The unity of the European Union is increasingly more important, as different interests on the international political field swipe over the continent from the East and West.
The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, met in Helsinki on the 16th of July. The international media forwarded images of a confusing press conference, where the President of the United States was said to claim that he trusts Putin’s word better than the US intelligence. By saying this, President Trump wreaked havoc even within his own supporters, and clearly stated his appreciation and trust towards Russia, seemingly at the expense of the US.
During his meeting with the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, Trump questioned May’s negotiations with the European Union. According to Trump, the UK should rather sue the EU, than aim for a peaceful resolution through negotiation. Trump also called the EU ‘’a foe’’, alongside with countries such as Russia and China. This certainly does question the traditional and even historical importance of well-maintained trans-Atlantic relationships between Europe and the US. A lot has happened between the two world wars, where the two were allies, and the statement where the US President clearly indicates the European Union, an organisation, which represents most of the European countries, an enemy of a sort.
Considering how eagerly Trump seems to support hard Brexit, disparity within the EU seems to be in his interest. He may not have said this directly, but suing the other counterpart in any argument clearly indicates the unwillingness to settle things peacefully. In an earlier interview, he did not seem to have a strong opinion, but his discussions with May prove otherwise. Even the ancient Romans knew how this would work. Divide et impera, to divide and conquer.
When looking at economic data from around the globe, it is clear that none of the European countries alone is able to outrank the US, not even Germany. But once we take a closer look on the EU economy as a whole, it is evident that together the 27 countries outrank both the US and China, which are traditionally seen as the world’s economic superpowers. Economically, the EU is hence notably stronger in unity, not to mention additional aspects such as common markets. Therefore it is clear to see, why dismantling the unity created by the EU is of other great superpowers’ interest.
As our societies are seemingly being divided into nationalistic, conservative rights and multicultural, liberal lefts, to put it harshly, it is vitally important that each and every one of the EU member societies understands the facts, regardless of their own viewpoint. In the field of international politics, the opinion of a union of 27 nations is much more referred to than the singular opinion of a small nation state. The unity and functionality of the EU should therefore be in the interests of every singe EU citizen, as we amount to 500 million. That is almost 200 million more than in the US, 350 million more than Russia, and approximately half of the Chinese population of one billion.
Together we will be heard, alone one might not.
TEXT Ella Kivisaari
Kirjoittaja on kauppa- ja valtiotieteen ylioppilas, joka suorittaa opintojaan Aberdeenin yliopistossa Skotlannissa, ja kevääksi 2018 hän suuntaa Erasmus-vaihtoon ScienesPo Rennesiin Ranskaan. Erityisen kiinnostunut Kivisaari on kansainvälisistä suhteista, ihmisoikeuksista, maailmantaloudesta, Skotlannin ja muun Britannian tulevasta suhteesta EU:hun sekä kansallismielisen äärioikeiston noususta Euroopan eri kansallisvaltioissa.