By Mohammad Mazhari

Zero chance for EU to make a break with NATO: EU MP

October 25, 2021 - 15:18

TEHRAN - A member of the European Parliament says that the EU has no chance to be independent of NATO.

“There is zero chance of European states making a break with NATO, and all the strategic autonomy talk is more aimed at softening citizens up for more military spending than anything else,” Clare Daly tells the Tehran Times.

“The EU has always been the U.S’ lapdog, and talk of a European NATO won’t change that.”

The United States, especially during the Trump administration, has preferred solid ties with the UK but has been skeptical of the EU and strong alignment between France and Germany in a broader sense.

Many believe that the U.S. keeps following its trajectory and the EU needs to break with NATO whereas others say that Europe cannot be independent in terms of security and military power. 

“European militarism is much less about a break with the Euro-Atlanticist order than it is about siphoning off billions in citizens’ money to give to arms companies,” Daly notes.
 
“The idea of a European army is something that will be in addition to NATO, not a replacement for it - with obvious and destructive ramifications for global peace and security,” she adds.

Following is the text of the interview:

What are the repercussions of U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in terms of mass immigration towards Europe?

We just don’t know yet. The EU is pursuing an aggressive externalization policy in order to stop migrants from Afghanistan from ever getting near the EU’s borders; it, therefore, remains to be seen whether we’ll see an increase in Afghan refugees. What we can say with certainty, though, is that if there is an increase, the EU will respond to them with its usual violence and racism.

Some political observers claim that Turkey's Erdogan is playing with immigration card to pressure the EU. What is your comment?

Erdogan wouldn’t have an ‘immigration card’ to play if Europe lived up to its responsibilities to welcome and accommodate refugees at a level commensurate with its huge wealth and resources.

"The EU has always been the U.S’ lapdog, and talk of a European NATO won’t change that."How do you assess the EU's independence from the U.S. in terms of security as there is talk of a European NATO?

The EU has always been the U.S’ lapdog, and talk of a European NATO won’t change that. European militarism is much less about a break with the Euro-Atlanticist order than it is about siphoning off billions in citizens’ money to give to arms companies. The idea of a European army is something that will be in addition to NATO, not a replacement for it - with obvious and destructive ramifications for global peace and security. While some European politicians like to talk up the idea of European ‘strategic autonomy’, there is zero chance of European states making a break with NATO, and all the strategic autonomy talk is more aimed at softening citizens up for more military spending than anything else.

"The EU has always been the U.S’ lapdog, and talk of a European NATO won’t change that."How do you evaluate the EU's move in building a multipolar world? Washington is trying to curb any power that may challenge its hegemony including China. Harsh sanctions on Iran, after Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal are another example of U.S. unilateralism whereas the EU preferred to sit on the fence and watch.

The EU’s attitude to multipolarity is slightly schizophrenic at the moment - both the EU institutions and some member states have followed the U.S. in taking an increasingly hysterical and belligerent tone regarding Russia and China, but on a practical level when it comes to the member states, there’s still a lot of cooperation with both countries. When it came to the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, Europe talked a surprisingly good game in the beginning, but ultimately showed itself unwilling to put its money where its mouth was - the much-hyped INSTEX mechanism ending up as a lame duck that didn’t secure EU trade with Iran following the imposition of U.S. sanctions. Some of that is down to the fact that the EU doesn’t have full control over what businesses in its jurisdiction do or don’t do, of course, but it was also a matter of political will is lacking.

Do you think that AUKUS will cause a turning point in Europe's attitude towards the U.S. and Britain? London preferred to stand on America's side while France as a European country is a losing side.

To be honest, I’m not sure that it will. Relations with Britain have already been strained by Brexit, and AUKUS added another layer, but it’s certainly not a game-changer anywhere outside of France (and it’s questionable as to the real effects it will have on UK-French relations, beyond bluster). In terms of the relationship between the EU and the U.S., I don’t see it as having any long-term effect. The EU and the U.S. are too tightly bound up as a trade and imperial power bloc for a spat over some submarines to upset that.

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