In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Javad Kachueian, referring to the agreement reached by the leaders of the EU member states on the budget to deal with the effects of the recession, said: Europe has experienced several major crises in the last one or two years. Britain’s withdrawal from the union and its far-reaching geopolitical implications, the global outbreak of the corona and the poor management of EU officials to contain it, Trump’s policies and attitudes towards Europe and his efforts to further weaken the EU and strengthen unilateralism and weakening of multilateralism was slowly moving in a direction that would lead to divergence and split in the European Union.
He added that the unilateral actions and nationalist behaviour of a number of EU member states had not only deepened the solidarity in Europe but also called into question their unity and drastically reduced their trust; If Europe had not taken serious action in this regard, the process of divergence and even division in Europe would have accelerated.
“The first cases of corona disease appeared in Europe in mid-February 2020 and they were not at all ready to deal with the crisis,” he said. “Instead of cooperating and helping each other, European countries closed their borders. They launched unilateral and nationalist measures and prevented the delivery of medical equipment to other member states. That is why Europe became the epicentre of the coronavirus at some point.
EU Leaders Agreement Cause of Halting or Slowing Down Divergence Process
Referring to the consequences of the corona outbreak in Europe, Kachueian added: “More than a million jobs were lost in the first place. In fact, the coronavirus exposed the weakness of foreign relations, economy, culture and industry, health system and mass media and information system and more importantly revealed lack of ethics and solidarity in this union. With what the European leaders have approved, the process of divergence in Europe will be slowed down or possibly stopped.
Explaining the budget agreements reached between European leaders to approve the economic recovery package, he described the talks in Europe as unprecedented in the last 20 years due to about 90 hours of tense negotiations, adding that they are packages for the 2021 to 2027 time span. They approved a €1,800 billion grant to help stave off the corona outbreak and secure the necessary investment for the Green and Digital Revolution, which is truly unprecedented in volume. Of course, this budget must be approved by the European Parliament.
French-German Deal Saved EU
The diplomat also referred to the statistics of the infected and victims of the coronavirus in Europe and helping the countries that have suffered the most, and said: “This summit was held on the 27th anniversary of the founding of Europe with twenty-seven members and what led to the approval of this budget was a deal between France and Germany. This budget would not have been approved if the two countries had not cooperated and reached an agreement. In this case, it can be said that the process of divergence and division in Europe would accelerate. With the ratification of this agreement, Europe breathed a sigh of relief and the members showed that they still want to be united.
“Experience has shown that if the European Parliament approves this agreement, it will be operational,” Kachueian said, adding: “Of course, there may be problems in the process; but if Europe does not take action, it will face major challenges. If they do not succeed in implementing these decisions, and also if they cannot compensate for the consequences of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, the process of divergence will begin. In fact, France and Germany saved the European Union by agreeing on this budget.”
European leaders’ efforts to maintain the EU was launched amid growing US pressure on Europe and the threat of sanctions against European companies. “Trump Considers Europe a serious competitor,” he said, stressing that his outspoken support for Britain’s exit from the European Union and its partition into new and old Europe, and attempt to disintegrate Europe, withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Agreement (also formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) as an important achievement of the EU foreign and security policy, as well as disregarding European security and withdrawing from international agreements were, in fact, an escalation of unilateralism, and rising trade disputes and the use of sanctions against the world and its effects on European trade and economy has created a rift in EU-US relations.
Message to the United States to Preserve European Union
He continued: “On the other hand, Europe’s need for the United States has prevented them from independent role-playing and Europe has slowly lost its independent identity. Of course, if Trump wins the second round, US actions toward divergence in Europe will accelerate.”
“This summit and the effort that European leaders made to reach an agreement was to enable them to preserve Europe, and this is a message not only to the United States but to the whole world that they are working to preserve Europe and to expand its values and capabilities,” Kachueian said.