In a scene reminiscent of the “Ship of Fools” in Plato’s “Republic” and displaying the worst of two-tier Europe cliquishness, “core” EU leaders: Italian PM Renzi, French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel aboard an Italian aircraft carrier announced their intent to create an EU army. Understandably, this proposed EU encroachment onto the competencies of NATO could not have gone down well in London where Atlanticism is still alive and well.
The eurosceptic MP Daniel Kawczynski, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and Chairman of the All Party Group for Poland, has slammed down the idea of an EU army by calling for the UK to do all in its power to protect NATO, if need be going as far as encouraging eurosceptic-leaning countries to leave the EU altogether.
Describing the Eurocratic trio as suffering from “the opposite to the Midas touch” Kawczynski referred to their “pedigree of mismanaging” all of their undertakings from the single currency, through PIIGS bailouts, the recent immigration crisis, TTIP, and sky-high EU unemployment rates.
On these grounds Daniel Kawczynski predicted the EU army would most likely turn out to be yet another EU disaster, creating an illusion of safety and perhaps leading to USA unwinding its European presence to the detriment of global stability.
“NATO has been tried and tested and benefits from the involvement of the only global superpower – USA” said Kawczynski and added that “Eastern European states understand better than anyone the need to protect NATO as the sole United Defence mechanism”. Calling the proposed EU army a “direct challenge to NATO” Daniel Kawczynski called on the UK to work with key “Central & Eastern European NATO Partners who are EU members to prevent this EU army from getting off the ground”.
Importantly, the countries referred to by Daniel Kawczynski, i.e. Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, teamed up recently as the eurosceptic and anti-Merkel “Visegrad Group”, have leaders who are quite compatible with the British Conservative government. Their respective ruling party alliances have already been trialed via e.g. the ECR Group in Brussels which is built largely on the Tories & Law and Justice (PiS) party currently governing Poland. Very likely the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), although usually more pro-EU, would also balk at the prospect of NATO being undermined, given that is their only protection against the threat of being reclaimed by Russia. Hence, Kawczynski’s assertion of a pro-NATO alliance of the UK with Eastern-EU against the bonkers idea of an EU army is quite plausible.
Even though the UK will leave the EU, hence ultimately falling out of scope of this military disaster in the making, Kawczynski still stressed Britain’s responsibility for maintaining peace on the continent in the knowledge that, as he put it “some bureaucrats in Brussels do not want future American involvement in Europe”. He rightly made a further common-sense observation that “you can only negotiate with Russia from the position of power”, which is where NATO comes in so important and where the hypothetical paper-tiger EU army could result in a potentially tragic failure.
Saying that, Daniel Kawczynski is a proponent of a détente vis-à-vis Russia, as described in more detail in the following article, yet being a realist he is convinced that NATO is the ultimate guarantor of stability and hence sees the challenger EU army as an obvious risk to peace in Europe. “We have a duty to ensure there isn’t another war” said Kawczynski, referring to the bizarre sabre rattling by the EU hell-bent on undermining NATO, the alliance that has been successfully ensuring peace since 1945.