political revue

Year XXXI, 1989, Number 3, Page 253



In view of the revival of the project for a European Union, requested by the European Parliament with the final approval of the Herman Report on 16.02.1989, and which the need to give a democratic setting to the progress towards completing European economic integration has made impossible to delay, the UEF XIV Congress, considers it necessary to start a vast and detailed discussion on the objectives and instruments of the foreign and security policy of the European Union.
For this purpose it draws attention to the following points.
1. Mankind is about to face a historical event of unheard of breadth. Its very survival is endangered due to the destructive capacity achieved by armaments, by the ecological challenge, by the challenge of underdevelopment, of global economic interdependence not regulated by a just and effective political system on a worldwide scale.
In this situation the only valid answer is to start the establishment of a world democratic government of a federal nature. Only in this way will it be possible to found the security of all nations on the law instead of on force and to eliminate the enormous waste of resources linked to the rush for armaments, to carry out an effective ecological control over economic development, to impose solidarity between rich and poor countries, just as each single nation imposes solidarity between rich and poor regions. The world has therefore become a community with a common destiny and the alternative “to unite or to die” pointed out by Briand in 1929 in reference to Europe, and which has become the main propelling force of the European unification process, now concerns the whole of mankind.
Therefore, if it is clear that the world unification process cannot avoid being extremely complex and long, as the establishment of a completely developed system of democratic world government of a federal nature has its premise in the generalization of democratic principles on a worldwide scale, it is also just as clear that the beginning of this process cannot be delayed for long.
On the other hand, in the light of the experience of European unification, it seems reasonable to expect that the very fact of starting off a world unification process will substantially change the general framework of the world situation, determining an inversion in tendency with respect to the dangers threatening the survival of mankind.
2. The enormity of the challenge mankind has to face has already produced a positive reaction on the part of the superpowers, with which the biggest responsibilities lie. The new phase of détente started by them is actually making the prospect of a concrete beginning of the unification process of mankind emerge. This prospect is basically linked to the fact that, together with a concept of traditional détente, the tendency towards an innovative détente (which so far has found in Gorbachev its most imposing supporter) is making its way, and its realization would open up a new era in world politics.
It is the traditional détente which remains, as a vision and as a practice, in the old context of power politics and of security based on force, although there is an attempt to affirm it with moderation and prudence, and to take into account not only its military but also its economic, political, cultural, moral, etc. aspects. The theoretical and practical limit of this type of détente is that it is unable to see or develop, by means of new political concepts and new institutions, what is radically new in human evolution concerning the force factor in the determination of political conduct. It is unable to understand, in other words, that the risk of a nuclear holocaust, as well as that of the ecological catastrophe and of the catastrophic clash between the North and the South of the world, make it imperative to consider the organized pacification of mankind, that is, the elimination of power politics, as the supreme political task of our times.
Innovative détente is already trying to overcome, as much as possible, power politics by replacing traditional defence (both defensive and offensive) with a defensive defence (structural inability to offend) and, in correlation with this, to found state security on the pursuit of others’ security while providing for one’s own (common security).
The progress towards this type of détente has a solid basis in the fact that governments, especially those with the highest responsibilities in the world, must face the problem of mankind’s survival and, therefore, have to try and overcome the power politics system, both because its continuation would cause a collective suicide and because it is necessary to transfer increasing amounts of resources from the armaments rush to the solution of ecological, economic-social and underdevelopment problems. On the other hand, the progressive achievement of this type of détente would represent a fundamental step towards the establishment of a world government for two reasons. In the first place, with the decline of power politics and, therefore, of mutual fear between states, the urge to collaborate pacifically and thus to unite progressively to face the problems common to all mankind would become irresistible. In the second place, the drastic cut in military apparatus would eliminate one of the main obstacles to the consolidation and generalization of democracy on a worldwide scale because the authoritarian implications of militarism would decline and there would be a substantial increase in the resources to be allocated to economic, social, and therefore democratic progress.
3. With the establishment of the European Union, Europe will be able to provide a decisively important contribution to the progress towards world unification.
First of all, it would give mankind an exceptionally attractive example. The great revolutions of modern history were born in Europe: the Liberal, the Democratic and the Socialist revolution. In Europe the national state, which has had so many imitators all over the world, was born. If now the European states, which in the first half of this century caused the outbreak of the most destructive wars in history, were to show that it is possible to unite definitely in a pacific and democratic way without renouncing the actual independence of the national governments (which is possible with the federal system), they would encourage analogous processes in the other parts of the world, where the problem of regional integration is already frequent. On the other hand, as the federal government system able to unite the European nations irreversibly is the same with which an effective world government can be created, its achievement would point out with conviction the road to follow on a worldwide scale. Beyond its function as a model, the European government could carry out a decisive political action in favour of world unification, which would have an extremely solid basis in the raison d’état of a united Europe. Concerning this, one must bear in mind that the creation of a supra-national government would give the European Community an incomparably greater international weight than at present, but it would be driven by the strength of its concrete interests to use its influence in favour of innovative détente and peace even more clearly than the superpowers are doing now.
In reality, Europe is the main scene of a possible clash between the superpowers and, consequently, it would derive the most immediate and direct advantage from the elimination of nuclear weapons and the creation of purely defensive armies, in other words from any measures that would make war structurally impossible in this region. In Europe, moreover, innovative détente would involve overcoming the two blocs and, therefore, the division between the two Europes and the two Germanies. Finally, as the European Community is the largest commercial community in the world, it would be particularly in its interest to create, through a policy of détente and peace, the premises for an impressive development of trade and economic interdependence on a worldwide scale.
Thus there is every reason to hope that the creation, through the European Union, of both a European foreign policy and a European security policy will coincide with a process of gradually overcoming the very principle of a particular foreign and security policy; in other words, that it will coincide with a process of organized pacification of mankind. In any case, this is the direction which must be followed with all possible means by the Europeans who care about mankind’s destiny. Bearing in mind this criterion, three main sectors can be pointed out in which the European contribution to the unification policy of mankind will be able to express itself simultaneously: the relations between the blocs, regional integrations, strengthening of the UN and, generally speaking, of the cooperation structures at worldwide level.
4. Following the revival of détente and the initiatives of the new Soviet leadership tending towards a profound economic and political reform in the USSR and in Eastern Europe, in the relations between the blocs a situation characterized by great prospects of a positive change, but also by great risks, has emerged. On the one hand today there are very real prospects of moving towards innovative détente, towards the democratization of the states of the Soviet bloc and, therefore, towards overcoming the blocs and creating in their place a “Common European House” which, according to statements made by Gorbacbev himself, should include, as well as all Europe and the USSR, also the United States and Canada. On the other hand the changes in progress in the Soviet bloc could lead to a situation close to unilateral dissolution, that would run the risk of causing either an inversion of tendency in present Soviet policy or, in any case, an extremely dangerous pause.
To face this contradictory situation in the most suitable manner, a European Community able to act effectively as an international subject will have to avoid any attempt to weaken unilaterally the Soviet bloc through the detachment from it of individual Eastern European countries. On the contrary, it will have to propose a wide design based on the agreed and bilateral dissolution of the blocs and on their simultaneous replacement with an American-European-Soviet community for cooperation and security, open to any other state that wishes to adhere to it.
The fundamental contents of this design should be: in the field of security, the progressive elimination of nuclear weapons, the creation of purely defensive armies, the withdrawal of US and USSR troupes from Eastern and Western Europe, the creation, in the place of opposed military alliances, of common security structures; in the economic field, reform and economic integration between the countries of the Soviet bloc accompanied by increasingly intense cooperation (also concerning ecological problems) and, therefore, by a progressive integration between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, USSR and North America; in the political field, the democratization of the Soviet bloc countries and the progressive creation of common democratic institutions in the American-European-Soviet community, within whose framework the individual European countries at one point will be able to decide freely whether to join the Western European federation, or an Eastern European federation, or the Soviet federation.
The institutional framework in which to achieve this design could be the transformation of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which comprises the three baskets of security, economic cooperation and civil rights, into a permanent institutional structure. It should be provided from the start, following the model of the European Council, with a Council of Ministers and an Assembly formed by delegates from the Parliaments of member-states, and it should be allowed to gradually strengthen common institutions so as to adapt them to the requirements, of an ever deeper integration.
This design, that would practically be equivalent to the creation of the “partial world government” already affirmed by Einstein, would have a very concrete possibility of being accepted by the present Soviet leadership because, to avoid losing its power, it has to continue with its policy of radical renewal within its own bloc, but at the same time it desperately needs a supra-national framework of cooperation and integration that is able both to help it in its efforts for renewal, and to keep under control the danger of a unilateral breakdown of its position of power at international level.
5. The development of the world unification process must go along with the development of regional unifications. In the first place, only political entities of continental or sub-continental size can be the pillars of an effective world government. In the second place, the creation of vast integrated regional entities is an indispensable premise not only for the pacification of endemically unstable areas, but also for their economic, social, and then democratic development.
A European Community transformed into a federal union will be able to provide a decisive impulse in this direction. It will be able to favour the transformation of the present weak development aid policy into the realization — in close collaboration with USA, Japan and USSR and within the framework of world cooperation structures — of an actual Marshall Plan for the Third World, based on an organized connection between adequate aid and the development of regional integrations.
In particular the Community will have to commit itself to regional integration in the Middle East and Africa and to particularly intense economic cooperation with these areas. Within this framework in fact the Palestine-Israel conflict can be effectively dealt with, as its solution requires Europe to guarantee simultaneously the safety of the Israeli state, the Palestinians’ right to a state of their own, and an overall economic and social development of this area so as to eliminate the roots of political and religious extremisms. Within this framework it will also be possible to create the necessary conditions for providing the populations of Africa and the Middle East with decent working and living conditions in their own countries, thus checking the emigration phenomenon, which otherwise runs the risk of overwhelming the very identity of Europe and, in the long run, its democratic institutions.
6. The situation is not yet ripe for a reform of the UN in the federal sense, but it is certainly ripe for the reinforcement of the present world cooperation structures and for the creation of institutions of a functional nature able to deal with the problems common to mankind.
These agencies should operate in the fields of aid to development (to which more and more resources made available by disarmament should be allocated), of control over disarmament, of environment protection, of the search for alternative energy sources and energy-saving, and so on. The action of these institutions should create increasing solidarity among all the countries of the world, make resorting to force in international conflicts more and more difficult and make conditions ripe for the progressive transformation of the UN into a world democratic government.
The foreign and security policies of the European Union will be able to play a decisive role with respect to this evolution. In fact, the progress towards innovative détente and the consequent establishment of a partial world government between the strong areas of the world, which would represent the basic factor of encouragement to develop and strengthen global world institutions, largely depend on the Union. This does not mean that Europe and the other strong areas must be pre-eminent with respect to the other peoples. If innovative détente develops, one by one all the difficulties of the unification process of mankind will have to be solved, and each country in turn will play a strategically decisive role, up to the moment when all the peoples of the Earth have achieved, with a situation of perpetual peace in equality, the order of reason.
7. The realization by the European Community of a foreign and security policy able to decisively contribute to world unification policy presupposes the establishment of the European Union, in other words of a democratic and federal institutional system, through which the right of national veto is eliminated not only in the field of economic and monetary unification, but also, albeit gradually, in the fields of foreign and security policy.
This seems necessary first of all for the obvious reason that a foreign and security policy at European level organized with the inter-government method, besides being inefficient, would make the existing democratic deficit in the Community institutions unbearable.
But there is another extremely important reason. A European security policy which is not part of a supra-national democratic system and is not linked organically to the development of political and economic integration is bound to privilege the purely military aspects of security rather than the political and economic ones, which consist in the ability to actively contribute to overcoming the political and economic roots of international tensions and thus to consolidate the premises for an efficient world unification policy. In particular, the intergovernment approach to European security favours the tendency to increase armaments, instead of diminishing them, to try and compensate with military force the inability to realize complete, democratic and efficient integration. What necessarily derives from this is an obstacle to détente and disarmament. For this reason, too, it is necessary to aim at a short term relaunching of the European Union and to accept a policy of small steps, in the integration of foreign and security policies, only to the extent that they proceed in parallel with a reinforcement of the European Parliament’s role. Within this framework a fusion between the WEU Assembly and the European Parliament can be considered positively, as an immediate and transient measure until the European Union is achieved.
8. The struggle for a European Union, whose foreign and security policies are a basic instrument of world unification policy, requires of the Federalists that they be able to make visible the connection between regional unification and world unification through the same concrete methods of organization and action.
Therefore it becomes absolutely necessary to create in the first place an effective organization of the Federalists at a worldwide level and then to transform the UEF into the European section of the World Federalist Movement. This movement must draw up a world manifesto of the Federalists which explains the ultimate goal and the transient and partial objectives to be pursued at the various levels (regional integrations, partial world government, reinforcement of UN and of the world cooperation structures), as soon as possible.
Finally, common action on a worldwide scale must be promoted designed to gradually involve all the forces that can be mobilized for the safety and unification of mankind. It could take the shape of a “Campaign for the organization of the peace, survival and progress of mankind”, able to visibly unite the actions of the Federalists and their allies all over the world and at various levels in a common and simultaneous design and commitment. The Campaign for European Democracy should tendentially become an articulation of this more general and global campaign.
Sergio Pistone

*Document presented at UEF XIV Congress (Brussels, 7th-9th April 1989).


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