international and global relations

Fortress Europe III: External Issues

In the previous post I ended by stating that Fortress Europe is still vulnerable. That brings me the external issues. Some external issues were briefly mentioned. In this post more factors come into the frame. If you were to properly research each factor the frame would dwarf Rembrandt’s “Nachtwacht.”

The first step to understanding the external issues is by looking at a word map. The world map will show some things.

  • Continent Europe is about two-thirds surrounded by water and borders on Russia and Asia.
  • The EU “territory” of continent Europe is relatively small.
  • Continent Europe is wedged between poor Africa, unstable Asia and powerful Russia.
  • Continent Europe is part of the trade triad of the U.S., Europe and Japan.
  • The Black Sea region between Ukraine and Turkey also plays a role.

When I write “poor Africa” I mean exactly that. The poverty due to political and economical instability drive many Africans to flee their own continent when they can. “Unstable Asia” is the Middle-Eastern region, “Asia Minor” in a quite recent past is a divided region and the “Islamic State, Syria and Israel/Palestine matters are only a few issues there.” I mention the Black Sea region as the Ukraine and Turkey situations that face the EU are complex.

When looking into European history there some things that are inescapable. “Imperial” Europe, be it under command of the pope in Rome or the British empire has done a lot of damage to certain “regions”. I am Dutch and the Netherlands certainly played their part. The post-imperialism and post-colonialism relations with certain regions require a lot of tact.

There is also the aspect of global economics. Producers set or take prices and buyers buy, negotiations can occur. The market brings producers and buyers together. Currently many goods are made in East-Asia, in particular South-East Asia and Europe produces relatively little. Thus Europe is from a production perspective not very self-sufficient.

In many aspects Europe is not very self-sufficient. The inflow of goods and services is enormous which makes international and global relations vital. A good example of how vital relations are, especially after the Cold War “ended” is the “MH17-situation” in Ukraine. In an older post I wrote about Ukraine and the country is still not stable.

The balance of powers still exists…