On taking office as President of the EU Commission in 2019, Ursula von der Leyen said she wanted to create a ‘geopolitical Commission’: “We have enormous tasks ahead of us: Brexit, climate change, 5G expansion, the rise of protectionism, and the reform of the European asylum system – to name just a few. To manage these upheavals, Europe must stand united and assert itself more globally.” Her goal, she said, is to achieve ‘strategic sovereignty’ for the EU on a par with the US, China, and Russia. Since the Ukraine war in February 2022, the EU grandees have outdone themselves with buzzwords on the topic of geopolitics. Recently, EU ‘geopolitical subsidies’ were also announced.
Is the EU capable of becoming a world power? Or is this merely wishful thinking on the part of its leaders? I try to give a concise and very rough sketch on these issues.