Further Integration of Europe?

Letter From Europe - U.S. Slights a Disunited Europe - NYTimes.com: "Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain is facing an election campaign. Besides, he has little interest in Europe. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany have supported the United States in seeking stronger sanctions against Iran. Apart from that, neither leader has shown great interest in pursuing the further integration of Europe that is crucial for making the bloc more united in defense and security policy."

Judy Dempsey paints a disheartening picture of the idiom "two is company three is a crowd". Joschka Fischer, a former foreign minister of Germany, says that Guido Westerwelle, the present foreign minister, wants to form an axis of Poland, Germany and France, the so called Weimar triangle. He himself thinks there should be an axis Russia, Poland and Germany instead that can keep Ukraine democratic. Fischer seems to mean that the future of Europe, or an Eastern oriented Europe, where France and Great Britain is left for themselves. In the middle of this Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State, seems to think that there is only one Europe, but perhaps not, since President Obama does not want to show due to the disunity?

Then all of a sudden Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy pleasantly announce an integration document with 80 points on how they see further integration of central Europe possible. It is a ten year plan called the "2020 Agenda". Among other things it is meant that the number of College and Doctor's degrees is supposed to double at Franco-German universities during this time. Common school-books and simpler rules for Franco-German marriages are also planned. France is also going to support a seat for Germany at the UN Security Council.

Personally I believe in further integration of Europe, and to enter the current Swedish debate on whether or not Sweden should join the EMU, I do not believe Sweden needs further evaluations but should see this as a political decision. A Swedish referendum on the issue would produce a positive outcome according to polls right now.

What about the Dempsey-Fischer scenario? Well, Germany and Russia might very well continue doing business together but involving Russia politically in European affairs might not be such a good idea. I agree with Hillary Clinton's idea that a new security arrangement with Russia would just complicate matters. I guess Russia wants this for being able to shake off any attempts of letting Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Both Viktor Yanukovich and Julia Tymoshenko are steps backwards for Ukraine and time will tell whether or not they will become European or Russian. Politically, I don't think Russia ever will become European.

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