Skip to content

European Foreign Policy

Great quote by British Historian Timothy Garton Ash at the end of an interview with Spiegel International"Brussels spends more money on cleaners than it does on people thinking about European foreign policy."

Asked whether the EU would strongly oppose a possible war against Iran, he responded: "It's safe to say that Europe would be nearly unanimous on that count." But that's not enough unity for Garton Ash, who is one of the founders of the new European Council on Foreign Relations, which should "do the European thinking" and suggest policies to enable Europe to "speak with a clearer and more united voice to the rest of the world."

The American (!) banker and philanthropist George Soros was "dissatisfied with the course of American foreign policy" and made a generous donation. So... Is the European Council on Foreign Relations supposed to come up with alternatives to US policy or even suggest opposition to the US?

Trackbacks

No Trackbacks

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

Pamela on :

I promise you that if George Soros is funding it, opposition to the U.S. in any form is in the Council's DNA.

Pat Patterson on :

Not only did George Soros donate a ton of money he is also the founder of the group which seems to be more interested not in policy ideas but rather providing the rationale for a single European foreign policy. With such founding members as Tim Garton Ash, Chris Patten and Joschka Fischer the deck seems surely stacked against not only the US but the till now independent policies of some of the ex-Soviet countries. One caveat seems a complete acknowledgement that this European voice must be an example of soft power because none of the little blurbs by the founders, on the European Council of Foreign Relations website, make any mention of Europe having the military means to affect world policy. France and Britain will of course agree that this soft power is important but they will not scrap their aircraft carriers or ICBMs any time soon. It's really too bad because of all the big money egoists desiring to be taken seriously George Soros is singular in supporting the kinds of grass roots good government and open democracy groups that ultimately can create freedom where it doesn't exist now. But they generate little publicity and no tickets to the inauguration ceremony.

Pamela on :

Usually I find you posts quite coherent. Not this one. I was under the impression that it had always been the goal of the EU to have an integrated foreign policy. Brussels certainly doesn't need Soros' encouragement. Regarding your comment that there is an implicit acknowledgement of the EU being a soft power, may I make a recommendation. The purported CEO of this council is Mark Leonard. He wrote an smug little (and I use the term in all senses) book called "Why the EU will Rule the 21st Century". He writes about soft power which when parsed boils down to - we don't need no stinkin' war cause we can buy everybody off. Then you wrote this: It's really too bad because of all the big money egoists desiring to be taken seriously George Soros is singular in supporting the kinds of grass roots good government and open democracy groups that ultimately can create freedom where it doesn't exist now. And my jaw hit the floor. I think you might want to research something called "The Open Society Institute" (gave $20,00 to the legal defense fund for Lynne Stewart), the Tides Foundation, and the so-called "Democracy Alliance". Other points of research: ACORN Americans Coming Together Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now Speaking in Davo earlier this year, he addressed the 'problem' of conservatives in American politics thusly: "America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany," Soros said. "We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process."

Pat Patterson on :

I thought that I was criticizing both, Soros and the European Council on Foreign Relations. Soros for backing the "one voice in Europe" theory with no relaistic chance in "heck" of actually changing anyone else's mind. As well as hrowing away what little good was left of his reputation as someone trying to spread freedom throughout the world. I also thought that my references to the attempt to stifle the foreign policy initiatives of the newest free nations and the lipservice that that France and the UK, the two remaining actual powers in the EU, will give to this attempt and then send in their troops and aircraft carrier groups wherever their national interest lays, would also be recognized as criticism. I'm well aware of some of the more crackbrained donations Mr. Soros has made but his early support of Solidarity, the Charter 77 Movement and the Orange Revolution I think somewhat act as amelioration. But I did notice that Mr. Soros still cannot visit Thailand or Malayasia due to long standing arrest warrants for currency speculation in those countries during the late 90's.

Pamela on :

Sorry - I apparently misread your post - at least part of it - completely

Pat Patterson on :

No problem, the mystery remains as to why Soros has changed from supporting groups that risk their lives daily to gain their freedoms to supporting thieves like ACORN and nihilists like Lynne Stewart?

Sue on :

Because he's a nut.

Anonymous on :

Wasnt this the interview where he said that Tony Blair was hawkish on Kosovo with the implication that being hawkish was enough to solve the problem. no mention, strangely, that the RAF and British Army couldnt do anything about it. the man mouths half-truths like a politican and discounting his chairmanship of the Central European Classics Library, I dont have much time for him. cum grano salis et alia

Zyme on :

Personally I think something else is important to reach a common european policy: The budget for advertisement of the EU should be increased vitally, so that Brussel is able to send european-wide TV-Spots promoting its achievements to the people. Without a healthy dose of propaganda, the image of the EU will always fall prey to the anti-european populists. Once the people are convinced of the common way, it will be much easier to further the european integration.

Zyme on :

This is like getting a complicated machinery to work - without sufficient oil it won´t run successfully.

Anonymous on :

You wont achieve any impetus on european integration until there is some system for bureaucratic accountability in Brussels. The democratic deficit is not the problem in Brussels. The lack of accountability and graft is however. When was the last time, if ever, OLAF approved an EU budget? The EU has become a sinecure for unelectable politicans and a second chance to achieve their aims, when popular government is not an option.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

@ Zyme "The budget for advertisement of the EU should be increased vitally, so that Brussel is able to send european-wide TV-Spots promoting its achievements to the people." No money required. American innovators have brought us Youtube. And the EU is using Youtube to promote themselves: In English: [url]http://www.youtube.com/eutube[/url] In German: [url]http://www.youtube.com/eutubede[/url] And of course, there is: EU Shows European Sex on Youtube [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/733-EU-Shows-European-Sex-on-Youtube.html[/url] :-)

Zyme on :

I also thought about this while writing my post :) But you have to admit that the percentage of europeans looking for the EU site at youtube will be rather small - in fact it is reserved for the very small amount of politically interested citizens. The majority could only be reached effectively via national newspapers or tv stations.

Add Comment

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
CAPTCHA

Form options