The war of concepts: what is behind the call for the head of the European Commission to learn the “language of force”

Former defense Minister of Germany Ursula von der Leyen, who on December 1 will assume the office of President of the European Commission, said that the EU must learn the “language of force”. According to her, Europe can no longer “rely on others” in matters of security. In turn, the new head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell stressed that politics trump and attempts to divide the EU should be contrasted with the European unity. Experts state that Brussels really wants to get more powers in the economy and in the sphere of security. But analysts say that, despite calls for integration, the position of the countries — participants of Association sometimes vary greatly, and implement the ideas of a United Europe will not be easy.

Война концепций: что стоит за призывом главы Еврокомиссии освоить «язык силы»

Ursula von der Leyen speaks on the future of Europe in Berlin © Tobias SCHWARZ / AFPВ current geopolitical situation, Europe must learn the “language of force” to more effectively defend their interests, convinced the elected President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. This statement by the former Minister of defence of Germany made yesterday in Berlin, speaking at an event organized by the Foundation named after Konrad Adenauer.

“The Europeans not to take confident positions in the world only one “soft power”. Europe must also learn the language of force,” stressed von der Leyen.”This means, on the one hand, to build muscles where we have been able to rely on others, for example in security policy. On the other hand, more targeted use of existing strength where we are talking about the European interests,” — said the head of the European Commission.

According to von der Leyen that the EU intends to vigorously defend its interests in international trade, especially with regard to relations with China. According to the politician, the leading business in the West, Chinese companies have to adhere to European standards.

In his Twitter von der Leyen explained that he considered it necessary to strengthen European values, including economic mechanisms.

Война концепций: что стоит за призывом главы Еврокомиссии освоить «язык силы»

Ursula von der Leyen✔@vonderleyenCollectively we are 500 million and we produce 40% of global GDP. Together we are the world’s largest trading power. Together we can negotiate trade agreements that not only benefit our economy, but also allow us to assert our values.
“Our total population — 500 million, our share of global GDP — 40%. Together we form the largest trading entity in the world. Together we will be able to conclude trade agreements that not only benefit our economy but will also enable us to strengthen the positions of their values,” said the future head of the EC.

She also noted that brakcet only contributes to the consolidation of the States of continental Europe, and promised that the EU will play a leading role in the world in the fight against climate change.

“Relying on our own strength”

As noted in an interview with RT political analyst Yury Lights, statement by Ursula von der Leyen is in line with other recent statements by European politicians, who also noted the need for greater geopolitical independence of Europe.

“Her words is an expression of the discussion, which began in NATO. The key question still is whether they (the European Union. — RT) continue to rely on US unconditionally, or does Europe finally we need to move to self-reliance,” said Lights.On the day of the speech, von der Leyen, the French magazine Le Monde published an interview with the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell. In it, the former foreign Minister of Spain said that the lack of unity leads to paralysis of the organization.

It is worth noting that in October it was he, speaking of the future foreign policy of the EU, first used the phrase “the language of force.”

Война концепций: что стоит за призывом главы Еврокомиссии освоить «язык силы»

Josep Borrell © Yves Herman/Reuters8 Nov Borrell reiterated this statement, adding that many would like to see the EU divided, but if the EU wants to be a global player, the organization must rely on “power”.

“All, intentionally or not, want to divide us! — said in an interview with Le Monde Borrell. — We are fragmented in terms of response to the opposition of the United States or China, depending on what we have experienced in the past. Trump defends its interests. The only answer we can give to (the political course. — RT) “America first” — a “United Europe”.Against this background the President of France Emmanuel macron said about “brain death” of NATO. In an interview with The Economist, the French leader noted that because of the “variability of the American partner” for Europe to become Autonomous in the field of security and to reconsider their relations with Russia.

In turn, in Germany the successor Ursula von der Leyen as Minister of defense and head of the ruling faction of the Christian democratic Union Annegret Kramp-karrenbauer of 7 November stated that the Bundeswehr should play a more active role in global security and expand its missions abroad. Informed crump of Karrenbauer called on to create the international safety zone in Syria, where, she said, could enter and German troops. According to the politician, Germany, given its “global interest”, can not sit idly by when the problems are solved on a global scale. Also crump, Karrenbauer promised that by 2031 Germany finally fulfill the NATO requirement and would bring defense spending to 2% of GDP.

Ursula von der Leyen, however, did not join made by Emmanuel Macron criticized NATO. She noted that, despite some “turbulence”, a military Alliance proved to be excellent.

A large part of EU countries is included in the composition of the North Atlantic bloc. There are, however, formats defence integration outside of NATO, such as the “European case” (Eurocorps), established in the early 1990s.

Moreover, in the last couple of years have earned a few new defense initiatives in the EU. In June 2017, it was announced the creation of a European defence Fund. In the same month the defence Ministers of France, Germany, Belgium, UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty establishing the rapid reaction Forces of the EU. And in December 2017, the EU officially launched the program Permanent structured cooperation in security and defence (PESCO).

Anti-Russian approach

Part of the speech Ursula von der Leyen, which should occupy an armchair of the head of the European Commission on 1 December, was devoted to criticism of Russia. In particular, it stated that the EU is democracy and the rule of law, which allegedly cannot be found in Russia or China.

According to von der Lyayen, the hope of Europeans that human history ends with the triumph of liberal democracy (the concept of the “end of history” the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama), did not materialize.

“You all know the concept of “end of history”. Today we need to recognize that our complacency was naive. I think about Russia. The Kremlin pushes established boundaries in Europe violence, trying to use any vacuum that leave US,” said von der Leyen.

Speaking about the Western Balkan countries, she called for their integration into the EU, noting that otherwise the region will increase the influence of other geopolitical players, including Moscow.

“If we Europeans will not allow the Western Balkans are no expectations on our side, in this gap is imbued with the other, whether it be China, or Russia, Turkey, or Saudi Arabia,” quoted von der Leyen magazine Der Spiegel.

Война концепций: что стоит за призывом главы Еврокомиссии освоить «язык силы»

Soldiers of the Bundeswehr in Mali Flickr © BundeswehrКак said in a conversation with RT, leading researcher of the Center for German studies Institute of Europe Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Kamkin, the desire of European politicians to greater independence is largely due to negative trends in relations with the United States. However, this does not mean that Brussels would take a more Pro-Russian stance.

“American hard protectionism and shameless promotion trump U.S. interests had a sobering effect on Europe. Therefore, we can interpret these statements in the context of security policy and in the context of economic relations between Europe and the United States,” said Kamkin.”It is possible to interpret these statements and how addressed to our country from Russia, the alleged need to shut out the powerful armored curtain. In General, it is a signal that Brussels intends to gain more power in the economy and in security policy”, — the expert added.

“War concepts”

According to Yury Svetov, position von der Leyen shows the desire of the European Union for greater independence in international Affairs.

“And she (the elected head of the European Commission.—RT), as if looking on the NATO side, expressed this position — that the European Union should rely primarily on themselves,” — said the analyst.

Война концепций: что стоит за призывом главы Еврокомиссии освоить «язык силы» © Danny Gys/ the same time, from the point of view of Alexander Kamkin, approach von der Leyen different from that which previously said Emmanuel macron. The President of the Fifth Republic was criticized NATO and called for rapprochement with Russia. Also Paris has blocked plans to include the EU countries of the Western Balkans, especially North of Macedonia and Albania.

“Position von der Leyen is dictated by more than a vassal relationship of Germany and the United States than Washington and France — says Kamkin. — Plus von der Leyen, a hawk in the camp of the CDU”.

In his opinion, in many aspects, the former Minister of defence of Germany forced to follow in the footsteps of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has criticized the statement of the Macron about “brain death” of NATO.

Thus, the words of the future President of the European Commission can be regarded as a kind of response to the Macron, the unspoken manifestation of Franco-German rivalry within the EU, analysts say.

“We are witnessing a war of concepts, the war of loud statements in some way,” says Kamkin.However, from the point of view of a specialist, to implement the idea of a cohesive and using the “language of force” Europe will be very difficult.

“Despite the deep political and economic integration, the EU has not reached the status of a superstate in terms of political consensus. The interests and positions of members of different countries sometimes vary greatly. In these conditions the militant rhetoric of the von der Leyen will have a destructive influence on the decision-making mechanisms within the EU and in relation to the structures of the European Union from countries-participants”, — concluded the source RT.Alexander Bovdunov, Elizaveta Komarova, Anastasia Rumyantseva