OPINION

Fear of emancipation

The Halkidiki summit may have given EU leaders a chance to brag about Europe’s Constitution – which, notably, does little to guarantee political freedoms and social rights – but has left no room for any gloating over the EU’s weaning off its transatlantic ally. One feels as if the numerous anti-war protests that swept the major European cities took place decades ago and on another continent, if not planet. The outpouring of feeling during that period, and the ideas that were put forward – peaceful feelings, and ideas that opposed the whole world being turned into a US sphere of influence – failed to change a single word in Europe’s nascent Constitution. Europe is trying to expand and integrate. But rather than aiming to reinforce its autonomous role, it legitimizes and perpetuates its auxiliary, complementary role to that of the superpower. As a result, the EU’s foreign policy and security chief Javier Solana’s «strategic dogma» merely imitates the American one (the one that was recently implemented in Iraq; Iran could be next) while the agreement which gives Washington the right to request the extradition of European citizens, even for misdemeanors that they have committed in Europe, seems to justify the fear of freedom, the fear of independence that is said to have seized the European leaders. But it could have hardly been any different. When the prime ministers and presidents of EU member states – both the founding members and newcomers – are trying to outdo each other in a display of pro-Americanism, and when any opposition proves to be temporary and superficial, any expectations for a European community with the will and power to pose a challenge to US hegemony inevitably verge on illusion.