Madrid is the scene of the NATO summit, created in 1949 to protect Europe from the USSR and which, after a certain loss of mission due to the end of communism, is now -after the invasion of Ukraine- recovering all its relevance. When the fear of Putin exceeds in Europe the one that aroused Stalin and two neutral countries throughout the Cold War -Sweden and Finland- have requested the NATO umbrella for that of “when you see your neighbor’s beard peel…”.
That the Estonian Head of Government, Kaja Kallas, has declared that, with the current protection of NATO, a Russian invasion would wipe his country off the map in eight minutes and only be resurrected 180 days later says it all about the justified fear generated by Putin. That is why NATO’s troops in a state of maximum alert will go from 40,000 to 300,000. And that is why the ‘Financial Times’ ends a brilliant editorial like this: “As in the Cold War, the allies must assume a great effort in military spending to prepare for something that they hope will never happen. And with the aim that it can never happen & rdquor ;.
We will see how the summit unfolds, but this Tuesday Joseph BorrellVice President of the Brussels Commission and High Representative of the EU, had a long and suggestive conversation with Josep Cuni which is required to comment. First, because Cuní will leave SER Catalunya on Friday, where for three years he has followed the news with great professionalism outside any trench. And also because Josep Borrell, a politician with a long career, is today the most relevant Catalan and Spaniard on the world scene, although some – things of polarization – deny him bread and salt.
Borrell was Secretary of State with Miguel Boyer and bought computers for the Treasury, Minister of Public Works for Felipe González, the first Socialist candidate to preside over the Government elected in primaries, President of the European Parliament and Foreign Minister for Pedro Sánchez before returning to Brussels. He was also one of the first to warn that the encirclement of Ukraine by Russian troops would not end well. I want to highlight four of the points of the interview with Cuní.
One, Europe has reacted well and very quickly – including military, economic and diplomatic aid – to the invasion. To the point that Ukraine has already been recognized as a candidate country -if it meets the conditions- to enter the EU, which other countries have been waiting for years. Two, the EU cannot continue to function with the unanimity rule: “I live and know well how Europe works today and I don’t think it can continue like this if it goes from 27 to 30 or 35 countries.”
Three, one of the most serious failures of the EU is the absence of a coherent immigration policy. Cause? Some countries do not want immigrants and others, more realistic, know that non-community workers are needed. And since with Schengen there are no internal borders anymore, immigrants can move freely. There is a conflict there. In the extreme, it is what leads to unfortunate events such as those at the Melilla gate. Fourth, Europe is not between China (an economic success) and Russia on the one hand, and the United States on the other. We have like America free elections and market economy. The European specificity is that it combines freedom, economic progress and social welfare. “The European model is the best synthesis achieved by humanity.”
Okay, now we have to defend it without entrusting everything to American protection. This requires spend more on Defense and the problem is that some – with ministers in the Government – do not want to.