The political crisis in Germany brought an unexpected result: the topic of the creation of a federal state under the working title "United States of Europe" again appeared in the actual agenda. It was precisely the course for the creation of such a federal European mega-state that was designated by the leader of the German Social Democrats, Martin Schulz, as an indispensable condition for participation in the coalition government with Angela Merkel.
Critics of the project have already called it "German dictatorship" or even "the fourth Reich", and American journalists already write that in Europe a mechanism is being prepared to intercept the US leadership role in the framework of the so-called free world. Moreover, European politicians are even suspected of trying to replace the fading global influence of the United States with the dynamically developing influence of the United States of Europe.
Undoubtedly, the historical experience of cooperation between Russia and any form of "united Europe" is negative. Every time the control of most of the European countries was concentrated in the same hands, the united Europe went to war with Russia. Even the very idea of creating a kind of a European mega-state is attributed to Napoleon, who was able to collect a completely successful prototype, and then dumped him somewhere on the banks of the Berezina. What can we expect tomorrow, if the European Union starts a full-fledged transformation into a federal state?
The issue is far from idle, because the creation of a unified European army by the year of 2025 is a decided matter.
On Thursday, the formalities for the launch of the Pesco program were completed, involving the creation of a pan-European army that would be subordinated only to Brussels and act as an alternative to NATO. It is indicative that the greatest displeasure on this occasion was expressed by the highest ranks of NATO, for example Jens Stoltenberg, as well as the British and American expert community, while Russian officials left the decision to create the European armed forces without attention.
Probably, the authors of the idea of the "European alternative to NATO" could not convince anyone that this initiative is aimed at protecting against the mythical Russian threat: everyone understands that in this case "European NATO" is an instrument for reducing US influence on the European continent. It turns out that the future federal state of Europe should already have an important attribute of sovereignty and an instrument for implementing geopolitical ambitions - a functional and rather modern army. It remains to be seen how the political control scheme of this instrument will look.
Despite the fact that Angela Merkel and her political allies were simultaneously sharply opposed to the idea of creating the "United States of Europe", we should not assume that the project will not be realized. In this case, the tactical, not the strategic, discrepancies are fixed and brought to the public plane. Macron, Merkel, Schultz, Junker, Tusk - all are in favor of deepening European integration, but they are not ready to show European citizens a concrete form of this integration. And yet they can not agree on how the powers between the conditional "federal center" and the regions that once were independent countries will be distributed.
Macron and Schultz are in favor of a more or less humane way of creating a new European "mega-state", suggesting that the EU countries should offer a certain compensation for the final loss of opportunity to somehow influence their own destiny. One of the forms of such compensation can be considered the issue of the European debt instruments, that is, roughly speaking, the bonds for which the "United States of Europe" as a whole will pay. While the money attracted will go to support "depressed regions", such as Greece, or to support "regions" with a large political weight, like France. This scheme was initially very much liked by Emmanuel Macron, who even included it in his election program, not particularly hiding the essence of the proposed "deep integration" - the common debts will be collected by the French and their EU friends, and the Germans will pay for everything.
EU flags at the European Parliament building in Strasbourg
Not surprisingly, Angela Merkel and her conservative supporters prefer a completely different version of the deepening of European integration. This option does not even suggest an illusion that Germany will pay someone for something and compensate for something. The creation of the "United States of Europe" still suggests that the federal center, that is Germany, will have to bear at least some, but responsibility for other regions. But Berlin obviously does not need "younger brothers and sisters," and they do not even deal with charity in the style of the USSR. It is possible to deprive the EU countries of the remnants of independence without touching national and political pride with the painful process of creating a unified state, without forcing someone to abandon the national flag, and without lowering other national symbols in the status.
Why all this, if you can get actual control over the budget expenditures and the level of the debt burden of each country with the new rules of macroeconomic stability? Why rush with the creation of an official European army, if the most combat-capable parts of the Eastern European armed forces were quietly transferred to the command of the Bundeswehr in May this year?
The "creeping colonization" of the European periphery, preferred by the supporters and allies of Angela Merkel, is a minus - its results can not be publicly boasted before the voters. But there is a plus - such a "creeping colonization" is almost impossible to openly oppose. Those wishing to break free from the clutches of the German establishment will face the problem of explaining to their constituents the need to withdraw from the EU, and those who do this will be immediately punished financially - just as in the case of the UK, which will have to pay 60 billion that London has already agreed. If you draw a parallel with the famous anecdote about "checkers or go," the variants of Schulz or Macron are all the same "checkers", and the options of Merkel or Junker are "to go." It is significant that both options do not suit the US very much, because in any case Washington will lose the opportunity to use Poland or the Baltic countries as a "hand brake" of European politics.
The main indicator of the prospects of the "United States of Europe" can be considered the reaction of Washington and the US-British expert community, which equally negatively assesses what is soft, that a rigid form of centralization of the European political space under German control. The process of creating a European federal state, or even simply constantly strengthening supranational structures in the existing version of the EU, would receive all-round support of the United States if the united Europe could be used as an instrument of Russia's economic isolation or, at the very least, as an instrument of military aggression. However, it turned out that Berlin is not Kyiv, and instead of isolating Russia, Germany is persistently promoting the project "Nord Stream - 2", as evidenced by the numerous and irritated statements of the US State Department to the German government.
Probably some of the German elites have a certain historical memory, and there is an elementary instinct for self-preservation, which means that between suicidal confrontation with Russia and the shock colonization of European limiters who consider themselves to be US satellites, Berlin will always systematically choose the colonization of the limitrophs. It is safer and even more customary to rip off three skins from residents of "young European democracies", especially taking into account the specific German historical experience.
In support of the version that the future "United States of Europe" will not repeat the mistakes of the past, says the recent statement of German Vice-Chancellor and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who said that "Russia remains a neighbor of Europe and a very influential neighbor, an example of Syria.Safety and stability in the long term are possible only with Russia, not against it, "but before that he criticized US foreign policy. For example, in the context of Washington's obvious desire to warm up the conflict with Iran, the German foreign minister stressed that "we will have to tell the Americans that their policy on the Iranian issue is pushing us, Europeans, towards a common position with Russia and China - against the US."
As long as Berlin feels Russian military power and receives obvious economic benefits from the status of the main distributor of Russian gas in Europe, its centralization or even federalization under German control is more of a plus than a disadvantage for us. But for the countries of Eastern Europe, and especially for Poland and the Baltic ex-Soviet states, the total Germanization of the European Union does not bode well. In the near future, when handouts from the Brussels budget, better known as "structural funds," will run out, it will suddenly become clear that the German order does not imply any philanthropy or benefits for anyone other than Germany itself.
However, any negative consequences will be for the "new Europeans" just retribution for many years of passionate desire to "get into this Europe". The fate of the Baltic states and Poland will be an excellent illustration of the saying that one should be afraid of one's desires, because they can one day be fulfilled.