EU Goes All Out for War Economy
That the European Union has become virtually synonymous with NATO was corroborated last week by the highest level officials in Brussels. Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, for example, stated on May 5, at the State of the Union 2023 conference in Florence, that he feels more like a “defense minister” than the EU’s top diplomat, because he’s so busy organizing for war against Russia, while rejecting options for a settlement. “This is not the moment for diplomatic conversations about peace”, he told Euronews. “It’s the moment of supporting militarily the war. I spend quite an important part of my time talking about arms and ammunition.”
In that spirit, he stated that the EU rejects outright the proposal for a negotiated settlement put forward by China, which he dismissed as “wishful thinking”. For Brussels, the only viable peace plan is the one pushed by President Zelenskyy, i.e., a total victory against Russia – which is unachievable, even according to the most fanatic, although it could well lead to a nuclear world war.
Nonetheless, continuing the bloodshed is the EU’s priority, its top diplomat explained, not the general welfare: “If we don’t support Ukraine, Ukraine will fall in a matter of days. So, yes, I would prefer to spend this money increasing the well-being of the people, hospitals, schools, cities, etc. But we don’t have a choice.”
And don’t worry, the conflict is actually good for Europe, he added: “The war has united us. There is nothing that can unite you more than an enemy, a threat, and the feeling of facing a threat.”
The symbiosis between the NATO’s goals and those of the EU also holds for Brussels’ economy policy. That was also indicated by Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, who presented the European Commission’s proposal May 4 for bolstering the industrial production of ammunition and missiles to be used to wage war against Russia.
The Commission’s plan is to produce one million shells within 12 months, to be financed by a special 500 million euro fund. Given the known bottlenecks in manufacturing and the manpower shortages in factories, Breton suggested running production around the clock, by lifting restrictions on night shifts and waiving other restrictions. “We can use the European Social Fund”, he said. “When talking about a war economy, we’re trying to find solutions, we are thinking out of the box.”
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen resorted to her usual double-speak, when commenting on this plan: “This is a critical part of Europe’s strategic capacity to defend its interests and values, and help maintain peace on our continent.”