Ukrainian crisis: Eight strategic recommendations

GEAB N°83: Global systemic crisis - The Ukrainian crisis, the ultimate test of Europeans’ ability to build their political union to take control of their common destiny

by LEAP/E2020 - 31/03/2014

This crisis is well and truly a test of national leaders’ ability to grasp the tools of independence, power and peace that their fathers (the generations of politicians which ruled right until the end of the 80s basically) have put at their disposal, this united and institutionalized Europe which only remains to be put under political control.…


If the Ukraine, a small country with a population of less than 50 million having frontiers with the two monsters of Europe and Russia, really has no other option than to “choose sides” in effect it’s not the same in Europe. And this crisis is well and truly a test of national leaders’ ability to grasp the tools of independence, power and peace that their fathers (the generations of politicians which ruled right until the end of the 80s basically) have put at their disposal, this united and institutionalized Europe which only remains to be put under political control.

The difficulty is that the tool which politicians must now grasp isn’t the EU. As we have repeatedly explained, the EU is a stage in European construction which, on the contrary, must now be offloaded. The Ukrainian crisis is, incidentally, the ultimate indicator. The EU framework, born out of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty[1] , and which should have led to the continent’s political and democratic union has been diverted from its objectives. From Maastricht to Lisbon[2] , it’s an all economic Europe (endless enlargement of a free trade zone) which has been put in place, that which the people now justifiably rejects, which only serves the interests of the biggest Brussels lobbies (which are not the Member States, far from it) and of which we will now see to what dramatic ends (war, loss of autonomy) it’s ready to expose the continent.
Here are eight recommendations which, according to our team, are to be implemented urgently to get Europe out of the trap which has been set for it.

1. Return to the intergovernmental method

In this extremely serious situation it’s no good waiting for Brussels (no more than the European Commission or the European Parliament, sadly), quite the contrary. Business must, therefore, imperatively return to the Member States and the so-called “intergovernmental” method.

2. Disable or put the European External Action Service under political control

To do this, it’s imperative to punish the European Commission’s External Action Service political irresponsibility and remind it of its duty to execute the decisions taken by the Member States. The External Action Service is a European diplomatic service that has no legitimacy to speak on Europeans’ behalf, even less to take strategic decisions whose consequences are the destruction of relations with our neighbours, the starting up of civil wars in neighbouring countries and the ground-up creation of risks of war or iron curtains. Both in substance and form there is nothing easier than to remind the EEAS of its duties and to link it to a more democratically legitimate political decision-making body.

3. Express a common position on the crisis

This is where things get tough. In fact, if Baroness Ashton and Mr. O’Sullivan can do anything from their ivory tower, it’s because “Europeans are unable to speak with one voice”. How many times have we read this phrase over the last 25 years? And it suits it to have more than one up its sleeve. But this time Europe doesn’t have a choice: it must reach a common position; otherwise other agendas will continue to control operations remotely. Therefore, the objective is urgent and the question is “how to get there?”

4. Defining a relevant common agenda

First of all, it’s a question of everyone agreeing on the objective of this common position. And given the fact that war and being placed under foreign supervision are the dangers facing Europe today, let’s say that the discussion’s objective is to find a way to keep Europe’s peace and independence. For 60 years we have been sold Europe as a guarantor of peace; it’s the time to show that it does. And throw out the standard questions “how to guarantee the Ukraine’s integrity?” and other nonsense. If Europe isn’t capable of guaranteeing its own, what could it usefully do for the Ukraine? And moreover, in the light of what it’s already done, it’s out of the game for the moment. It should put its own house in order first.

5. Identify the relevant group of Member States

The topic of discussion is now established, it must be asked who the participants should be, the players in this common position. But already, what are the possibilities?

. The 28? The 28, it’s the EU, first of all…this EU which has always been unable to speak with one voice…and which in the Ukraine’s particular case is more than ever. Too many, with too many divergent interests, the 28 consist of a fringe of small countries, former Soviet Union satellites where it’s difficult, which it’s fairly excusable, to rely on their objectivity in the current circumstances (even if the anti-“Russianism” is actually much weaker than the European Commission is trying to make us believe, with an obviously instrumental goal); and a big country, the US stooge in Europe (even if the EU-UK link has been considerably distended in recent years: loss of effectiveness, distancing of continental philosophies, supervision of the country by financial markets). Getting to a common position on the Ukrainian question is an exercise in acrobatic flying in which it’s better not to go astray.

. The Franco-German motor? Unfortunately its too weak to cope with the violence of the attack which Europe is facing… Illegitimate also: how could the position of two countries impose on 26 others from whom it must at least win passivity? Finally, if the couple have recently begun to work well on the medium-term on less important questions (Europe’s resurrection[3] , EU data protection with the NSA[4] , European defence out to 2025[5] , etc.), it doesn’t seem to be able to produce much when faced with an urgent and very grave matter[6] . Moreover, Germany’s positions (especially a Germany led by an East German) on the issues of relations with Russia are of a coherence which is difficult to decipher: between a very strong interdependence with Russia (energy in particular, but trade as well) and old anti-Soviet reflexes, the straight line doesn’t seem to be the shortest path. Nevertheless, it must be recognized that Merkel is the only one to try to sometimes take a more balanced position on the Ukrainian question and our relationship with the Russians[7]   (which, moreover, earned her a vicious attack by the media and, more hypocritically, by the European institutions). But, from the French side, a country central to the fundamental principle of the continent’s independence, we are being disappointed by surprise. We are desperately trying to guess the subtle diplomacy beyond the intelligence of the average citizen. We managed to see it in the French position as regards Syria; but this time we can only speculate: a diplomatic snub thrown in Russia’s face by François Hollande’s trip to the US[8]  the day of the inauguration of the Sochi Olympics, intransigent martial positions as regards Yanukovych and Putin since[9] … That said, as we have seen media pressure considerably reduces politicians’ room for manoeuvre; but when one has been elected as a political leader one also has the duty to free oneself from traps like this… especially in such grave circumstances. Certainly, the Franco German pair won’t be the motor.

. An ad hoc group of volunteer countries to restore calm on the continent? This would be a tempting track… if it didn’t come back to the first: bring forward a common position from the cacophony of the 28. Forget it!

6. Request a « Convention of the Eurozone heads of state for European peace and independence »

By process of elimination, only one track remains: the Eurozone or Euroland, that again. But, although on the attacks on the Euro it was the obvious and unavoidable interlocutor, it seems less simple on the geopolitical issue that concerns us. And yet!

First of all, it is and remains the nascent entity composed of the founding countries’ hard-core; it’s free of Europe’s western and westernized British fringe; and as regards Europe’s Eastern and anti-Eastern (anti-Russian) fringe, it’s shown (which is important) but in a way that won’t weigh too heavily and leaves the more central countries the possibility of sharpening their arguments intended to reassure this group of Europeans on the safety of their border position with the Russian zone of influence (and the arguments are numerous and easy to find); its make-up is representative of the EU’s diversity, therefore it’s competent to generate a ripple effect and win membership (or, as we have already said, at least the passivity) of the others.

Moreover, Euroland was built during the Euro crisis and now has tools, certainly incomplete, but modern and efficient. And more importantly, this new entity’s politicization was already on the agenda, such as manifestoes for the Euro’s political union[10] , proposals for a Eurozone Parliament[11] , and other innovative ideas[12]  have appeared in recent months.

After all, Europe was always built during crises; and the Ukrainian crisis, as dangerous and desperate as it is, is probably also the one that Europe needs to finally overcome this last and so difficult stage of political union.

And one last argument: that Euroland manages to speak with one voice on the current crisis isn’t certain… but it’s only that a faint glimmer of hope is shining; Europe really hasn’t another chance of succeeding in expressing a common position.

It’s therefore a “Convention of the Eurozone heads of state for European peace and independence” that we must have… and quickly! But the last question is, who will call such a Convention? It could be the Franco German pair but we have seen that, for reasons which haven’t been fully made clear, this couple’s leadership skills have been defused as regards the current crisis.

7. If the states can’t do it by themselves, constitute a citizens’ pressure group calling this Convention

In reality, we are on test here again, that of the vitality of the European style principle: it probably belongs to the citizens, through the creation of a qualitatively representative group of European civil society’s organizations, to call for this Convention to be held, or even call it itself.But the game is far from won. The European political and democratic machinery has been considerably weakened. Coups d’état have taken place that no longer bother anyone (Renzi in Italy[13] ), countries can live without a government without it causing a problem (Belgium[14]), and young 29 year olds have been appointed as Ministers of Foreign Affairs[15] without anyone seeing anything wrong (Austria)… Moreover, governments are derailing the rule of law (Spain[16] , the United Kingdom[17] , Hungary[18] …).

Some countries give the impression that national politics still count because they have a seat at international bodies (the United Kingdom, France, Germany); in reality, instead of serving these countries’ independence and supra-national groups which they should represent, these seats buy their subjection to the strongest… The disconnect between politics (national) and the instruments of power (European), have been weakening our governments for more than two decades which, immediately elected, lose all popular support in the absence of being able to achieve the political and social changes demanded by the expressed majority but blocked by ultra-active minorities (France of course[19] , but not the only one).

Finally, the last crisis has further weakened national governments and at the European level politically.
In short, it’s time to end European countries’ political division whose governments, separately, serve little or no purpose. It’s only by completing the initial objective of all the European construction work to which we committed post-war Europe’s major political visionaries, namely by organizing their union, that European citizens can take control of their collective destiny.

8. Block any process of Eurozone enlargement until its political union

And we must act quickly, because we are not the only ones to identify this relevant base for political union supplied by Euroland. Washington’s system strategies[20] have also realized this Eurozone’s potential for transition which they themselves, despite them, helped to strengthen as we said earlier, through their attack on the Euro. Renzi’s coup d’état puts at the head of Italy, a big part of the Eurozone, a pro-American non-democratic government[21] the Estonian Commissioner,  Siim Kallas, a friend of the pro-American Barroso who, contrary to all legal precedent, was allowed to campaign for the Prime Minister’s post in his country[22] , will be a servile leader to Washington’s cause fed on this EU’s bottle of which almost nothing European remains[23] ; recently France seems to have been the object of enormous pressure from Washington that is already bearing fruit… In short, the Eurozone is beginning to lose any ability to build.

A final recommendation is, therefore, required: block any Eurozone enlargement until political union has taken place. EU enlargement has served the cause of the European project’s de politicization; let’s not knowingly repeat the mistakes!

A new US float[24] or an independent continent? Europe’s future will play out in the coming weeks. A bipolar world, the West-rest of the world, locked behind an iron wall, or a multi-polar world where an independent Europe and a regenerated US will take their rightful places alongside the Chinese, Brazilian, African, Indian and Russian powers? It’s today that we must fight for the better of these two futures. All options are still on the table, in this case Europe’s, but in a few months one or other of these scenarios will get a foothold.

2020[25] , is here now and in Europe!

GEAB N°83  
(March 16, 2014)


[1]  Source : European Commission
[2]  Source : Treaty of Lisbon, Wikipedia.
[3]  Source : EUObserver, 17/02/2014.
[4]  Source : EUObserver, 17/02/2014.
[5]  Source : 20 minutes, 19/02/2014.
[6]  The attempt at a common position on the Ukraine after the Franco German summit gave birth to a mouse. Source : European Voice, 19/02/2014.
[7]  Source : Der Spiegel, 04/03/2014.
[8]  Source : Europe1, 07/02/2014.
[9]  Source : NouvelObs, 11/03/2014.
[10]  Source : Le Monde, 16/02/2014.
[11]  Source : Reuters, 27/01/2014.
[12]  Like the document « Towards a Euro Union » by the Glienicker Group. Source : Bruegel, 18/10/2014.
[13]  Source : The, 19/02/2014.
[14]  Source : Belgian political crisis 2010/2011, Wikipedia.
[15]  Source : Le Monde, 13/12/2013.
[16]  Which questions the right to abortion or the right to demonstrate. Source : The Telegraph, 20/12/2013.
[17]  Which removes human rights protective legislation, as we saw in January (GEAB N°81).
[18]  Which modifies the constitution as regards freedom of the press, for example. Source : BBC, 02/08/2013.
[19]  With this taking to the streets by ultra-conservatives, completely unrepresentative of the vast majority of French public opinion. Source : Reuters, 02/02/2014.
[20]  Could we call it a "conspiracy", the fact of saying that Washington conceives these strategies and that some sometimes succeed ? The GEAB certainly isn't known for over estimating the US… But it's neither the case of completely underestimating it.
[21]  Another whose rise to power was planned by the Anglo-Saxons : «Renzi is a Europeanist and a ‘friend of the United States’ ». Source : LSE, 29/11/2013.
[22]  Source : EUObserver, 10/03/2014.
[23]  To give an idea of his position on international issues, read for example this speech he gave when he was his country's Minister for Foreign Affairs. Source : Estonian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
[24]  The GEAB has often called the UK and Japan the two US floats. The signing of these two free-trade treaties (transatlantic and trans-Pacific) would be a considerable strengthening of each of these floats through the expansion of the Japanese float in non-Chinese Asia and the British one in non-Russian Europe… to the detriment of each of these continents' self-determination. That's the US plan, but no one is obliged to comply… in fact, it has only been designed in the US' sole interest… or rather to a specific US design, a design in which most Americans will not find themselves ! There is another design to put forward, and it's that of a multi-polar world.
[25]  LEAP's political anticipation work is the last stage on a project initiated in 1999 by Franck Biancheri and Marie-Hélène Caillol called "Europe 2020" and intended to contribute (on the basis of the most accurate identification of the major trends at work in and around Europe) to leading our continent on the right path, given a certain number goals of principle: peace, prosperity, democracy, self-determination, etc. Most of the tracks spotted in the course of this work haven't been taken on board by Europe. But the global systemic crisis and the attack on the Euro have created the conditions for one of them finally: the Eurozone’s institutionalization in Euroland. The positive process initiated in 2010 carries the embryonic perspective of a positive scenario for Europe2020. It’s still necessary that the Ukrainian crisis is used by us to convert the try. Otherwise, it's the gloomy scenario which will begin to weigh the heaviest.

Tags : GEAB2020