November 11, 2015
The economic crisis remains a top priority for Eurozone with the current consolidation model generating much more problems than solutions. Greece has been forced to adopt a third bailout deal, but the ruling Syriza party resists towards protecting the most affected ones, while unfolding the deadlock that austerity politics have caused to an increasing number of member-states. Among the most notable ones, Portugal, Spain and Italy prove that the so-called “success story” is nothing more than a ludicrous, failed narrative.
Eurozone’s trivial response to major economic challenges is coupled with a striking unpreparedness when it comes to geopolitics. The most eloquent paradigm is the refugee crisis and the fact that the EU and the Commission have not realized that aside the tremendous humanitarian crisis and the internal conflict between member-states with regards to burden-sharing, the solution for this huge crisis necessitates a clear and well-orchestrated geopolitical strategy.
The refugee crisis is not a European problem, nor a Greek one. It is a regional and global problem affecting wider geopolitical balances in Europe, Middle East and Eurasia. The thing for the EU is that the refugee crisis is also connected with the bilateral relations between EU and Russia and the wrong turn they have taken, especially after the shortsighted sanctions policy against Moscow. EU has not properly assessed how important is to foster strong relationship with its neighbors, and Russia is one of the most prominent ones. Now that Russia has penetrated militarily and politically in Syria, EU is lagging far behind, incapable of capitalizing a stable and prolific relationship with Russia.
Similar goes with Turkey, as Brussels and Berlin emphasize on the enhancement of bilateral relations, but in a blatantly wrong way. The precipitation to include Turkey in the handling of the refugee crisis, sweeping away major recommendations of the progress reports and the fact that EU pulls off Greece and its sovereign interests in the Aegean Sea just to accelerate Turkish involvement, clearly show that EU has no specific policy, while undermining its own member-states. Ankara knows that and invests more on the financial support EU could offer rather than eradicating the big network of traffickers in its borders or improve its reception centers and the screening process in Minor Asia.
The absence of a specific geopolitical strategy is more worrying for Greece, being geographically situated in the core of the problem. At a time when the country vies for additional support, financial and technical, but also in terms increasing the relevant supportive personnel, EU’s Neighborhood Policy mechanism dispatches tens of million euros to so-called development projects overseas. Such projects, while supposedly growing EU’s leverage globally, leave a big hole back home. Should this puzzling policy remains intact, EU is risking to shrink both in terms of its global appeal, but mainly in terms of its domestic stability.
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Twitter: @rapidisDimitris Rapidis