Fed­er­ica Mogherini and the fu­ture of the Euro­pean Union

Last Wed­nes­day, I at­tended an ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing lec­ture given by the EU Vice-Pres­i­dent Fed­er­ica Mogherini at the Mediter­ranean Academy of Diplo­matic Stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Malta. The lec­ture fo­cused on the EU, the Mediter­ranean and glob­al­i­sa­tion


Dr Si­mon Mer­cieca is se­nior lec­turer, Department of His­tory

On that same day, The Malta In­de­pen­dent re­ported Al­fred Sant’s stand against the EU’s new de­fence pol­icy, which he dubs as ‘to­tally ill-ad­vised’. On the other hand, Mogherini spoke highly in favour of this De­fence Ac­tion Plan and con­firmed some­thing, which we al­ready know - all EU For­eign Min­is­ters are in favour of this new mil­i­tary pol­icy.

Mogherini de­clared this in front of Ge­orge Vella who was present for the lec­ture. By sup­port­ing Mogherini’s mil­i­tary ac­tion, Dr Vella has aban­doned Al­fred Sant’s po­si­tion re­gard­ing is­sues of mil­i­tary de­fence. It should be re­mem­bered that when Ge­orge Vella was Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs dur­ing Al­fred Sant’s Gov­ern­ment, he with­drawn Malta’s par­tic­i­pa­tion from NATO’s Part­ner­ship for Peace.

Now Mus­cat wants a closer alliance with the EU and the Labour Gov­ern­ment wants Malta to be part of the EU mil­i­tary alliance, which Mogherini is ad­vo­cat­ing force­fully. The of­fi­cial rea­son be­ing given is for the EU to re­main a global player. Hav­ing a mil­i­tary force, Mogherini in­sists, the EU will re­main cred­i­ble and re­li­able on the international scene. In truth, the EU wants to get closer to NATO.

The cre­ation of a mil­i­tary force in Europe will def­i­nitely find the sup­port of Euro­pean cen­treright par­ties. What can­not be taken for granted is the sup­port of the Left.

It is here, where Mus­cat is play­ing his cards well. He is lob­by­ing with the So­cial­ists in Europe to join Clin­ton’s band­wagon. In all this, he also has the sup­port of the Ital­ian Par­tito Demo­cratico, which partly ex­plains why Mus­cat is be­ing sec­onded by Brus­sels.

In re­turn, Mogherini, who comes from the Ital­ian PD, is a strong sup­porter and de­fender of Mus­cat in the EU.

Mus­cat was def­i­nitely speak­ing on be­half of the PD when he told The Econ­o­mist that the So­cial­ist Par­ties in Europe should be­come the po­lit­i­cal ex­ten­sion of the Amer­i­can Democrats.

As rightly noted by the for­mer Labour can­di­date, Mark A. Sam­mut in his new book about the Panama Pa­pers, Mus­cat is not much for the Amer­i­can Demo­cratic Party but, for all in­tent and pur­poses, he wants the Euro­pean So­cial­ists to ally them­selves be­hind Barack Obama and Hil­lary Clin­ton.

It should be noted that this idea orig­i­nated more than two decades ago among the Ital­ian Left. After dis­man­tling the Com­mu­nist Party, Italy’s Left started to equate it­self with the Amer­i­can Democrats, even if Euro­pean So­cial­ism is not equal to Amer­i­can Democrats.

How­ever, the Left is now more at home with the Democrats for cul­tural rather than eco­nomic rea­sons. There were times in Euro­pean po­lit­i­cal his­tory when Con­ser­va­tives con­sid­ered them­selves to be more on the same wave­length as the Amer­i­can Democrats and the So­cial­ists were more on the Repub­li­can side. This shows the flu­id­ity of the Amer­i­can party sys­tem.

In truth, these are all symp­toms of Euro­pean fa­tigue. Un­for­tu­nately, Europe is slowly los­ing her po­lit­i­cal iden­tity. Per­haps, this is also a re­sult of glob­al­i­sa­tion.

Nev­er­the­less, this Euro­pean fa­tigue is in part due to Europe’s fu­tile cul­ture wars. The Left wanted to use Brus­sels to im­pose on Europe a new cul­tural agenda, pur­posely aimed at de­stroy­ing Europe’s Christian cul­ture. In all this, Europe got the full sup­port of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

This ex­plains why a sec­tion of the his­toric Left, like the one in Malta and Italy, are to­day mil­i­tant in favour of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

What the Left has failed to note is that the laws of physics are ex­tremely clear: for ev­ery ac­tion there is an equal and op­po­site re­ac­tion. As an MEP, Sant has sought to safe­guard what can be saved. He tried to of­fer Europe an­other So­cial­ist model, which was pop­u­lar among the Left­ist groups in the sev­en­ties and eight­ies – the con­cept of Unit Corps to un­der­take so­cial work. This model was sug­gested by Sant in lieu of the mil­i­tary model that is be­ing pushed by Mogherini.

But Sant’s model was killed by the Left it­self. These so­cial models were cre­ated to ac­com­mo­date the Left’s claim for con­scious ob­jec­tors not to be con­scripted dur­ing the Cold War. Para­dox­i­cally, as the con­tro­versy of the morn­ing after pill in Malta has shown, it is now the Left that is at­tack­ing this ba­sic prin­ci­ples, when it ridicules the right of phar­ma­cists to refuse to sell such a pill on prin­ci­ples of con­science!

Per­son­ally, I do not have a prob­lem with the Euro­pean Union hav­ing its own army. My fear is that this army will be­come an ex­ten­sion of NATO. I don’t be­lieve that Europe wants to re­vi­tal­ize the con­cept of what was for­mally known as the NonAligned Group.

The Non-Aligned Group was cre­ated to bal­ance the two post­war blocks of NATO and the War­saw Pact. This was thought to be the third way for­ward for international pol­i­tics. If Europe is seek­ing to fol­low this up, then the cre­ation of such a mil­i­tary force be­gins to make sense. But the fact is that the Euro­pean Union is con­sid­er­ing Rus­sia as its en­emy.

But, is Rus­sia, Europe’s en­emy? Are there not many oth­ers we ought to con­sider as en­emy? If by this mil­i­tary force, Europe is cre­at­ing an army to do NATO’s dirty work, then this same mil­i­tary force will gen­er­ate more con­fu­sion than do any good to the Euro­pean cause.

Like the Phoenix, Rus­sia has risen from the ashes. The prob­lem to­day is that the USA can­not desta­bi­lize the rest of the demo­cratic world, as it did in the past, by us­ing the pre­text of Com­mu­nism and Rus­sian state sup­ported athe­ism. Rus­sia has pur­ported to re-em­braced Ortho­doxy and the Ortho­dox coun­tries in Eastern Europe are to­day start­ing to feel more at home with Rus­sia than with the rest of the Euro­pean Union.

When an Ortho­dox coun­try such as Greece faced an eco­nomic catas­tro­phe, she it found very lit­tle sol­i­dar­ity from the now to­tally sec­u­lar and ag­nos­tic West.

In truth, amongst the things that mod­ern Europe lacks, is a geo-lit­er­ary iden­tity. This is why Europe feels that there is need for a cul­tural-po­lit­i­cal agenda. Dur­ing the Cold War, Western Europe stated that Rus­sia was not Euro­pean be­cause it was athe­ist and em­braced gen­der di­ver­sity, while the West was Christian and het­ero. Now the sit­u­a­tion has changed. To­day Rus­sia does not have Euro­pean val­ues, be­cause she has ab­ne­gated her prin­ci­ples of athe­ism and gen­der di­ver­sity.

Though Mogherini de­nied in her speech that Europe has a cul­tural agenda, in truth, her dis­course speech ex­posed Europe’s clear cul­tural agenda. She re­ferred to the Anna Lindh Foun­da­tion, which is used by cer­tain Arab coun­tries in the Mediter­ranean to at­tack Chris­tian­ity - in­clud­ing the Vat­i­can while as­sist­ing Is­lam.

More im­por­tantly, Mogherini spoke of a Europe that spreads from the At­lantic to the Baltics. In her own words, Mogherini’s Europe has shrunken. Un­til twenty or thirty years ago, we spoke of a Europe that ran from the At­lantic to the Ural Moun­tains. In­deed, dur­ing the Cold War pe­riod, Rus­sia was con­sid­ered to be part of the con­ti­nent of Europe. Since in Mogherini’s view, Rus­sia is no longer, this falls neatly within Amer­ica’s agenda. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is harp­ing on the idea that Rus­sia is not Euro­pean in terms of val­ues. Now not even in ge­o­graph­i­cal terms does Rus­sia seem to be­long to Europe.

In her in­tro­duc­tion, Mogherini stated that be­fore com­ing to Malta she vis­ited Tu­nis, which is a coun­try nearer to the heart of the Euro­pean main­land than Malta. But Tu­nis is not in Europe while the is­land of Malta is in Europe. This demon­strates Brus­sels’ way of think­ing: Europe is a cul­tural con­struct and the con­cept of Europe is fluid. It can be con­structed and de­con­structed ac­cord­ing to the whims and wishes of any ‘big brother’.

While sit­u­a­tions are chang­ing fast in Europe, the para­dox of it all is that now, it is the Left that wants a re­turn to a Cold War sce­nario, want­ing us to be­lief that Rus­sia is not part of Europe by de­con­struct­ing our past Euro­pean val­ues - on which Europe was founded - to recre­ate new ones to jus­tify the Left’s po­lit­i­cal agenda. But this time, this strat­egy is go­ing to fail mis­er­ably. The rea­sons are de­mo­graphic.

The Malta In­de­pen­dent Mon­day 7 Novem­ber 2016

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