Jul 3, 2008 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

The European Union is currently in a crisis, said Dr. Eckhart Stratenschulte from the Europaische Academy of Berlin. As the recent disruption of the Lisbon Treaty by Ireland demonstrates, the European Union is at a bit of a crossroads, and no one is entirely sure which way to go.

“There’s no consensus about where the EU is going and who is coming with it,” Stratenschulte said.

He said that the EU needs to work together and should become a large international player alongside the U.S. The foreign policy of the European Union is relatively new, but the U.S. can not possibly lead the world alone even if it is the most powerful nation, Stratenschulte said.

While there are many issues that the EU and the U.S. do not agree on, their views on human rights are similar enough that it should be the basis for working together in a foreign policy with other countries.

The EU must work out its own problems first, namely that the EU must be reformed in order to keep up with a changing world and with the addition of new member states. The Lisbon Treaty aims to do just that, but because it hasn’t been ratified yet, the question of where exactly the EU is headed, in terms of its power and rights throughout the world, remains.

Stratenschulte’s argument relates to that of Samuel P. Huntingdon’s thesis in his book, “The Clash of Civilizations,” in which he argues that the world’s power is divided into several “orders” based on similar culture and religion, such as Western Christian versus Russian Orthodox versus Islam versus Latin America. Therefore, the European Union and the U.S. must work together in order to extend their power throughout the world and continue to protect their own culture.


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