Newly formed Britain’s government led by duo Cameron-Clegg wants stronger European Union as an international institution of enormous importance to United Kingdom and to British foreign policy in particular. Foreign Secretary, William Hague, in author article published in Europe’s Today magazine presents new stand on cooperation between UK and EU regarding Balkans, Turkey, Russia and Foreign Service led by British representative Lady Ashton.
According to this article Mr. Hague is calling his EU colleagues on cooperation on the important issues in 21st century; he calls for more action on climate change, fighting global poverty, securing energy supplies and economic future of Europe. Many of those issues will be discussed in EU bodies in next few weeks in preparations for next G8/G20 meeting in Muskoka, Canada; is expected that Mr. Hague will continue to work on those issues through his five years in Foreign Office.
“Our common economic future poses a fundamental challenge. Europe’s share of the world’s GDP is set to shrink and the world does not owe us a living. With rise of new economic powers in many industries, Europe has already lost its cost advantage. If we also lose our knowledge advantage our future could be very bleak. Herman Van Rompuy has accurately said, ‘we need more economic growth, now and in the future’ and has rightly identified competitiveness as a key issue”, said Mr. Hague in article.
Beside their euroskepticism Conservatives are according to Mr. Hague convinced that European Union needs enlargement on Balkan and Turkey. Mr. Hague indirectly remembers readers on previous wars on Balkans and shed blood of Europeans in those wars but he also adds that credibility of European foreign affairs depends on effectiveness of its policies there. Interesting fact is that Foreign Seceretary mentioned only one country from Balkans as enormously important to his government.
“The western Balkans are the backyard of the EU, and its credibility in foreign affairs depends on the effectiveness of its policy there. In Bosnia in particular, there is a need for a more muscular and demanding European policy which should be capable of using sticks as well as carrots. There is a strong argument for the threat of targeted sanctions against politicians who undermine the Bosnian state. Bosnia’s economy has grown with foreign aid, but the state has not grown, and today it does not work. The consequences of Bosnia’s disintegration would be catastrophic. The breakdown of the country into independent ethnic statelets would not only reward ethnic cleansing – surely a moral anathema – but would also risk the creation of a failed state in the heart of Europe. A robust approach should focus on a single goal: a central government in Bosnia effective enough to meet the responsibilities of both EU and NATO membership. Success in attaining that aim would be proof to the world of the EU’s seriousness as a regional actor”, said Mr. Hague.
Previous quote from Mr. Hague’s article gives us complete and deliberately prepared program of his government on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Strong messages are sent to other EU members but also to Bosnian politicians. This program indirectly attacks leaders of Republic of Srpska who are in favor of Bosnian dissolution and enlarging Serbian territory on parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sincerely I’ll be glad if current UK government succeeds in this program; that will give boost to Bosnian people to continue their fight for better future. Dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be catastrophic event for EU and Europe and it will cause domino effect on other countries across continent and EU project will fail. Secretary Hague wants strong central government in Sarajevo; this will be mission impossible if Bosnia and Herzegovina doesn’t get’s new modern and functional constitution instead of current constitution written in Dayton in late 1990’s. Beside new constitution Bosnia needs different approach from EU members; new approach must bring new era of relations towards Bosnia as a state not as test experiment for inexperienced EU bureaucrats.
It seems that new UK’s government wants to improve West-Muslim relations hardly damaged in a mandate of previous Labour governments and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started by team Bush-Blair. Mr. Hague connects those issues with EU enlargement on Turkey; he is convinced that Turkey’s membership in EU is strong as ever.
“The case for Turkey’s accession to the EU is as strong as ever. As well as offering considerable mutual economic benefits and profoundly strengthening the EU’s security of energy supply, Turkey’s membership would refute those who claim that there is a clash of civilisations between the West and Islam, and would make Turkey an ideal interlocutor between Europe and the Middle East”, says Mr. Hague.
After all new British government will have a lot of homework to do in all those areas especially on cooperation with other member states. They will be forced to fix all previous mistakes leaved to their team after two Labour mandates and sloppy job executed by PM’s Blair and Brown. It stays on hold to see what they will do in the future, but we can say that they had a perspective and marvelously prepared program.