AhlulBayt News Agency

source : Al-Waght news

3 February 2024

9:40:35 AM

Analysis: Europe’s diminishing role and position in global affairs

The discord among European Union members over the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza highlights a notable reduction in the bloc's international influence, rendering it a neutral player and compliant with the directives of the United States.

AhlulBayt News Agency: The discord among European Union members over the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza highlights a notable reduction in the bloc's international influence, rendering it a neutral player and compliant with the directives of the United States.

The European Union, once regarded as a key player in global affairs and crises, is now exhibiting signs of decline within its political and economic framework. Disagreements among EU members over international matters like "confrontation with China, the Ukraine crisis, and migrant handling" in recent years had already fractured the economic unity of the bloc. However, the Gaza conflict intensified these divisions, exposing Europe's unfavorable political, military, and economic stance.

Despite initial support from many European countries for the United States' policies and endorsement of the Zionist regime's actions in Gaza after the conflict began on October 7th, European authorities sequentially visited the occupied territories to reassure Zionist leaders of their solidarity. However, as Zionist atrocities escalated in Gaza, European Union leaders gradually recognized the extent of manipulation by the United States and Britain.

Over the past four months, European leaders have been unable to establish a unified stance on the Gaza conflict or formulate a common approach. As differences in perspectives emerged, some nations condemned Israel's actions, others lent support, while some opted to maintain balanced positions concerning the war.

The Impact of Global Protests

The recent Gaza conflict appears to have fractured the previous consensus among European governments, presenting challenges for the European Union in establishing a coherent stance. It's evident that the EU's position on the Gaza war is undergoing significant change, influenced by both domestic and global factors.

The increase in Tel Aviv's actions in Gaza triggered widespread protests throughout Europe and widened the divide between public sentiment and governmental policies. Consequently, European authorities have been compelled to pursue a fresh diplomatic approach and reconsider their stance on the Gaza crisis to align with public opinion, crucial for future electoral support. France has been notably proactive in this shift.

Simultaneously, as the Gaza conflict spreads throughout the Red Sea, posing risks to international maritime security, Europeans, particularly affected by these developments, are striving to halt the hostilities and safeguard their economically strained economies from the consequences initiated by the United States and the Zionist regime. Hence, European nations abstained from joining the American coalition, recognizing the adverse effects of heightened tensions in the Red Sea on their maritime trade.

Another pivotal factor that influenced the shift in European perspectives on the Gaza conflict was the European Union's unwavering alignment with Washington's global agenda. This once again underscores Europe's lack of independent identity from the United States and its adherence to American directives on the world stage. This dynamic was unsettling for certain European officials aspiring to bolster their global stature. Consequently, France endeavored to pursue a balanced and autonomous approach distinct from other Western powers, aiming to sidestep Red Sea tensions and evade involvement in the geopolitical maneuvers orchestrated by the United States and England.

In recent years, some European nations, including France and Germany, have sought to diminish their dependence on NATO's protective cover under US dominance, striving to break free from Washington's influence. However, the aspiration to forge a unified Europe with an autonomous military framework outside of NATO has diminished, leaving the fate of Europe subject to the whims of White House policymakers who pull them in diverse directions. An independent military capacity, serving as the lever and advocate of Europe's strategic decisions at the continental level, empowers the bloc to chart a course independent of Washington in global conflicts and disputes.

Amid mounting discord among European nations regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it appears that the European Union has abandoned the diplomatic role it was expected to uphold.

Following its departure from the European Union in January 2020, the UK has continued its alignment with Washington's policies across all global crises, including the Gaza conflict. As a key ally of the US, the UK actively participated in the maritime coalition and formally engaged in multiple operations in Yemen.

While the UK cannot be regarded as part of a politically and economically united Europe, its divergent stances from the European Union highlight a deepening division within the Western bloc. Through involvement in the maritime coalition and actions in Yemen, the UK seeks to reclaim its former influence in the Middle East. Despite remaining in America's shadow and playing a less prominent role in global affairs in recent decades, the UK, now outside the European Union, aims to restore its lost influence with Washington's support, viewing the Gaza conflict as an opportunity to assert its power.

The impact of the Ukraine war on the Green Continents rift regarding the Red Sea

The discord between European nations and the United States and Britain is evident in the ongoing Ukraine conflict. While initially unified in their support for Ukraine against Russia, as the detrimental impacts of the crisis on Western economies surfaced, divisions within the Western alliance deepened. France, Germany, and several Eastern European nations have advocated for restarting peace negotiations between Kiev and Moscow, even proposing territorial concessions to Ukrainian leaders in exchange for peace. Additionally, Hungary's divergence from Western sanctions against Russia highlights Europe's fragmentation and inability to make cohesive decisions amidst border crises.

From a security and strategic standpoint, it could be argued that the European Union should have maintained unity regarding Ukraine, given its shared European geographical context. However, the crisis revealed a failure to reach consensus within the EU, with political and economic interests becoming influential regarding this division.

The prolonged conflict in Ukraine imposes a heavy burden on European countries. They have incurred significant expenses supplying weapons to Ukraine and have faced considerable challenges in securing alternative energy sources beyond Russia. These circumstances may sow new divisions within the European Union in the future, posing challenging circumstances for the EU.

Hence, while European nations leading the charge against Russia tread cautiously, Britain and the United States have taken a divergent path. Britain, unbound by commitments to the European Union, has aligned itself with America's assertive stance in Ukraine. Despite ongoing assistance to Ukraine over the past two years, Britain recently escalated matters by announcing military deployments, triggering a sharp response from Russia.

Situated far from Russia's borders and the crises in Ukrainian migration and energy vulnerabilities, Britain aims to undermine the European Union by urging EU leaders for increased aid. This move seeks to bolster Britain's own political and economic sway in both European and global arenas. By entangling Europe in conflict with Russia, the United States and Britain have marginalized the European Union on the international stage, plunging it into a hazardous game of uncertain duration. The primary casualties in this scenario are the EU member states, who, disregarding consequences and their own interests, have fallen into Washington's snare.

The fading influence of the European Union as a regional bloc is evident. Global crises and shifting security and economic perspectives among European nations have severely strained unity in foreign policy decisions, as seen in the recent Gaza conflict.

European Union members failed to present a unified front amid the crisis. While some backed the Palestinians, others aligned with the occupying regime. The policy of unilateralism prevailed over European unity. The Union, capable of mediating in the Palestinian conflict, subsequently finds itself sidelined.

According to experts, the European Union faces a challenging phase in its history. The rise of far-right parties in Europe may erode its institutional legacy. This could result in weakened unity, the single currency, and stricter security measures, all increasingly reliant on the external landscape.

Europe's direct influence on global events seems weakened, given its diminished effectiveness in addressing crises like those in the Eastern Mediterranean, Ukraine, and Palestine. This relegation marks a departure from its former role as a significant player.