Will the EU abandon its Drang Nach Osten strategy?

This is taken from an archived article in Dagens Nyheter 22 May 2015 on the EU meeting in Riga about the EU’s so-called “Eastern Partnership” (Drang nach Osten). The European Empire has nowhere to expand except Eastward. The Other Side of Europe illustrates vividly the dilemma facing the EU. Half of Europe lies west of the Urals, shaped like a widening funnel.

But the EU pulls back from expanding the European Empire eastward. Midday on Thursday the political leaders of EU member states plus six countries  – Armenia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldavia – discussed this. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, repeated the demand for a future membership in the EU. But from the EU side it is emphasised that the purpose of the Eastern Partnership is not membership of the EU, and Angela Merkel explained that “the EU should beware of awakening false expectations”.

The EU has internal problems of its own to deal with, not least of which is its “democratic deficit”, which of course is enormous, resulting from what Fritz Scharpf termed the joint decision trap. It is a trap that becomes more debilitating with each new member state.

Yet in all this, there is no mention of either the US, who appears to have just given up on Ukraine, nor of Putin’s role in making the EU understand that what they have been doing in Ukraine has been to make a bad situation worse. I am not convinced that they even now understand, given Russia’s long and open border with Ukraine. The problem is that the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement has not been finalised:

“In trilateral talks in early September 2014, the European Commission, the Government of Ukraine and Russia agreed on deferring the provisional implementation of the agreement until the end of 2015. “We have agreed to postpone the application until December 31 next year,” said EU…”

To make things even more complicated the Junta is once more building up for a new massive assault on its far-eastern oblasts: see https://02varvara.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/basurin-sez-junta-massing-forces-for-offensive-in-novorossiya/

I suppose they hope to gain territory from the war-weary Ukrainian people.

It is also difficult for the media that have been used to Putin-bashing for over several years, to change tack and re-evaluate.

For a Russian view of the present political situation see http://rt.com/news/261029-eu-membership-ukraine-problems/ and http://russia-insider.com/en/business/euro-srisis-and-russian-sanctions-hurt-german-economy/ri7309.

All of this looks to me as if the EU has not settled anything. At the very least there is a long way to go before changes for the better become apparent.

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