December 13, 2017

The USA – Europe Trans-Atlantic Partnership

Corneliu Pivariu. Photographer: Ionus Paraschiv.

By Corneliu Pivariu, CEO INGEPO Consulting, MG (two stars general – ret.)

At the end of the first decade of this February, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, paid an official visit to the USA where she had multiple meetings with important political personalities of the new Administration, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson included.

She was also invited to the Atlantic Council on 10th of February where she had an extended public debate particularly on the prospects of the UE-USA relationship after the inauguration of the new Administration in Washington.

The assertion according to which the new Donald Trump Administration would have mentioned that the European Union is not really a good idea and suggested to dismantle what the Community block succeeded to build and confered Europe not only peace but also economic strength” stood out.

“It is nor up to me and neither up to other European to talk about internal political elections or USA’s decisions. The same thing applies to Europe, no interventions”, Mogherini stated.

“America First means also you have to deal first with the USA” she went on. She stressed as well that “80% of the foreign investments in the USA come from Europe”.

Were really these accents neccesary to be part of the panoply of arguments the high representative of the EU should have displayed at Washington? Or stressing instead that the EU is “still made up of 28 states and we will continue to be 28”.

These assertions and others we do not mention here leave the impression – at least to a neutral observer – that Her Excellency Federica Mogherini did not come to the European Union’s most important political partner in order to find common possibilities of developing the relationship between the two sides but to present the strengths and the possibilities to an interlocutor… who doesn’t know the European realities.

Or, considering the USA as such a partner is at least a devoid of inspiration attitude, unrealistic or even unfortunate and we could continue the series of the epithets suitable to HE Mogherini’s attitude. Has her position anything to do with president Donald Tusk’s mention in a letter sent to the 28 member countries of the EU where he describes the USA under Donald Trump’s presidency as “an external threat” to Europe’s stability the same way as Russia, China, radical islamism and terrorism are? Or with the UE’s chief negotiator for BREXIT – Guy Verhofstandt (former Belgian prime minister), in a speech delivered at Chatham House, that president Trump has in view to undermine the unity of the Western Europe’s nations?

The EU’s unity is best undermined by some member countries and the specific interests of each of them that prevails many times over the Union’s general interest which remained more of a slogan on paper and in which fewer and fewer believe. HE Mogherini is proud of the 60th anniversary of the Union in March, this year but forgets completely that during the last decade the EU witnessed a crisis it didn’s solve yet and which accentuated during her mandate (begining of 2014) at least by the refugees crisis.

How could HE Mogherini consider the EU’s inability (not to use another term) to secure at least a limitation of the energy dependency to Russia during the last 15-20 years, the failure of NABUCO being the most telling example in this regard? Is it a signal of unity and of a common action to Europe’s interest? Or how could the more and more frequent signals coming from different member countries concerning setting out more clearly a two-speed Europe even within the eurozone be interpreted? What will happen with the eurozone countries’ debt (as percentage of GDP): Greece around 180%; Italy almost 140%, France almost 100%; around 90% for the eurozone in total or 85% of the 28 countries? If we don’t acknowledge the realities, does it mean they do not exist?

At the end we could relieve ourselves: president Jean Claude Junker declared he would not run for a new mandate. As if he was already intensely required to continue leading the EU towards…abyss.

For those interested in details concerning the position of the European leader in Washington we reccomend the transcript titled “Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the public event A Conversation with H.E. Federica Mogherini at the Atlantic Council”, https://eeas.europa.eu (around 16 pages).

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About the author:

Corneliu Pivariu, former first deputy for military intelligence (two stars general) in the Romanian MoD, retired 2003. Member of IISS – London, alumni of Harvard – Kennedy School Executive Education and others international organizations. Founder of INGEPO Consulting, and bimonthly Bulletin, Geostrategic Pulse”. Main areas of expertise – geopolitics, intelligence and security.

Photographer: Ionus Paraschiv.

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