Hence the frustration among elected leaders whose job it is to protect the people. A situation that led to clashes and caused the world to learn some French terms: Emmanuel Macron vowed to “exasperate” – to use a chivalrous term – compatriots who will continue to refuse the vaccine.
Another crisis that has been going on for years has reached a climax in January. In eastern Ukraine, troops are still on high alert as they fear a Russian invasion.
In the week just ended, Josep Borrell visited the Donbas, the first trip by an EU foreign policy chief since the beginning of the conflict, in 2014.
Borrell is also angry with Washington and Moscow, which do not want the EU to engage in diplomatic talks to ease the Ukrainian crisis.
Josep Borrell, head of EU foreign policy: “There are not just two actors in this dialogue. It’s not just the United States and Russia. If we want to talk about security in Europe, Europeans must also be at the negotiating table. “
The European Union cannot afford to be removed from the process. Any conflict in the European neighborhood has security implications for the Union and could be harmed by possible economic sanctions. European countries remain divided on what to do.
During a trip to Washington, the new German Foreign Minister, Baerbock, issued another warning to the Kremlin: “Russian actions and activities are priceless. And a repeated violation of Ukrainian sovereignty by Russia would have serious consequences. “
Talks between the US and Russia on real power over Ukraine will take place in Geneva this week, but without European participation. To understand all this, we call on an expert in global diplomacy.
I interviewed Wolfgang Ischinger, President of the Munich Security Conference.
Euronews: What do you expect from the future negotiations between Washington and Moscow on Ukraine?
Wolfgang Ischinger: I think we have to hope that this is the beginning and not the end of diplomacy, that we will return, with Russia participating in the talks and negotiations, and we hope that we will finally reach an agreement on a common future for what we have. could be called a European security architecture.
Euronews: Brussels wants to be part of these negotiations, but both Biden and Putin are not interested: is this another sign of Europe’s weakness on the global stage? If so, how can this be changed?
Wolfgang Ischinger: There is no doubt that Europe is weak. We are a group of 27 nations. It is possible to talk about trade in unison. But when it comes to foreign policy, everyone wants to use the veto. It is very difficult for the European Union to speak with one voice in almost all foreign policy issues and to be respected as a major international player.
In other words, we cannot compete with nuclear powers. And that’s why it seems perfectly normal for me to have an opening movement now, a series of opening talks between the United States and Russia. But, of course, one thing must be clear: the future of European security cannot be decided by Europeans. It cannot be decided in the absence of those who are members of the European Union, or European members of NATO.
Euronews: You have proposed the establishment of a European super-minister of defense. Why does the EU need such authority?
Wolfgang Ischinger: Whenever a new law and a new rule is proposed, is there anyone examining whether that rule is compatible with our climate goals? Can we do what we have promised for the climate if we implement this special legislation? My idea is that before the European Union adopts any future legislation or regulation, this super-minister of defense should take a look at the text, having the right to express his views and to ask himself first of all whether this project is compatible with the interests of security?
Euronews: Conduct the 2008 Munich Security Conference, the next edition will be your last as President. The world has changed dramatically over the years: what will be the biggest security risk in the future?
Wolfgang Ischinger: We Westerners, the democratic nations, are under threat. We are on the defensive. The number of countries ruled by legitimate democratic governments is lower than at any time in the last 20 years. We should try to strengthen the free democratic countries in the world. This is our future. It is important for our children.
The beginning of the new year was not only marked by old conflicts. There were also old traditions, which were revived after a covid break. The parade of the Three Kings returned to the streets of Madrid, moving both the children of the Spanish capital and the adults.
Of course, a pandemic protocol was in place, but 7,000 spectators were admitted, and tickets were sold out in twelve minutes.
Those who did not receive a seat were able to watch the parade on TV, from home. The hope now is that this show will be just the beginning of the return to normal in Spain and the rest of the world. (Rador)