuries, had been based on the increase of the power of the state and the glory of the monarch. Foreign policy was power politics. The history of diplomacy was the history of wars, and peace negotiations, followed by other wars (Simms 2013). During the last two generations, a revolution has taken place. In today's Europe, the legitimacy of foreign policy is found in the promotion of the welfare of the people: improving living standards; the observation of human rights; the promotion of commerce and culture; the creation of jobs; and the protection of the environment. The Welfare State has an international dimension, and this is especially true in Europe. The welfare of the people, not the increase of the power of the state, legitimises foreign policy in today's Europe (Ettmayer 2016). The traditional goals of foreign policy-the increase of the power of the state-are still taught in our schools; Metternich, Bismarck, and Kissinger are still presented as the great heroes of diplomacy. This corresponds to the traditional way diplomacy was conducted. After the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, a system of states emerged in Europe where mutual relations were upheld by the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity. States were not subject to superior authority and the national interest was the driving force of foreign policy. Diplomacy concentrated on the maintenance of the balance of power. The soldier and the diplomat constituted a unified whole. Diplomacy reflected the art of the possible; war was seen as the continuation of politics, albeit by other means (Windelband 1922). Why has all that changed? After the horrible suffering of the Second World War, European countries began the process of integration, based on economic cooperation and the establishment of supranational institutions. The promotion of the welfare of the people became a component of foreign policy worldwide. Within the framework of the United Nations, special agencies were established like the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Food Program (Schurmann 1974). However, in Western Europe some countries went much further. With the establishment of the Council of Europe, the protection of human rights, pluralist democracy, and the rule of law became generally recognised principles, monitored by an international organisation; and with the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the supranational management of central parts of national economies was to prevent wars in future. The thinking behind those initiatives was that economic integration would push back national interests and promote political cooperation and integration. The result was that in Europe we not only established a new manner of legitimacy for foreign policy and new goals for diplomacy, but also new means of safeguarding peace and security. The traditional means of foreign policy were realpolitik, raison d' État, and war. That meant that a state was allowed to do everything to increase its power; a state was entitled to practice behaviour forbidden to private individuals: to kill, to destroy, to wage war. Contrary to those traditional means, the new means of safeguarding peace and security in Europe are cooperation and integration. Today we follow a new logic. The logic of war has been replaced by the logic of values: democracy, human rights, and the rule of law (Moussis 2007). It has become unthinkable for European countries to wage war against one another. In Europe, war is no longer considered an extension of politics by other means. The logic of maintaining peace by a balance of power, established on the basis of confrontation, has been replaced by the concept of cooperation. That is how we have achieved sixty years of peace in Western Europe. The sovereignty of the state, which used to be absolute, has been drastically diminished in many fields. The traditional way of guaranteeing peace was through respect of national sovereignty, combined with the principle of non-interference regarding the internal affairs of a sovereign country. This approach has also totally changed. Today, peace is built on the respect of basic values like human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. And the implementation of those values is subject to international monitoring by organisations like the Council of Europe, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Those organisations have the right to interfere in the internal affairs of all member states to safeguard the implementation of those values. To demonstrate the changes that have taken place I would like to take the example of a few figures who have been regarded as great throughout history. Rulers like Alexander the Great, Caesar, Charlemagne, Peter the Great, and many others went down in history as great heroic figures, because they succeeded in establishing empires, and increased the power of their kingdoms regardless of the extent of sacrifice and number of human casualties. Today, their methods would not be considered great; they would make rulers today candidates for a war crimes tribunal (Huber 2011). Achievements and Crises The achievements of European integration since the Second World War are remarkable: Western Europe has enjoyed two generations of peace and prosperity-this had never been the case in 2,000 years of prior European history. Old hereditary enemies have become friends, like France and Germany; centuries of confrontation have been replaced by cooperation. So why would difficulties such as the Euro crisis arise all of a sudden? In my opinion, the basic failure is the following: European nations gave up exclusive sovereignty in several fields: some countries gave up their national currencies; many countries opened their borders or have given up national border control. The problem is this: countries gave up essential parts of their national sovereignty, but no European sovereignty has been established instead (Menzel 2015). When the Euro was introduced as a common currency in 1999, it brought many advantages: for travellers it was no longer necessary to exchange money; all member countries experienced low interest rates, which stimulated borrowing and economic growth, although it also allowed countries like Greece to accumulate enormous debts. An optimistic language was supposed to pave the way for a better reality. In this sense we talked, and still talk, about the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as the basis for the common currency, but in reality the European Economic Union has never been created. The creation of a monetary union (the introduction of the Euro) has not been accompanied by an economic union. It is not clear if such an economic union could ever be organised; the differences among the political and economic cultures of the Eurozone's members are too great. There are plenty of contrasts that demonstrate this: Austria cuts the number of civil servants, but 60,000 new teachers are hired in France; the retirement age is raised in Germany, but lowered in France; in times of economic crisis, the political parties in Finland competed to impose more austerity, whereas in Greece, most political parties have campaigned to oppose austerity policies. All in all, one can say that the European project has been too optimistic. The protagonists were convinced that monetary union would lead to an economic union, and eventually to a political union. Certainly, some common rules have been established-it has been decided that national budget deficits should not be higher than 3 percent of GDP, that national debts should not exceed 60 percent of GDP, and that in all member countries, inflation should be kept low. However, other rules show the impracticality of the Euro project: It has been stipulated, for instance, that no assistance should be granted to countries in need; and that states which do not obey the rules should be punished. But when we consider the billions of dollars given in subsidies to Eurozone members that have run into major financial difficulties, we can see how useless these rules have been. Considering all these developments, the fundamental difficulty with the EU is as follows. The basic question of whether the EU should become a real political union or remain a confederation of nation-states remains unresolved. It is not clear how much political sovereignty member states want to keep, and how much they are willing to give up. This question does not only concern currency, but also other areas, like whether there should be a European army or Europe should rely on NATO for its defence. There is certainly a strategic partnership between the EU and NATO as far as crisis management is concerned (the so-called Berlin Plus agreements), but the basic question, of to what extent Europe should have unified armed forces under a unified European command, has not been addressed (Diehl 2008). The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) According to the EU treaty, military matters and national defence remain the responsibility of the nation-state. Accordingly, the EU can only act in these fields with the unanimous support of all members. On the other hand, Europe should be active towards the outside world, spread its values, and participate in crisis management. In this sense, the Common Security and Defence Policy (formerly the European Security and Defence Policy), a foundational structure for European military union, is not about great armies and great wars, but about participation in conflict management. The Lisbon Treaty, which came into force on 1 December 2009, established the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Political and military solidarity among EU member states was also stipulated in the treaty by a mutual assistance clause and a solidarity clause (Schmidl 2005). The European Security Strategy (ESS) (Solana 2003) is a doctrine which should provide a framework for actions abroad. It was adopted in December 2003 in order to implement EU values and objectives in the fields of foreign and security policy. The ESS contains an analysis of global threats and challenges to European security, including: terrorism; the proliferations of weapons of mass destruction; regional conflicts with international impacts; failing states; and organised crime. The ESS sets out three instruments for maintaining security and promoting EU values: Conducting a policy of conflict prevention (by way of civilian and military capabilities); Building security in the European neighbourhood; Promoting multilateralism through international law and the United Nations. The main activities in the ESS framework are the so-called Petersberg tasks (a list of military and security priorities under the Common Security and Defence Policy), and crisis management. The Petersberg tasks concentrate on humanitarian and rescue operations, peacekeeping, crisis management, and peace-making. Police activities should also contribute towards ensuring the rule of law in an area of crisis, strengthening civil administration, and protecting civilians. Some examples of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations include the following: among military operations, the EUFOR Concordia peacekeeping mission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), deployed in 2003 in order to enforce stability for the implementation of the Ochrid Agreement; in 2003-2006, EUFOR Operation Artemis was deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its mandate was to secure refugee centres in its area of operation, to secure the airports, and to provide safety for NGOs; and in December 2004, EUFOR Operation Althea in Bosnia-Herzegovina replaced NATO's SFOR as a guarantor of the 1995 Dayton Agreement (Bjola and Kornprobst 2013). As far as civilian cooperation is concerned, the EU police mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of 2003, can be mentioned, as well as the police mission in the FYROM (Macedonia) of the same year. A mission in Georgia had the goal of improving the rule of law in that country; the same goal was shared by the police mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All in all, CSDP operations are aimed at conflict management, preventing crises from unfolding, and stabilising post conflict situations. To a considerable extent, the notion of a Common Security and Defence Policy remains wishful thinking, and does not correspond to reality. Defence matters stay within the exclusive responsibility of the member states. Actually, it is quite evident that the more powerful states continue to follow their own security interests: the United Kingdom, for example, joined the United States in the Iraq War of 2003, whereas Germany and France strongly opposed the war. The larger powers have followed their own policies concerning Moscow and Beijing; there are different approaches regarding Kosovo, and the possibility of a Palestinian state, and different attitudes were taken when a no-fly zone was imposed upon Libya. However, some European protagonists hope that in future, the notions used in this policy document, and the objectives outlined in it, could create a new state of mind, and eventually, a new reality. Repercussions upon Transatlantic Relations The ESS stipulates that the transatlantic relationship with the United States is irreplaceable: "Acting together, the EU and the United States can be a formidable force for the good in the world … Our aim should be an effective and balanced partnership with the USA" (Solana 2003). Cooperation with the US is certainly an essential reason for the EU to build up its defence capabilities and to increase its level of collective coherence. At the same time, we should not forget that quite significant differences have developed between the European and American states of mind. We have developed different attitudes towards war as a policy instrument, and towards the outside world in general. The use of military force in order to implement policy goals among European countries has become unthinkable. At the same time, perspectives on using military force towards the outside world have also changed. Within Europe, as a rule, the military is no longer deployed in support of national diplomacy. No matter how great the differences are over Greek debt in Brussels, no European country would rely on its army to further its cause. At the same time, echoing an eighteenth century sentiment ascribed to Friedrich the Great, an American scholar recently stated that "a Foreign Policy without the backing of the military is like a baseball game without the baseball bat" (Jensen and Miller 1997). This way of thinking does not exist in Europe anymore. Furthermore, Europeans have developed different attitudes concerning the essential challenges of our time: how to cope with the environment (agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol); the important role of the International Criminal Court; the role of the UN in a multipolar world; and state sovereignty in general. All in all, we can say that the European project has achieved fantastic goals in only two generations: peace, security, the new European diplomacy which does not rely on war, and a foreign policy that concentrates on the wellbeing of the people. However, some fundamental questions remain unresolved, the most important being whether Europe should become a federal state, or remain a confederation of national states. Conclusions As long as this fundamental question remains unresolved-the question of to what extent the European Union should become a real political union-it will be very difficult to find solutions to existing problems. And as this question has been unresolved since the beginning, the prospects for solutions are rather dim. The founding fathers of the EU (back then, the Common Market), stipulated that member states should form ever closer union, apparently meaning that a supranational European state should eventually be created. But, since the beginning, there has been no unanimity as to what that really meant. When the British joined in 1973, they made it very clear from the outset that they did not want to give up their national sovereignty, and would prefer a customs union or a free-trade area. As these differences with the views of the European Supranationalists could never be resolved, and new challenges like the migration crisis could not be met, Brexit was only a logical consequence. Most countries have agreed to "European solutions" whenever technical questions have arisen; from agricultural subsidies to telecommunications; from the harmonisation of norms for educational standards to trade agreements. But they have remained very hesitant when issues arose which touched on national sovereignty, like foreign policy, national defence, or matters of internal security. After the people of France and the Netherlands had rejected a European Constitution, which would have been the basis of a United States of Europe, several compromises were found which worked as long as fair weather conditions prevailed. National sovereignty was given up, but no European sovereignty was created. That was the case concerning the common currency, the Euro; but also for the migration policy formulated by the Dublin agreements. In the European Union of today, we therefore live in a time of divided sovereignty; and this means that there are no clear solutions for the foreseeable future. The crises will be prolonged. The following conclusion can therefore be drawn: during the opening decades of its existence, the unification of Europe brought about the solution of the existing problems: peace and security on the continent were established. As the process of supra-nationalisation was pushed further by some, but not wanted by others, the EU increasingly became the cause of new problems, rather than the solution, and member states became more and more divided: Germany, alongside other states, was convinced that hard work, rather than more debts, was the basis of the common currency; some countries were open to and even welcomed the influx of migrants, whereas others opposed this policy; and some countries, like Austria, want to establish a partnership with Russia, whereas others demonstrate an antagonistic attitude towards Europe's great neighbour. Brussels would therefore be well-advised to solve these problems before advancing on to new supranational adventures. Works Cited Bjola, Corneliu and Markus Kornprobst (2013). Understanding International Diplomacy. London: Routledge. Diehl, Paul F. (2008). Peace Operations. Cambridge: Polity. Ettmayer, Wendelin (2016). Power Politics and Welfare Thinking in International Relations. In M. Edelbacher et al. (Eds.). On the Road to People, Jubilee Book in Commemoration of the 70th Birthday of Michael K. Platzer. Vienna: Federal Ministry of Justice. Huber, Peter (ed.). (2011). Austria on the Security Council of the United Nations: 2009/2010. Vienna: Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. Jensen, Lloyd and Lynn H. Miller (1997). Global Challenge. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers. Menzel, Ulrich (2015). Die Ordnung der Welt. Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag. Moussis, Nicholas (2007). Guide to European Policies. European Study Service. Schmidl, Erwin A. (2005). Going International - In the Service of Peace. Vienna: Vehling Verlag. Simms, Brennan (2013). Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present. London: Allan Lane. Schurmann, Franz (1974). The Logic of World Power. New York: Pantheon Books. Solana, Javier; Council of the European Union (2003). A Secure Europe in a Better World -European Security Strategy. Approved by the European Council and drafted under the responsibilities of the EU High Representative Javier Solana. Paris: European Institute for Security Studies. Windelband, Wolfgang (1922). Die auswärtige Politik der Großmächte in der Neuzeit (1494-1919). Stuttgart; Berlin: DVA.


Editor Peter W. Schulze

Product Details

DUIN 11719J488MP

GTIN 9783593507842

Release Date 11.08.2017

Language English

Pages 226

Product type Paperback

Dimension 8.39 x 5.79 x 5.51  inches

Product Weight 10.34 ounces

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