With the eyes of the world on that Donald, a far less charismatic Donald has tried to put on a brave face amid total EU disunity.
I’m speaking of EU President Donald Tusk who yesterday said that Russia is launching an ‘information campaign’ and is attempting to destabilise the EU. He didn’t give any examples of what he meant, but it’s worthy positing some guesses:
Perhaps he means Russia’s destruction of the Greek economy…oh sorry that was Germany. Perhaps he means Russia’s controversial Brexit campaign….oh sorry that was Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.
Perhaps he means Russia’s opposition to the totally impracticable EU-Ukraine association agreement…oh sorry that would be a vast majority of Dutch citizens who rejected the agreement in a democratic vote. Maybe he means Russia’s opposition to an EU army, oh sorry that would be Latvia and Poland.
When it comes to bluster and President Donald, Tusk trumps Trump. Behind the bluster however, was an EU that couldn’t agree on anything. Southern European states remain resolutely opposed to further sanctions against Russia which have proved to be more detrimental to European economies than to an ever more self-sufficient Russia.
Austria and the Czech Republic are increasingly aligning themselves with southern Europe in respect of opposition to further Russian sanctions. Russia’s recent agreement with Turkey means that warm weather agricultural products will be largely important from the Eastern side of the Bosporus.
When it comes to Brexit, Ukraine, Syria, proposals for free trade with Canada, Russia and proposals for visa free EU travel for Turkish citizens, the EU failed to reach an agreement and it doesn’t appear any agreement will happen any time soon.
Whilst Brussels calls for further and deeper integration between EU states, the perpetual stalemate that is EU politics makes this look like something of a pipe dream. In all likelihood, the EU may well move away from a federal model and closer towards the loose confederation that it ought to have been from the start.
Free trade, freedom of movement and basic standards for industrial and agricultural products is sensible given the geographical proximity of many small states whose individual economies are increasingly insignificant in a multi-polar world. Brussels ought to accept the limitations of integration and quit while ahead.
If they don’t things will go from bad to worse in Europe. Of course in the parallel universe of Brussels, this may well all be the fault of Vladimir Putin. In this sense the other Donald and Hillary agree, but this has nothing to do with the real world.