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Eu us new world order { February 7 1992 }

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EU, US and the new World Order

EUOBSERVER / SALT&PEPPER - In 1989 a new world order started taking shape. One of the combatants of the Cold War, the Soviet Union, was finally defeated and it soon disintegrated.

Seeing the iron grip over Eastern Europe loosened the EU started talking about one united continent that would compete in the new world order. And "compete" was the magic word that was on everybodyís lips.

Woken up suddenly and unexpectedly from the arms race the Europeans were still thinking in terms of competitions and of supremacies. Instead of realising the historical moment that they were living in the early 1990s when the fear of nuclear attacks and military invasions was disappearing in many parts of the globe, they continued, out of monotonous inertia probably, to apply the concepts of inter-state competition.

But who to compete against, who still had the economic, political and military power? Russia was learning the rules of market economy the hard way, Japan was already weakening, China was too far away and too unknown, so why not the US? Why not our greatest partner, the one that protected us from the "Evil Empire"? Of course in protecting Western Europe the US protected itself during the Cold War but still the European economic prosperity of the late 1990s, and especially the German economic boom, was in big part due to the cuts made on defense budgets. The question remains, why was it necessary to compete?

The Maastricht Treaty
In the autumn of 1991 most of the Soviet republics were declaring their independence. While in Eastern Europe local wars were still fought, and new borders drawn, the EU was busy preparing the Maastricht treaty, in order to be able to compete. The treaty signed on 7 February 1992 was the basis of EU defense and military cooperation.

This military cooperation was not to punish totalitarian regimes or to defend against terrorist threats, but to create "a counterbalance to the US military power." After helping the Americans for over 50 years to fight communism, now that they finally won, (since the victory is as much of the West Europeans as it is of the Americans) instead of enjoying the sweet taste of success, the EU was making plans to replace the Soviet Union as the "counterbalance". Why? Moral arguments, maybe?

Moral arguments for shallow people
I always appreciated moral people and believed that causes such as international peace and security are worth fighting for. But morals disappear when double standards come into place.

Last year when NATO was remodeled and the concept of "coalition of the willing" introduced in the alliance the big European players such as Germany and France didnít really like it. They didn't like it but they had to accept it since the strongest security alliance of the moment is headed by the Americans.

When the US announced they would attack Iraq even without a Security Council mandate, which was made public before the EU-US diplomatic crisis started, and invited countries to join them in a war-time "coalition of the willing" France and Germany were abhorred by the idea again. But hey! just because you objected to something in the past it doesnít mean it's not a good idea when it suits your interests.

This seems to be thinking of the German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, who is getting noisier about the "coalition of the willing" when it comes to Europeís new military policy. The idea of the coalition, in fact of a minimal coalition, is being taken to the extreme when only 4 out of the future 27 EU states are in favor of the proposal. So where is the moral thinking? Probably in the same place where it was when Mr Fischer announced before the first Hans Blix report that Germany will not attack Iraq.

So, new world order? Yes. Stronger military cooperation in the EU? Yes, but not with the sole purpose of counterbalancing the US. We want to be moral and use our military power only when our conscience allows us to do so, great, but letís use one set of values, the European ones, for all circumstances. Until now, this hasnít been the case.

DAN-DANIEL TOMOZEIU - is preparing himself for a career in international politics and studies at University College Utrecht, The Netherlands. He was elected in May 2002 to the European Union Student Council (EUSC) and is currently working with the Romanian
Embassy in the Hague.

Written by Dan-Daniel Tomozeiu

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