In a unexpected echo of Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s right-wing Front National, a former French defence minister has condemned American influence on EU foreign policy, saying the EU should abandon NATO and stop “bowing to US policy.”
As Breitbart London reported earlier this month, Le Pen has called the EU’s foreign policy “catastrophic” and said it had lost control to Washington.
Now Charles Millon, French defence minister from 1995 to 1997 in the centre-right government of Prime Minister Alain Juppé, has poured scorn on Washington’s influence over the EU.
He urges the EU to abandon NATO to prevent Brussels “bowing to US policy” and to establish an EU army which would exclude Britain “because of its divergent interests” and put France at the centre of EU foreign policy.
In an article for the think tank Geopolitical Information Service reported in the Sunday Express Millon said: “Political wrangling in Ukraine, for example, is playing out between Russia and the United States directly, completely bypassing the European Union which, in a sense, is actually the source of the turmoil, because of the EU’s desire to integrate Ukraine into its economic sphere.”
“Europe’s desire for indefinite expansion and its methods of sizing up Ukraine for its economic area were, at the very least, tactless as well as making no geopolitical sense.”
Similarly, the anti-establishment Le Pen said that in offering Ukraine a deal, the EU “has clearly set blackmail in motion and that can’t help but fuel dissent inside the country.”
What Millon wants instead is, “a common foreign policy with an articulated, over-arching, shared vision of its place in the world is key to Europe developing a common defence policy. A grouping of six or so EU countries – excluding the UK because of its divergent interests – could be the way forward.”
He said the EU’s present absence of military power was “failing to frighten anyone while it seeks to be a world leader.”
The EU’s Lisbon Treaty of 2007 created the Common Security and Defence Policy, meant to establish a common EU defence capability.
However, there has been little progress made towards any kind of coherent security or defence. Instead millions of euros have been poured into a plush EU diplomatic service under a grandly-titled EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security.
Given the state of the economies of most EU countries, it is unlikely any budget will now be found for an independent euro-army.
However, Millon maintains this is not a problem: “Common European defence does not hinge first and foremost on the technological development of a common arsenal or in creating shared standards, as has been thought for decades, but rather on the political will to intervene in the wider world, in the name of superior values. The means to achieve this will follow.”
This however is an attitude towards a defence spending that is unlikely to “frighten anyone,” least of all President Putin of Russia. Even Germany, the richest country in an EU which is still caught in a debt crisis, announced earlier this month it will cut its 2014 defence spending by €400m (£320m).
Meanwhile Russia has raised its defence spending to a larger share of its GDP than America, increasing spending last year in real terms by 4.8 per cent to $88bn (£52bn).