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Page added on April 29, 2007

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Missiles, Oil, and Europe Re-Divided

by Joschka Fischer

Moscow is playing a game of “divide and rule” by exploiting Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas supplies. As the EU’s Russia policy is blocked by the Polish government’s intransigence, Russia blithely continues to sign more bilateral treaties with individual EU member states, most recently with Greece and Bulgaria.

The only effective answer that Europeans can give to the Kremlin is to adopt a common energy policy that will hinder any further division of Europe. This will not be easy to achieve, but the EU has accomplished more difficult tasks in the past.
The EU must develop a common position with respect to all significant, strategic issues in its foreign relations. Otherwise, Europe will be at the mercy of the interests of others.

No European country – not even the Big Three (France, Great Britain, and Germany) – can any longer assert its central foreign policy interests alone, outside of the common European framework. So any weakening of the EU in its foreign relations entails a corresponding weakening of the member states’ individual interests.

Everyone agrees to a “Europe of Common Values.” What we need now is a “Europe of Common Interests.” Objectively, it is already a reality. Subjectively, the only remaining question is this: how long will it take before Europe’s governments finally start taking it into account?

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