Jesús González Mateos
Editor of Aquí Europa and Canal Europa, and president of EditoRed
elp!” cried the young apprentice, “help, wizard!” and moments later, the wizard replied to Daniel: “Before learning magic and sorcery you have to learn to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to you.” This narration came to mind, no less, in his “Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, to the great German writer, Johann W. Goethe. And it is relevant to the naive and irresponsible behavior of the European Union in the latest war conflicts ravaging us, namely Ukraine and Gaza.
The principles and values of the EU
The common project was born from the ruins of a Europe shattered by the terrible world wars provoked by us in the 20th century. And it did so with the aim of ensuring peace based on the principles and values of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights. That is its unique sense of existence and its hallmark. It saw the light of day in a world polarized between the US and the USSR, as it is today between the US and China, Washington’s substitute as today’s antagonist. However, the united Europe was not created with the pretension of becoming a piece on the chessboard of world geopolitical powers and interests, as some of those in charge of the European Institutions or the governments of the powers of the 27 would now seem to claim.
Enlargement as a strategic objective
Shaken by the need to “be somebody” in the midst of the conflicts that have been taking place, the “obligation” to enlarge the European Union to 30 or even 35 members has crept onto the European agenda. The Western Balkans and the countries that claim to be “threatened by Russian expansionism”, Ukraine, Moldova and even Georgia, are also called to belong to the privileged European club. But the serious thing is that the justification given is as simplistic as that if we do not integrate them into the EU they will fall into the clutches of Moscow or into the perverse economic influence of China. That is to say, pure geopolitical game of pieces to dominate the international chessboard, cheap tactics without taking into account the rights and freedoms of the people. Given this state of affairs, it would be advisable to rethink our role in the world. To do so, it may be necessary to go back to the origins of why and for what purpose we have been joining together and, of course, to learn from the mistakes made during these almost seventy years of our common journey. We Europeans must become strong around our principles.
Europe’s true strengths
We cannot have different yardsticks when we demand the fulfillment of these values in the world. Hypocrisy leads to incoherence and to not being seen or respected by other powers, nor by countries affected by violent crises or famine, such as the example we claim to represent. We cannot be forceful with the Russian aggression in Ukraine and look the other way when Israel violates the most minimal limits of humanity with the Palestinian people, in what represents an unjustified and disproportionate reaction to the Hamas terrorist attack. We must continue on the path of economic aid to those who need it in the world, by the commitment to diplomatic channels to the point of exhaustion for the resolution of conflicts and by the imposition of severe sanctions on any political regime that violates human rights. But I say all, not only those that do not interfere with the interests of any of our member states. Otherwise, we will become the unbearable brother-in-law at Christmas dinners.
© This article was originally published in Aquí Europa, with whose permission we reproduced it