Friday, December 31, 2004


The G8 and the EU

The UK government's priorities for the G8 are published in the Economist this week.

However the UK has international obligations. The UK is a leading member of the European Union and in July it will represent the EU also as its chairman. The G8 summit takes place in July. Nevertheless, the aims being set out for the G8 seem to be those of the UK alone; didn't a similar thing happen this year when Germany was chairman of the G20?

This goes to the heart of a problem with the EU - it has no common foreign policy.

An EU website records: "Some have described the EU as an economic giant but a 'political dwarf'. This is an exaggeration. Nevertheless, it is true that the EU member states have a long way to go, in diplomatic and political terms, before they can speak with one voice on major issues like peace and stability, terrorism, the Middle East, relations with the United States and the role of the UN Security Council. The EU countries retain full national sovereignty over their armed forces. Their defence systems are firmly in the hands of the national governments, and the only ties between them are those forged within alliances such as NATO."

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