The European Union Geopolitics

The European Union Geopolitics

Author: Sylvain Kahn

Publishing House: Cartier, 2008

The European Union, defined by Jacques Delors as being a Puno (Political Unidentified Object) is in fact a political construction based on the relations between the nation-states it is made of. In fact, the territorial dimension is its fundamental aspect, and from the perspective of universal history, "the European construction is the unique enterprise existent to this day, through which a group of national states has decided to reunite whole sectors of their sovereignty. Involving not only democratic countries, they decided to give up war and part of their frontiers."

The book is structured in four parts:

- the first part: "Mutual national independencies, a shared geopolitical project", where the author writes a chronicle of European treaties starting with the one in Verdun (in the year 1847) and gets to the treaty signed in 1950 by 6 states, starting the European Community of Coal and Steel (CEDO), which reunited Germany France, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg and Italy- the basis of the present European construction.

- the second part: "A European construction, three projects, two fallen powers?" refers to the first forty years, when the interest of every state was guaranteed by the European Commission, which caused a general interest, predominantly French. When the cold war finished, Germany got reunited, new members got into the European club (from 12 states, they got to 27 in 2007) and the chiefs of state had a vision on society promoted by the British, and so an "English Europe" became an issue. The international place and role of Germany got "normalized", and this started to be felt in the domestic policies of the EU and in the place of the European Union in the world.

"The dynamics of expansions: a rush forward or a Kantian project?" is the third part of the book and it refers especially to the fact that the expansion process is basically founded on a principle of attracting and joining states together. No treaty establishes a map or a frontier.

The last part: "EU vision world" refers to resuming of a project interrupted in 1954, the one of an autonomous defense policy.

After the Franco-British summit in Saint-Malo (on December 4 1998), the European councils from Helsinki (1999) and Nice (2000), a decision was adopted to form a European quick response force made up by 60,000 people, deployable within 60 days, on an 6,000 kilometer range.

By the operations in which it participates, the EU has proven its capabilities to transfer its conflict solving and peacekeeping abilities on other continents.

The EU does not claim and does not wish to impose its status of military power by its military-civilian operations; in fact, it contributes 40% to the UN peacekeeping operations budget.

The European Union rejects what they do not wish; however, it does not try to impose what it does not wish.

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