A few years ago I commissioned the artist Krieg Barrie (also responsible for the shields in BritainAndAmerica's masthead) to produce the drawing above. Click on the image to enlarge it. The drawing depicts four bureaucrats sat around a table. The cloth underneath their wine and cheese is the EU flag. Unnoticed at the base of the table a hungry African begs for attention. Also unnoticed, from the East, stalks a terrorist.
The EU remains inward looking. The new EU Treaty, discussed here 48 hours ago, will not produce a more outward-looking Europe.
As Con Coughlin wrote in yesterday's Telegraph, the EU is probably more introspective than ever before:
- The new PM in Warsaw, Donald Tusk, may reverse the Law and Justice Party's support for the US missile defence shield to be located on Polish soil. This will leave the whole of Europe more vulnerable from missile attack but the short-term desire to pacify President Putin and secure Russian energy supplies has over-ridden that strategic defence need.
- It is the US that is leading on sanctions again Iran. Europe is dragging its feet.
- Only Britain and the Netherlands are committing adequately to Afghanistan. Other NATO European nations are keeping their troops away from the frontline battles with the Taliban. This despite the fact that most terror plots aimed at Europe originate from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- A reluctance to encourage Turkey in its ambitions to join the EU means Europe has less and less influence on this pivotal Muslim-majority nation.
Many European nations are not banning extremist groups. Europe continues to invest inadequate sums in its military capacity. And, only yesterday, Britain's Conservative leader David Cameron signalled that Conservative security policy was becoming more European, less globalist.
The same insularity is seen in other areas of policy. Europe lectures the world about global warming but can't meet its own modest Kyoto targets. The EU aid budget is heavily politicised. Its trade barriers hurt some of the poorest nations in the world. Labour market rigidities and bloated welfare states are seeing Europe tumble down the world trade league. Something has to change soon.