January 21, 2011
by John Fonte
Since the early days of the Cold War, American foreign policy has always promoted increased European political integration. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, this “EU over democratic nations” approach to Europe serves neither American interests nor American values.
When considering American interests, a truly “common European” foreign and defense policy would, as a practical matter, inhibit not facilitate serious support for tough-minded American initiatives including military, intelligence, and economic operations against our adversaries. A common EU approach means that support for American policies would, by definition, fall to the lowest level of support that all EU members could agree upon. In contrast, democratic nation-states in Europe, acting as independent states, (e.g., Britain, Poland) have been among America’s most reliable allies.
Clearly, American values are consistent with the protection and promotion of self-government, liberty, and liberal democracy. Since Joschka Fischer’s 2000 Humboldt University address, the leadership of the European Union has admitted to a “democratic deficit.” Unfortunately, the current euro monetary crisis has only encouraged EU leaders to seek greater “integration” and thus expand their power at the expense of democratic states. At the same time, across Europe today, there are significant forces (including America’s best friends in the British Conservative Party) who are attempting to re-democratize EU institutions and return power to democratically elected, accountable national governments.
As this conflict between the forces of democratic sovereignty and post-democratic EU elites escalates (as it surely will), the United States should not “weigh-in” on the side of the EU centralizers against those Europeans seeking greater self-government and democracy. Specifically, there should be no official support (financial or political) by the US to prop-up an ill-conceived supra-national Euro-monetary zone. In sum, consist with our values and interests, the United States should not oppose the coming re-democratization of Europe.
John Fonte is a Senior Fellow and Director of Hudson's Center for American Common Culture.
Home | Learn About Hudson | Hudson Scholars | Find an Expert | Support Hudson | Contact Information | Site Map
Policy Centers | Research Areas | Publications & Op-Eds | Hudson Bookstore
Hudson Institute, Inc. 1015 15th Street, N.W. 6th Floor Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.974.2400 Fax: 202.974.2410 Email the Webmaster
© Copyright 2013 Hudson Institute, Inc.