Former European Commissioner Günter Verheugen: The EU 'Has No Vision of Where We Are Heading' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International: "Germany's outgoing European commissioner, Günter Verheugen, who just spent 10 years in the Commission: 'There seems to be no vision within the Union of where we are heading. There is no consensus over where the borders of the EU should lie in the future, and there is no consensus over how we should define our role in the world.'"
Verheugen thinks further expansion or not is the most important issue facing the EU. Apparently the German public, like myself, is pleased with the present status quo. However, Verheugen thinks stopping expansion would be a fatal mistake. It generates good markets for especially Germany.
Apparently Joschka Fischer, who published an article on DN.se the other day, is for further integration, and thus think differently than Verheugen, they however have the same idea of expanding eastward to Russia. Verheugen uses the argument that we are already in competition with China and Latin America who are larger than us and given time they will become potentially larger in their economies as well.
This vision of a Europe that reaches the Pacific came a little as a surprise to me I must admit. I guess it would mean that Russia is succumbing to the European economy and joins the EU. I wonder if Joschka Fischer meant the same without spelling it out? One point makes sense to me and that is that it is difficult to envision Russia by itself between the EU, China and Japan. They will be hard pressed and their population is actually decreasing.
The thought of having Russia as a European Texas has been aired in this blog before but ruled out due to their own attitude. However, Russia is buying arms from France currently. A France that Fischer thinks is out of the picture. Verheugen have lost the UK in approximately the same fashion.
We apparently have the same problem in Europe as they have in the US. The Mainstream think local and non-hierarchical whereas the Elite, or Political Class, have visions. They talk about The First Pacific President and about EU the Pacific. And the gap is widening. I wonder, however, if it is not very wise to follow the Mainstream when the Political Class is in doubt. Is it for example possible, even, to call it a "vision".