Quote from an article in SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG on EU-Russia relations today: Borrell, too, knows that Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov do not see the EU as an equal, preferring to contact Germany, France or even Hungary directly. “They have told me that Russia is not interested in engaging with the EU, but prefers to talk to the member states that are relevant to them,” the 74-year-old says with his characteristic honesty. That’s why, he says, it’s important for EU countries to stand united and keep telling Moscow, “You have to talk to the EU.”
I don’t know enough about Mr. Borrell to appreciate him or consider him out of his depth. However, from this little note the whole dilemma of the EU emerges: As long as we insist on our respective small national importance, the EU cannot grow into the necessary role of global heavyweight on par with China, Russia and the US. As long as we do not come to a way of thinking, specifically in foreign politics, in which we understand and accept national interests quite naturally only as subsets of a common European interest, the EU will not be able to deliver on our expectation to stand our ground.
This is what the debate about strategic autonomy of the EU is all about.
This article was written by Klaus Feldmann and reflects his personal opinion.