At the Med 7 summit in Corsica, French President Emmanuel Macron said Europe needed “a more united and clear voice” on Turkey.
He said Ankara’s actions with its rogue drilling activities near Cyprus and gunboat diplomacy off Greece and Libya, were leading to an unwanted escalation that should be avoided.
This escalation is exactly what the Turkish president wants with a growing number of voices demanding that Europeans should be firm with the leadership in Turkey, but not to punish its people.
On a different front, northern European, Baltic, and Scandinavian states could not care less about what happens in the Mediterranean.
They want harsher measures imposed on the dictators of Belarus, seeing as they cannot call for further sanctions on Russia over Crimea, especially after the suspicion of state involvement in the poisoning of opposition leader Navalny.
There are two different approaches to the EU’s non-existent “united” foreign policy, which is why there is no solidarity among the 27 member states.
This is also the reason a pan-European military force would never succeed.
And this, because the domination of the American and NATO presence on the continent has made Europeans complacent, lazy even.
The Organisation’s leadership is following different orders, which has nothing to do with keeping up appearances in the East Med.
However, once NATO members realise that energy resources and security of supply are at stake, they might reconsider this distanced approach.
For the time being, they seem to like being bullied by Russian Nat gas suppliers and their masters.
What Macron said about “a more united and clear voice” could not be truer.
But this has to start at home, from within the European Union.
If there is no solidarity, no collaboration, then the EU will prove what it is perceived to be – a weakling that every neighbourhood bully can rollover.
In this day and age, a united front and single voice have a far greater impact than sending an armada of frigates, submarines, and aircraft carriers down the Mediterranean.
Nor are dogfights necessary between ‘new-gen’ F35s or ‘old-gen’ F18s over our airspace.
Egypt’s President made a more diplomatic, yet subtle statement over Turkey’s ambitions with Libya, saying Cairo would not resort to the use of military force but was prepared to do so, parking tanks and fighter jets very close to its western border.
Ankara got the message and redirected its anger to other means, such as a war of words with Israel over establishing ties with the UAE and undermining the Palestinian leadership, which Erdogan and his Qatar financiers claim to be the self-appointed protectors of.
The influence of Pax Americana worked very well in post-WWII Europe, perhaps modelled on the original Pax Romana, when the continent grew to a single empire of more than 70 million people, including around the Mediterranean.
It lasted for about two centuries and lay the foundations, one could say in naivete, of the 20th century European Union.
We’ve only been around for about seven decades, but if there is no true solidarity, there will be no credibility among members and no Union to protect.
Our leaders should first seriously consider building new foundations, a new and true Pax Europa.
This is the only way to tame bullies in our region, some even from farther way in the Middle East and Far East.