EU-Eingreiftruppe in den Nahen Osten: ,,The answer must be yes"

Christian Schmidt, ein führender Außenpolitiker der CDU/CSU, fordert die europäischen Staaten auf, sich nicht länger der Ordnung des ,,Pax Americana"im Nahen Osten zu unterwerfen. Die vitalen Interessen der EU-Mitglieder erforderten es, daß sie sich in den Konflikt zwischen Israel und den arabischen Staaten einschalteten - auch mit militärischen Mitteln.

Schmidt konstatiert ,,fühlbare´´Interessen der EU-Staaten im Nahen Osten; leider seien die EU-Mitglieder sich aber noch nicht einig in der Durchsetzung dieser Interessen, das mache sie zu ,,only second-class peacemakers´´. Diese Zeiten aber müssten überwunden werden; die Mitglieder der EU seien ,,finally mature enough"(s. Nachricht Berlin: Auch Europa muß sich ,,aus außenpolitischen Fesseln befreien"), ,,to do more than just play the understudy in (and co-finance) the Pax Americana in the region". Die EU habe keine andere Wahl; sie müsse im Nahen Osten eingreifen: ,,Do these interests require a more prominent European role in dealing with the Middle East conflict? The answer here must be yes."

Auch der Einsatz militärischer Macht sei dabei notwendig; die EU müsse sich ,,both as a strong civilian presence and credible military power"präsentieren Erforderlich sei deshalb jetzt die Bereitschaft der EU-Mitgliedstaaten ,,to send a common force of peacekeepers to the Mideast". Auch ein ,,robuster Truppeneinsatz"- ein Kriegseinsatz der EU-Truppen - dürfe nicht ausgeschlossen werden: ,,Europe ... should even be prepared ... to dispatch a robust contingent of peacekeeping troops to the region."

Christian Schmidt: Europe and the Mideast; INTERNATIONALE POLITIK, Transatlantic Edition 4 / 2001

Auszüge aus dem Dokument:

Europe and the Mideast

Christian Schmidt

Europe should become a co-sponsor, with the United States, of peace in the Mideast. It should drop its accustomed passivity, get engaged proactively-and, if asked, even send troops to monitor a peace. Despite their divergent approaches to the Mideast in the past, the members of the European Union are finally mature enough to do more than just play the understudy in (and co-finance) the Pax Americana in the region. Their interests require them to assume this new responsibility.

European Interests

(...) Certainly Europe has a tangible interest in peacemaking in the Middle East. (...)
The various European countries tend to give different answers. France, with its traditionally close ties with the Arab world, articulates a rather pro-Palestinian stance across a spectrum that reaches to the highest levels of government, and bases its position on concrete economic interests in the Arab states bordering Israel. Germany regards as its solemn duty the defense of Israel's right to exist; Berlin therefore cannot criticize Israel's operational policy toward the Palestinians too strongly. Britain, as the former mandate power, has its own image of the region, shaped through historical experience. And Italy has repeatedly displayed a willingness to bend to Palestinian terrorism and adjust its own position, as in its reaction to the hijacking of the cruise liner ,,Achille Lauro"in 1985.
The Europeans thus adopt correspondingly divergent positions on the Mideast conflict; this ambivalence makes them only second-class peacemakers. (...)
The oil crises of the 1970s and political instrumentalization of them by petroleum producers vividly demonstrated the importance of this interest to Europeans. In addition, Europe has strong trade and business interests in a region where an exploding population increasingly depends on European goods and services.
Do these interests require a more prominent European role in dealing with the Middle East conflict? The answer here must be yes. (...)
It cannot be ruled out - indeed it is likely - that Israel would agree to such participation when the time comes. Yet that moment will come only if Europe can make clear that its strengths are: not only financial, but also political, in the stabilizing role of broader European trade with and investment in the Middle East. Israeli-EU trade is significant; and the Arab states, too, trade more with the EU than with the US.
The EU should work to open more structures for association with the states of the Mideast, especially by re-energizing the Barcelona Process. This should not pose a threat to Israel's privileged status; on the contrary, it would promote regional cooperation. One of the few aspects of international politics in which Europeans have been the undoubted leaders in the continent's postwar history has been the successful organization of regional structures that function well. Europe should export this model.

Peacekeeping Troops

(...) Europe could re-position itself as a co-sponsor of the peace process. It should even be prepared-should things truly spin out of control-to dispatch a robust contingent of peacekeeping troops to the region. (...)