As the UK is currently struggling with Brexit, one has the impression that the EU is not very helpful in facilitating it. This is understandable. The EU is economically dominated by Germany and politically by France and Germany. Neither Germany nor France have an incentive to develop a mechanism which would enable any of the member countries to exit the EU, as their dominance over Europe would be threatened by such a development.

Nothing underlines this proposition more clearly than the economic crisis in Greece in the early 2010s. Grexit was considered as one of the real possible solution to this crisis. The road map proposed for Grexit has even received the 2012 Wolfson Economic Prize (Leaving the Euro: A Practical Guide). Despite this, the ‘troika’ of the EU Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF has superimposed harsh economic conditions on Greece as the preferred solution to Grexit under the leadership of the German Government.

My contention is that France and Germany have previous failed military attempts to dominate Europe therefore now, they are ‘playing a long game’ to dominate Europe politically and economically through the EU.

2. ‘Recent’ failed military attempts by France and Germany to dominate Europe

In the last two centuries both France and Germany have tried to dominate Europe by military means (and of course the Soviet Union post the second world war).

During the Napoleonic wars of 1803-1815, Napoleon fought the English, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian armies, amongst others, to dominate Europe and other parts of the world to extend his empire. After some significant initial success, the disastrous Russian campaign (Patriotic War 1812) and the defeat at Waterloo on the 18th of June 1815 by the British led forces of Dutch, Belgium and German soldiers led to the demise of his empire. Napoleon’s desire to dominate Europe had failed.

In the 20th century, Germany, supported by some less powerful countries, made two military attempts to dominate Europe. The horrors of both WWI and WWII are well documented. The key point from this blog’s point of view is that both German military attempts failed after the British and US armies joined the allied forces.  Germany’s military attempts to dominate Europe had failed.

3.The evolution of the EU as a Trojan Horse of political and economic domination

The genesis of toady’s EU is the European Economic Community (EEC) which was established by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 as a free trading block. Unquestionably this has been a beneficial economic agreement to all member countries. During the 1970s, a number of other countries joined the EEC, including the UK and Ireland.

The first revision of the Treaty of Rome was the Single European Act (1986) which codified European political cooperation. At that time already some countries expressed their concerns about the increased power of the European parliament.

The change of the EEC from an economic trading block to an integrated political and economic entity emerged as the result of the Maastricht Treaty (1992). This treaty was championed by the President of France, Francois Mitterrand and the Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl. Some of the key elements of this treaty were the proposal to admit more, mainly eastern European countries to the EU and further political, economic and legal integration of the member countries. The EEC has also been renamed as the European Union (EU).

4. The next building blocks of domination; the Eurozone, the Treaty of Lisbon (2007) and the Treaty of Aachen (2019)

The introduction of the Eurozone and the establishment of the European Central Bank (ECB) in the early 2000s meant that countries that signed up to the euro gave away one of their main economic levers, their monetary policy. Since that time, the ECB is in charge of managing the money supply, interest rate and exchange rate for the Eurozone. Hence the appointments of the Governor of the ECB and the key bureaucratic positions within the EU became crucial in order to dominate the economic and political direction of the EU. To achieve this France and Germany needed to change the voting system in their favour.

This has been achieved by the Lisbon Treaty (2007). The voting system was changed to a double majority system which depends on the number of states supporting a proposition and the population they represent. Whilst this system meant to be more democratic, it still clearly favours the two largest countries, France and Germany. For example, under this system Germany’s voting weight is 16.5%, whilst Ireland’s is 0.85% (J. Smyth,19/9/2009, The Irish times). Another important aspect of this treaty is Article 50, which deals with the withdrawal from the EU. This article makes provisions for a withdrawal from the EU, but it does not outline an actual withdrawal mechanism.  As the current ‘struggle ‘over Brexit illustrates (quite apart from the questionable competence of the current British government) the EU can frustrate rather than facilitate the withdrawal process.

The Treaty of Aachen (2019) is signed by President Macron of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany. The primary purpose of this treaty is that France and Germany have joint parliamentary sessions for ‘better co-operation’ in Europe. As Mr Schauble, the President of the German Bundestag has been quoted to saying ‘Germany and France have a special responsibility for Europe’ ( ). One wonders what special responsibility he had in mind?!

5.Why do smaller nations want to stay and/or join the EU?

There are a number of plausible explanations why smaller nations want to join/stay in the EU.

First, nations recognise the economic benefit of free trade. Second, whilst all nations contribute to the EU budget, all Eastern European nations receive greater financial payments from the EU than their contribution to the EU budget ( ). Third, smaller nations are fearful of possible Russian aggression, hence they are prepared to trade their total independence for peaceful and somewhat democratic Franco-German domination.

Nevertheless, the smaller nations in the EU must be vigilant about their own independence and political/economic freedom. The best way forward to them is not to join the Eurozone and support Brexit. A successful Brexit would provide a roadmap to any country wishing to exit the EU.

6.Key takeaways

The EU is becoming a Trojan horse of France and Germany to dominate Europe politically and economically.

The EEC as a common trading block was a great idea, but having morphed into the EU may not be beneficial in the long run for smaller nations as they lose their political and economic independence.

Smaller nations should fully support Brexit and facilitate a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK as they never know when they need to leave the EU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *