What Europe Must Do Now in 10 Steps
With the reality of the ending of US aid to Ukraine now dawning, this can save the day
With the reality that aid for Ukraine from the USA is looking less and less likely, I thought I would draw up a step-by-step list of what European states need to do as quickly as possible. Its clear that the US is not to be trusted to look after European security. The fear of Trump is so strong that even when he is not President, the Republicans will do his bidding (even when many of them oppose his policies). Just imagine what it would be like if he were he to become president again in a few months—which remains a 50-50 proposition?
European states must therefore start operating on the assumption that Trump will win—and in that case they will be left on their own to look after their security. It will require a very different mindset than has existed since 1945, and a willingness to be decisive in a way that does not come natural to European states.
What I am proposing is what I would like to see—almost certainly much/most of it won’t happen. However, it would help bring stability to the continent as quickly as possible—and I believe its an important thought experiment.
The steps needed are both institutional and military.
The European Union will naturally take over much of the responsibility for European security. However, before it can do that, it will have to get its own house in order, and it must allow for the integration of Ukraine, the reintegration of the UK, and the dis-integration of non-democratic states such as Hungary. I would suggest the following:
Ukraine is offered expedited membership of the EU—to be completed in a set amount of years. Russia is told that this membership extends to all the legally recognized territory of Ukraine, and as long as Ukraine is not in control of its sovereign territory, there will be no lifting of sanctions or travel allowed from Russia to Europe.
The UK is offered re-entry into the EU on generous terms—it wont get the old rebate back, but it could get to keep the £. The Sunak government wont go for this, but a Starmer government, faced with a Trump administration that will leave NATO, might have the courage to to rejoin. Brits already view Brexit as a disaster and a majority would like to rejoin the EU.
Non-democratic EU states such as Hungary, will be shown the door. They will be given one-chance to clean up their act, but that’s it. There has been too much damage done by tolerating the growth of anti-democracy in Europe.
The EU would thus become a more active vehicle for freedom and security, and EU membership will be seen as a natural for those who want to live in free societies.
Of course these steps will mean little if Ukraine is not helped to win the war. This can still happen, but it will require drastic European steps now—without hesitation.
These would include: