Germany,France,the UK and the EU…who needs whom ?
In „ Germany & the EU ,who needs whom“ ,(I), we have described a realistic evaluation of the German real strength inside the EU.
In this article we talk about the other two most influential members of the EU: France and the UK.
And as usual some objective facts before words.
-the 5th economy in the world ,the 2nd in the EU,(around 22% smaller than Germany), only and the 1st world market ,( around 2 times than China or ,if you prefer a bit more than the whole BRICS),for Germany. Berlin is the 1st world market for Paris
- Paris is able to be involved in three conflicts ,( Afghanistan , Cote d´Ivoire, Libya),and at the same time to maintain either a “deep water “capability able to secure trading and supply sea lines and other military presence worldwide in three continents. Germany has non one of this assets of the International Political Power, (IPP),of a country and France , with the USA and the UK, is the only country in the world with a real global capability in term of power projection. We have to be clear about it. When we talk about “a real global capability in term of power projection” we do not mention about the sending of some elite commandos to rescue some hostages but to send a real combat group and sustain it. On other words and to be clear it is not to send 20 or 30 elites units to rescue an airplane but to send, for example like in Cote d´Ivoire, 1.000 units in a war zone and be able to support their fights.
-the owner of one of the three nuclear forces in Europe ,( with Russia and the UK), of one of the three in the NATO ,( the UK and the USA), and one of the two ,( with France), in the EU. It is true that Germany is a “6 months behind country” and that it is able to have a nuke, if necessary, in around six months. It is also thru that with its nuclear plants can have enough material for not less than 40 nuclear heads but this requires time and ,additionally, Germany has not cruises to deliver the bombs,( Berlin can buy it in Russia, N. Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India and maybe Brazil ).
- involved in the oil & gas market as producer not as buyer. On clear text one thing is to be directly involved in the drilling and in all the logistic of the delivering ,( for example Total),and a total less different thing is to be only a buyer ,( for example eOn). In the first case you need financial and technological strength as well as the skill to handle situations like corporate counter-insurgency ,( using an NSA like the Private Security Forces), plus a government able to support you also with covert actions when in the second you are only a buyer and about the political power of the government , (Berlin), in term of influencing the supplier ,(Moscow), the experiences in the last years,( where Moscow has closed the supply because of its struggles with Kiev as well as the payment of a premium price 40 % higher than Ukraine),tell a lot about the lack of any kind of power to influence the Russian decisions.
- comparable R&D
- the 6th economy in the world ,the 3rd in the EU,( around 32% smaller than Germany), and the 4th world market ,( 10% bigger than China or ,if you prefer around like BRICS),for Germany. Berlin is the 2nd world market for London.
- Like France able to fight different conflicts, (Afghanistan and Libya),at the same time. And also with a global capability in term of power projection unchallenged by Berlin.
- About the nuclear forces in the same situation that France.
- involved in the oil & gas market as producer not as buyer. And not only in these markets but also in others of commodities. Markets and countries for whom we can repeat what we have before told in term of know-how and political influence. For the UK there is also an additional element of strength : the financial markets.
- With the USA London has the two most sophisticated financial markets of the world. For example let´s think to the London Metal Exchange where all the German banks must work to operate in the market of metal commodities, ( by the way Frankfurt has nothing like this). This “simply” means that someone can have the money but if it wants to invest with the state of the art of the financial engineering can only decide if doing it in New York or in London and not at all in Paris, Frankfurt, Milano , Tokyo or Shangai .
- comparable R&D
Additionally if one day Paris or London will be not in the EU the Union will always be the 2nd economic powerhouse in the world ,(today is the 1st but if Germany or the UK or France leave this does not change a lot this status).
What are we telling ?
Simply that the EU can go ahead without Germany as well as without France or the UK and this is the real situation, ( a frustrating one for Berlin).
And if that happens either Berlin or Paris or London must IMMEDIATELY find an alternative legal frame that saves the current flow of trading and this “simply” because for all of them the EU is the BIGGEST market and the biggest supplier.
Despite of her rhetoric about her “being tired of this Europe” Chancellor Merkel knows it ,( as President Sarkozy or Chancellor Gordon Brown). And Chancellor Merkel knows also the PIIGS ,( Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain), are a market bigger than the BRICS, ( please never forget that Italy is the 5th world market for Berlin and China the 7th with Austria even bigger than China).
Logically we as EU pay for this and the most devastating example of the cost is the UN refusal to give to the EU a permanent siege in the Security Council ,(II).
Germany is interested only on going east. To strength a special relation with Moscow that some elites in Berlin ,( not all because other elites want to be deeper linked with the “Atlantic”),think it will make the country a world power house able to “ say not” to the USA. This is also the 21st-centruy version of a XIX-century strategic dream. A dream that ,among others ,must face the Russian dramatic demographic trends thank to witch after 2030 the Russians will be not the ethnic dominant group beyond the Urals. A trend that seems unnoticed to these elites in Germany and that started a generation ago with the creation of the Free Economic Zone of Blagoveshchensk.
France is interested on the south flank ,read the Mediterranean and this will force Paris to modify its aptitude about the Turkish integration because an economic and political Mediterranean without Ankara is a “lamed duck”. The new Premier Gordon Brown is supportive about the Turkey in the EU and France will find its position in the middle between Berlin and London and this will be positive for Ankara. Among the three Berlin is the country with the most problematic internal situation due to high number of Turkish and facing positions like that of the Former Central Bank Sarasin ,(in his bestseller published in 2010 he wrote that Turkish are a problem and Germany does not need them. About this point we invite you, for example, to visit Ingolstadt ,where 1 /3 of the Audi working force is Turkish or to think to the future German Army´,(III) ).
The UK has the most gloobal vision of the three.
London and Paris see the south flank of the EU , ( read it as the Great Middle East region),as a priority not less important that that with the East /Russia.
They are there, they have ling time and deep relations that Berlin cannot challenge and, more important, they are there as active players inside the oil world, ( think to Total or BP or Shell…as well as to the London stock market),when Germany is only a buyer.
It will require time to Berlin to accept its real “relative” strength inside the EU and this will be not easy and will cost a lot to each of us.
The sad element is that we have three heads and this can, again, “freeze” the EU as international powerhouse.
The positive element is that the EU can survive even a split off of Berlin and because Berlin is starting to be aware of that this is a positive element on the table.
It is upon to us to learn from our mistakes and to go ahead inside the right track and the only right track is that the consider Ankara, Jerusalem , Ramallah , Beirut , Damascus , Riyadh, Dubai, Tunis, Tripoli, Alger, Rabat, Cairo a priority like Moscow and Kiev.
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