Monday

25th Oct 2021

US leadership ‘not viable’ - Irish conventioneer

The US cannot sustain its current power, so Europe needs to look closely at its future security needs. That was the stark warning from a leading member of the Convention on the Future of Europe, on Tuesday.

John Bruton, a member of the Convention’s Presidium, warned that the financial situation and social system across the Atlantic could mean the US may not be willing, or even able, to look after Europe’s security needs in future.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"We need to discuss our vulnerability", said the former Toiseach (Irish Prime Minister). "Fortress Europe is not a fortress any more."

The Convention itself is set to draw up the controversial articles on common foreign and security policy by the end of April.

Mr Bruton cited the US’ heavy borrowing, huge trade deficit and mounting pension bill as reasons for doubting the future capacity of the world’s only super power.

"If they were a member state they would be getting a warning from the Commission", quipped Mr Bruton.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Irish Institute of European Affairs Mr Bruton said the US’ social problems would exacerbate the country’s decline: "They have an excellent elite but the middle rank is not well educated."

Iraq is a turning point

"I thought they would have won the war by now…but the real test will come after." On the issue of the war’s aftermath the former Toiseach had some gloomy predictions.

"Occupation will drain them", he warned, adding that if the US gets bogged down "they can spend as much as they like on defence, [but] it won’t work."

Mr Bruton was critical of Europe’s "Atlantic powers" – Portugal, Spain and the UK – in their backing the US lead war against Iraq, saying they did so for one reason.

They thought in a simple race "they were backing a 4-1 favourite."

It becomes more difficult to back a winner in a case like Iraq, said Mr Bruton referring to war and post-war campaigns as "a steeple chase over three and half miles."

Erdoğan orders out US and EU ambassadors

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered out the ambassadors of his top Nato allies and Western investors, in what his opponents called a reckless political stunt.

EU banks play 'major role' in deforestation, report finds

Banks based in the EU have earned a reported €401m from deforestation, out of more than €30bn worth of deals with companies linked to logging. Deal-making was dominated by big banks from the Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy.

NGOs reveal 71 'revolving-door' cases at fossil-fuel giants

A new research has revealed dozens of 'revolving-door' cases at some of the biggest oil and gas companies in the EU and their lobby groups – triggering calls for stricter ethical rules, similar to those of tobacco industry.

Agenda

Energy and gender in EU focus This WEEK

In the European Parliament, the home affairs committee will start to work on new migration laws: providing the legal framework for the new migration policy in the EU.

Interview

Nato invite sees Nordic states stepping up security cooperation

Sweden and Finland are no longer embarrassed to cooperate with Nato countries, says the Nordic Council president. With Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg addressing the November meeting, it has gone from being not discussed at all - to the main topic.

Opinion

Lessons for the EU in Sahel, from Afghanistan

Former UK ambassador to Mali and Niger, who also served in Kabul, reflects on the implications of the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan for EU policy in the Sahel.

News in Brief

  1. Timmermans cancels Moscow visit ahead of COP26
  2. Report: EU to open new mission in Kabul
  3. Bulgaria and Romania run out of beds for Covid-patients
  4. Afghanistan 'on brink of collapse', Sweden warns
  5. Far-right vigilantes stopped on Polish-German border
  6. Croatian right-wingers seek euro referendum
  7. Orbán accuses EU and US of election meddling
  8. Militants free international observers in Russia-occupied Ukraine

Agenda

Energy and gender in EU focus This WEEK

In the European Parliament, the home affairs committee will start to work on new migration laws: providing the legal framework for the new migration policy in the EU.

Opinion

Lessons for the EU in Sahel, from Afghanistan

Former UK ambassador to Mali and Niger, who also served in Kabul, reflects on the implications of the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan for EU policy in the Sahel.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Erdoğan orders out US and EU ambassadors
  2. EU banks play 'major role' in deforestation, report finds
  3. NGOs reveal 71 'revolving-door' cases at fossil-fuel giants
  4. Energy and gender in EU focus This WEEK
  5. Nato invite sees Nordic states stepping up security cooperation
  6. Lessons for the EU in Sahel, from Afghanistan
  7. EU states want more Belarus sanctions
  8. Gas price spike exposes rift at EU summit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us