Borrell Warns: “Europe Is In Danger”

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, warns: “Europe is in danger”. The High Representative for Cooperation and Security of the EU launches the alert voice in the midst of a security crisis in the East, due to the noise of Russian tanks on the border with Ukraine. “I wish it were different,” he said Tuesday night at a conference in Brussels, “but the last two years have seen a serious worsening of our strategic environment. I am convinced that today we are experiencing the most dangerous moment since the end of the Cold War”.

“In a few words”, Borrell argues about a concept, the danger that Europe is experiencing, which already advanced when it presented its strategic compass a few months ago, “we are experiencing a conjunction of the problems of the 19th century, that is, the clash of empires; of the 20th century, the era of power politics; and those of the 21st century, that is, the militarization of interdependence”.

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The Vice President of the European Commission details what problems are lurking in the European Union, 24 hours after having called not to “dramatize” or “alarm” with the Russian conflict, while “the diplomatic channel remains open”. In this sense, the diplomatic advisers of the heads of government of the Normandy Format – Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine – will address the crisis in Ukraine this Wednesday in Paris. And NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced Tuesday night on CNN that the Atlantic Alliance will respond in writing to the Russian demands “this week.”

“We are facing the risk of a major military conflict on our continent,” continues Borrell: “Russia has accumulated more than 100,000 soldiers and heavy military equipment on the border with Ukraine. It is making open threats to use force unless its demands. At stake is the fate of Ukraine, but also the broader principles of European security.”

The head of European diplomacy also lists other conflicts that threaten Europe: “In addition to Russia and Ukraine, we have an unprecedented number of conflicts that are brewing on our borders or beyond: Syria, unresolved, Libya, the Sahel, the Horn of Africa… The pandemic has exposed and accelerated underlying trends, and we see how our world is marked by an aggressive dispute between states, with strategic competition between the United States and China as the main structuring force”.

According to Borrell, “there are still military conflicts, but what is most interesting are the invisible wars and the militarization of everything: of migrants, vaccines, energy, technological standards are all tools for political competition.”

“There is a change of geographical power, from West to East, from the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific world; and also functional, away from governments”, continues the head of European diplomacy: “Our world is being transformed by financial markets, tech giants and media conglomerates, but also by criminal groups and sleeper cells.”

Thus, the High Representative warns: “All this is happening when the capacity of the multilateral system is at its weakest point in the last 30 years. Because the relations between the main actors are conflictive, international cooperation has stalled. The UN, G20, OSCE: we need them like never before, but they are all weakened by mistrust, vetoes and infighting. It’s a risky cocktail: more problems, more serious and more interrelated, but with less capacity to respond.”

In this sense, Borrell claims his strategic compass –strategic compass–, the guidelines for the EU to become a geopolitical actor, which must be approved by the Heads of State and Government in March: “Let us make the leap towards the new European security and defense, something that is in line with the expectations of citizens, who are clear that we Europeans provide security at a cheaper cost and with a greater sense of unity, acting together”.

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