World News: The European Dwarf

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Together politically successful, the European Union remains unable to act collectively in the face of the Turkish crisis. This inability reveals internal tensions within the Union but also its marginal role at the international level.

The Turkish military offensive has once again revealed: The European Union is unable to act with one voice. Incapable for several reasons. To begin with the declared desire not to ignite the region by a military action (concerted or placed under the tutelage of the UN), because from now on the diplomacy is useless, the will not to engage military troops on the ground which would inevitably wipe losses that public opinion would accept badly, the will not to interfere in the political affairs of a foreign power, the will not to do battle with a member country of NATO.


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In short! Excuses do not fail and always appear valid to those who advance.

Fear and Divergences

To date, the European Union seems more concerned about the risk of reconstitution of the Islamic State than by the Turkish military offensive itself (Lire lemonde.fr:). The argument is audible but is it morally acceptable?

Another element that could also explain the European inertia, the fear that Recep Tayip Erdogan, the bubbling and uncontrollable Turkish president, does not release the jihadists currently held in Turkish jails. But in reality, the European incapacity is more of the countries of which it is composed than other easily resolvable considerations.


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The intrinsic rivalries that undermine the Union, between Western and Eastern Europe, the differences that will not fail to emerge between France and Germany on the Turkish question, the German neighbor concerned about not to offend the Turkish-speaking community residing on its territory, the weight of Turkey in trade with regard to the establishment of European companies on Turkish soil guide the political choices of a set disunited from a diplomatic point of view.

The European Union will long remain a diplomatic dwarf as long as it will not accept to assume as an international player in the same way as Russia and the United States, the latter refusing for several years now to assume the role of policeman of the world.

This inertia, palpable, is the game of cruel and violent regimes such as that of Bashar El Assad or semi-dictatorial in the image of that of Recep Erdogan.

Successful Set or Substantial Inertia

It is a fact that European democracies, always quick to give moral lessons, are today unable to save the Kurdish people who were in the front line when it came to the fight against the Islamic State.


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But, together politically successful, the European Union hesitates and then recedes each time that it is confronted with the need to act alone in the face of a conflict located at its doors. And it takes refuge behind the decisions of the UN Security Council knowing full well that the International Organization has a limited role and is also hostage to international tensions or geopolitical issues.

Thus, the European Union is itself challenged by this substantial inertia, this inability to take the diplomatic step that many expect of it in a multi-polar world, reduced to the rank of secondary power.


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It remains to be seen whether the future of the European Union falls within this overall logic of local influence or that of an international actor with ambitions other than those set out in the founding treaties.

 

 

 

Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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