Political commentator Sherelle Jacobs claimed that the EU hopes to “secure superpower status” to “rival the United States”. But she said that the Ukraine crisis has caused this vision to “collapse”.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, she said, has “demolished” the “myth” that countries such as Russia and China can be “integrated into the liberal order”, describing Emmanuel Macron’s attempts to negotiate with Putin as “mortifying”.
She also slammed the EU’s attempts to “restrain the worst impulses of autocrats” by developing a close trading relationship with them.
Mr Macron has met with Putin nine times since the invasion began on February 24 2022.
Meanwhile, Germany has faced criticism for its reliance on Russian energy.
While the European Commission has pledged to cut its use of Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of 2022, with the longer-term goal of ending its reliance on Russian energy entirely by 2030, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has voiced opposition to these plans, claiming it will trigger a European recession.
According to data from the World Bank, Germany imports around 60 percent of its energy.
Around half of its gas and hard coal imports and a third of its oil comes from Russia.
Germany has been criticised by the US, Ukraine and Poland for its reliance on Russia.
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Volodymyr Zelensky described German payments for Russian energy as “blood money”.
Speaking about wider issues threatening the EU, Ms Jacobs said: “There is a rising feeling among both citizens and some politicians that the liberal order no longer has the answers – that a worldview that promises stability and prosperity through multilateralism and global commerce is inadequate and flawed.”
Noting that the EU has been weakened by the eurozone crisis and has “failed to find a solution to agitators like Orbán in Hungary and Salvini in Italy”, Ms Jacobs said that the bloc is currently facing a “cataclysmic reckoning”.
She said that a new worldview, which “reveres the rights of sovereign nations and recognises the importance of military prowess” is “fighting for oxygen”.
This worldview, she said, would build closer relationships with the US and Britain.
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But Ms Jacobs claimed that if the EU “remains blinkered” by France and Germany, it is at risk of “political oblivion”.
And while she acknowledged that the re-election of Mr Macron in France has “stalled” the crisis, she claimed that it has not been entirely “quashed”.
Mr Macron, who is a staunch believer in the European project, was re-elected on Sunday, beating his Eurosceptic rival Marine Le Pen.
Writing in the Telegraph, Ms Jacobs noted that Ms Le Pen took 40 percent of the French vote, claiming that this “undeniably” signifies “creeping sympathy” for her worldview.
Ms Le Pen has been vocal in her opposition to the EU Schengen border-free zone, in the 2017 election saying she would remove it completely.
She also promised a ‘Frexit’ at the previous election but softened her stance during her 2022 election campaign.
After Mr Macron secured re-election, European Council President Charles Michel said: “We can count on France for five more years.”