The EU has such anti-democratic flaws and is in such danger of imploding that any proper analysis would need far more space than is available to me right now. However, because the French President Emmanuel Macron has let fly in an attempt to specifically target the USA for criticism and to humiliate Donald Trump, some facts as to the weakness of Macron and France need to be stated.
His speech attempted to both differentiate ‘Patriotism” from ‘Nationalism” and then redefine “nationalism” towards “a betrayal of patriotism” He also claimed that “By saying, ‘Our interests first’ … we erase what a nation holds dearest … its moral values” but how he came to this claim is unclear, but, as the words are often considered synonyms for each other, perhaps Macron was merely being “modern” in appropriating historical words like nationalism and trying to give them a new meaning, serving the Narrative of the day. At least he didn’t seem to follow the USA hard left and media by claiming it was identical to “white nationalism” or that it equals “white supremacism”.
Today, various political groups, especially the extremes of left and right have tried to appropriate these words for their exclusive use, but only the lazy will allow them to get away with it without being called out for it. It achieved Macron his headline, made him stand out as a man making a notable statement that fuelled critics of the USA, fed the internal US opposition to Trump in media and politics, but fell short of carving a new meaning for any supposed “Trump Doctrine” definition. In fact it has merely brought the warring parties back to the barricades and smothered the significance of the occasion. That is part the legacy of Trump and Trump hatred.
More important than all that, though, is the reality of the power relationship between the USA and Europe and this Macron grandstanding doesn’t change a thing. Macron pushing for a bigger and more powerful EU has hints of delusions of grandeur. However, it also smacks of the Macron acceptance of the dangers facing the EU entity which has been so good (and financially rewarding) for France.
From recent decades until now, France has been a close partner to Germany, the dominant EU state, running a core EU which has had all the other states as its virtual vassals/tributaries. As was shown in the lead up to the Greek financial crisis, this duumvirate of nations (dare I say “Nationalists”) got rich when the outlying states – particularly the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland Greece and Spain) gorged themselves on debts from French and German banks whilst using it to obtain goods from Germany, sending Germany to become the top exporter in the world. When the PIIGS staggered under the weight of debt, the duumvirate of France and Germany ensured that their two nations were favoured above the others in the EU. (NOT just the PIIGS. They were favoured over ALL the other nations).
To see Macron talking as if the EU was going to be the rival power to the super powers (and this more recent material about wanting to see a Brussels-led “Empire”) gives a good indication why Macron was talking up the EU as a power with its own army. Of course when none of these major EU states even comes close to its 2% of budget going to defence, an EU army without the British would seem to be pushing it.
Macron and Germany plus the whole Brussels bureaucracy are in fear right now. Fear and arrogance in a terrible combination. One could write books on the undemocratic and anti-democratic EU, the waste and corruption, the dictatorial Troika of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the IMF having such power to render minor EU states as vassals to its will. That the Troika-demanded the overthrow of the Italian and Greek governments in the PIIGS crisis is an example of their ruthlessness, but Gisela Stuart a former long-time British Labour Party MP gave a good summary about how the EU as an entity can and does work in its own interests.
Of course, Brexit was a huge warning to them that the gravy train was in danger. If countries could break away, there would be no more using Greek-like crises to replenish French and German banks by ordering vassals to help take over those bank debts. Britain was the canary in the coal mine on this. Thus the desperation to act against the V4, Visegrad nations (Hungary,Poland,Czech Republic and Slovakia) plus Italy and force them to obey. The EU and the shaky No2, France, cannot be expected to stand that.
There is too much to write about the EU to add it here. The corruption and dictatorial workings of this massive bureaucratic, undemocratic organisation deserves book after book devoted to it as previously mentioned.
All this is reaction to those dangers. It’s a dangerous game, as it could hasten the longed-for breakup of this undemocratic, authoritarian core group lording it over nations and their peoples. An “Empire”? They have a shoddy one now and it’s crumbling.
The rest of the EU exposure will have to wait for another day.