l'Europa armata di Romano Prodi

From: TFF <tff at transnational.org>
Subject: EU Militarization: Neutrality and Democracy at Stake

On http://www.transnational.org from February 19, 2000

Send "TFF at transnational.org" the e-mail address of a someone you think would
like to receive PressInfos.

TFF P r e s s I n f o   # 8 8

E U   M I L I T A R I Z A T I O N :   

N E U T R A L I T Y   A N D   D E M O C R A C Y   A T   S T A K E

"On 10 February European Commission President Romano Prodi declared before a
Latvian audience that "any attack or aggression against an EU member nation
would be an attack or aggression against the whole EU, this is the highest

This - sensational - statement of high policy has not been commented upon by
any government, politician or media in the European Union. This may be
interpreted as if Mr Prodi´s statement is agreed EU policy. 

If implemented as stated this statement marks a quantum shift of EU from an
socio-economic union into a military defence alliance. Such a development
might risk to promote the development of a renewed cold war in Europe, says
TFF director Jan Öberg.

- "European Commission President Romano Prodi surprised his Latvian audience
Feb. 10 by declaring that "any attack or aggression against an EU [European
Union] member nation would be an attack or aggression against the whole EU,
this is the highest guarantee." If implemented as stated, this marks a
quantum shift in EU policies from the purely economic into the security
realm - a change that Russia cannot afford to ignore. Now Russia will feel
just as threatened by EU expansion as it has by NATO expansion."

- "But it is Prodi's statement that will truly shock Russia. The fact that
the proclamation came from the European Commission's president - the highest
non-rotating position within the EU superstructure - indicates that the
intent to implement security guarantees is no mere trial balloon, but new EU

- "If the EU fully adopts Prodi's plans, it would conjure a nightmare
scenario for Russia. A soft-power EU and hard-power NATO would become formal
partners in Western expansion. Traditionally neutral countries such as
Austria, Finland, Ireland and Sweden would be co-opted into a NATO-EU
military structure. An economically powerful EU, backed by a militarily
powerful NATO, would dig in along vast lengths of Russia's eastern border.
Russia's acquiescence to EU expansion will rapidly come to an end, and what
little is left of the Russia-West "friendship" may be completely gone."

>From Stratfor.com - Global Intelligence Unit February 11, 2000 at

End of quotation

Neutrality and democracy
"The EU is entering a phase of militarization. This development will have
implications for the member countries pursuing a policy of neutrality.
peace, globalism and democracy. Due to size, complexity and information
speed, transparency, dialogue and accountability may shrink in Western
democracies. The public debate in security policy-making is being
drastically reduced and is inversely proportional to the huge implications
for future security in Europe.

Government projects and statesmen's self-assumed 'duty to take
responsibility for European democracy' (peace, human rights, values...) are
increasingly being perceived as non-popular or anti-popular. A case in point
is the ordinary citizen's feeling of deception, the sense that 'those up
there don't care about us.' This is the stuff that political apathy and
parties of discontent à la Mr. Haider's are made of: top leaders' remarkable
contempt for the citizens who elected them as their representatives combined
with their inability to provide a people´s based security in the age of
uncontrolled globalization," says Oberg.

"Neutral countries could contribute to a pluralist Europe from an
independent global perspective based on common security and humanism and the
central role of the United Nations in a normative, security-building
process. Instead they are being co-opted into a NATO-EU military defence
alliance structure highlighted by the statement of Mr Prodi. Sweden - once a
special UN member -  is now the acquiescent actor tailing after EU powers
and the United States.  

Step-by-step militarization
At no point has the European Commission President been given a mandate to
express security guarantees to members and candidate member countries.
Europeans are, on the contrary, continuously being told that there is
nothing extraordinary about the ongoing militarization. It is said to be a
"natural process" of improving democratic peace-keeping in Europe. What we
get is step-by-step decisions in one direction such as: 

(1) subordination of the West European Union (WEU) under the EU; ever closer
military-industrial integration; a decision to set up a new EU intervention
force of 60.000 soldiers to be ready by 2003; the establishment of a series
of military decision-making bodies: a security political committee, a
special military committee, and an advisory professional military staff. We
get step-by-step co-ordination between the EU and NATO. 

(2) Former Secretary-General of NATO, Mr. Javier Solana, has been rewarded
for his actions during the Kosovo crisis and become not only
Secretary-General of the EU Council of Ministers and High Representative for
Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) but also Secretary-General of WEU. 

(3) We get a far-reaching and fateful NATO expansion and now a EU President
who uses the formulation of NATO's charter to convert the EU into an alliance.

(4) Study recent statements from leading ministers, top generals, EU leaders
and NATO. They invariably state 'that we have learnt in Kosovo' that we need
more military capacity, more force. NATO's Secretary-General, Lord
Robertson, tells the world that "the time for a peace dividend is over
because there is no permanent peace - in Europe, or elsewhere. If NATO is to
do its job of protecting future generations, we can no longer expect to have
security on the cheap."

(5) In contrast, very little movement toward the building of capacity for
peaceful conflict-management and violence-prevention."  

In democracies, never only one way
Jan Oberg continues: "Again, this is not known to be anchored in the
political will of Europeans in general. True democracy can only be defended
by a convivial civil society debate - not by elites accumulating weapons.

Empire building in centre-periphery structures is a specialty of the
cosmology and politics of major European colonial powers. For one who, over
the last thirty years, has witnesses the development of the 'European
project' there can be no illusion that today's European Union is what TFF
adviser Johan Galtung - in 1972 - termed a superpower in-the-making.

Kosovo is the modern catchword for a decade-long failure of EU to develop a
common foreign and security policy capacity. When intellectual analysis and
principled politics crumble, the disaster becomes a recipe! It's time to
wake up and see that the emperors of Peaceful EU are not naked but dressing
up in uniforms. 

Will Sweden keep on just acquiescing?" asks Jan Oberg.

(c) TFF 2000

You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but
please retain the source.


Dr. Jan Oberg
Director, head of the TFF Conflict-Mitigation team 
to the Balkans and Georgia


Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research
Vegagatan 25, S - 224 57 Lund, Sweden
Phone +46-46-145909 (0900-1100)
Fax +46-46-144512
tff at transnational.org