Alwaght – Following Trump’s assumption of power, the US-EU relations set off in a course of diplomatic chill as Washington and Brussels held their own different views on important international issues. Trump’s ideas created sticking points as he backed the voices seeking exit from the EU not only in Britain but also in other European countries. He also broke with his predecessors’ tough tone in dealing with Russia and even wanted the ties with Moscow to be improved. Trump also called on the NATO members to pay more for their share in the military organization he lashed out at as “obsolete” during his presidential campaign.
The EU also had things with which it could show opposition to the American president. The EU leaders unanimously criticized the American leader for his negative position on the Paris Agreement on environment. The EU also disagreed with Trump over what some of its officials called his “undiplomatic and dangerous” dealing with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs. Iran nuclear deal, reached in 2015, was another source of European discord with the White House.
Several economic, security, and political reasons stand behind the Europe’s decline to be in tune with the US and drive hedges between the allies despite their existing large-scale bonds.
Well aware of the warlike policy of the new American administration that seeks inflammation of crises in various parts of the world for its own political advantages and justification of its military presence across the globe, the EU has constantly given out its worries about the dire consequences of destabilization and war in the world, especially in West Asia region.
Here are some of the repercussions of an insecure world for the European countries:
The US and its Western and regional allies involved into two military crises in the past two decades. One the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the other the military intervention in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, where the crisis developed massive and complicated. After these military engagements, the world saw birth and evolution of the terrorist groups whose existence poses a considerable challenge to the security of Europe, with a large number of its Muslim citizens travelling all the way to such hot spots as Syria and Iraq to combat beside the already-involved terrorist fighters. Past few years witnessed terrorist attacks rocking deep into Europe and impacting the EU economically and politically. Rising costs of security, public discontentment, and appearance of social gaps are just part of the consequences of terrorism phenomenon and years of war and insecurity in West Asia.
Refugee crisis is another outcome of conflict and destabilization of the victim countries that affects the politics, economy, and security of the European countries that are seen safe place by influx of the refugees from the crisis-hit countries. Their entry to Europe brings an array of troubles to the hosting nations. Challenges range from blending in of the terrorists with the migrants to the costs of their reception for the destination countries, not to mention the social cohesion impairment and the resultant cultural collisions of the refugees with the receiving societies.
The analysts even blame the migrants problem as paving the way for rise of radical right groups across Europe who target European convergence and the institutions bolstering it. The withdrawal of Britain from the EU, or Brexit, is attributed to the refugee crisis combined with the domestic European economic crisis as well as the terrorist attacks. With regard to the economic integration of the bloc’s members and over two decades of cooperation and foundation of common market, breakaway of a significant state like Britain, no doubt, heavily blows the Eurozone. The two sides launched negotiations of the exit but little advances were made, leading to failure to reach agreement, meaning London is yet to easily leave the bloc.
Iran nuclear deal gaps
Another point of difference between Europe and the US is Iran nuclear deal. After several years of negotiations between Tehran and the six world powers, the two sides finalized an agreement, dubbed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program in 2015. But Trump proved to be a constant opponent to the accord. Trump, on Friday, refused to certify the international deal and warned he might ultimately terminate it, in defiance of other world powers and undermining a landmark victory of multilateral diplomacy. While Trump did not pull Washington out of the nuclear deal, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the pact. Reimposing sanctions would put the US at odds with other signatories of the accord such as the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, as well as the European Union.
The hard stance by the American president comes while other parties of the deal highlighted the need for the JCPOA to stay unharmed.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, shortly after Trump’s remarks on Friday, said the US president is not in a position to terminate Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. Mogherini stressed that the 2015 accord US “does not belong to any single country”.
“To my knowledge there is not one single country in the world that can terminate a UN Security Council resolution that has been adopted, and adopted unanimously, and implemented, and verified,” she said.
“It is clearly not in the hands of any president of any country in the world to terminate an agreement of this sort. The president of the United States has many powers (but) not this one,” the EU foreign policy chief pointed out.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has already announced her opposition to Trump’s decision. She during a phone conversation with Trump on Wednesday reaffirmed the UK’s “strong” commitment to the deal alongside the European partners, saying it was “vitally important for regional security.” Earlier, other European leaders took similar pro-deal stances. The chasm between the Europeans and the Americans on the accord stems from the EU considerations and concerns about possible unraveling of the agreement, which could produce the following results:
Nuclear weapons spread risks
The general notion of the European bloc in relation to the nuclear agreement is that it largely helped check the global nuclear proliferation. During over a decade of the UN Nations supervision of the Iran nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency has frequently certified the nuclear program as peaceful. But the EU is worried that once the nuclear agreement collapses, the regional rivals of Iran will struggle to get their own nuclear bombs, which means a fatal blow to the diplomatic efforts for global denuclearization, mainly because it damages the trust in duration of the international treaties and also the superpowers’ commitment to them. Best example is North Korea, the country with thriving nuclear and missile programs. Killing the Iranian nuclear deal will scupper the chances of Pyongyang nuclear disarmament, something Europe is well aware of.
Challenges to international peace and the consequences
The European parties argue that scrapping the deal will unleash waves of insecurity which lead to more wavering of the regional peace and stability, having in mind that in a badly chaotic region Iran is widely recognized as the anchor of stability, and that Europe needs the Islamic Republic for effective combating of a wide range of terrorist organizations.
If a new crisis in the geoeconomically-significant West Asia breaks out as a result of the nuclear deal end, the energy supply lines will be exposed to serious jeopardy that can be one of the Iranian reaction options. The high oil prices could ensue and the global economy that is yet to recover from the 2008 financial crisis will sustain another shock. This is never in interests of Europe which relies on the region’s energy much more than the US which is itself a major oil producer. This emboldens the Europeans to take a different course from the Washington loafers as they count the economic, political, and security costs of the nuclear deal cancelation for themselves, despite their deep-rooted bonds with the US.