As the EU celebrates its 72nd anniversary on Monday, the war in Ukraine is pushing itself to become a powerful player on the world stage. “The war of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine is fundamentally challenging the architecture of our European peace,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.
The trade union of the warring countries has at one time become a center of political power ready to send arms to kyiv and impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia. But this prosperous union of 450 million people, struggling to keep its 27 member states speaking with one voice, is not the great world power it wants to be. The desire of French President Emmanuel Macron, who is currently chairing the EU Council, to grant it is a far cry from strategic autonomy.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Tragi argued before MEPs on Tuesday that the EU needed a “practical federation” that would deprive member states of their veto rights. The European Parliament has approved the rewriting of the treaties and put forward 49 proposals from the Conference on the Future of Europe, which are now concluded citizen consultations. Among these were the idea of a competent majority referendum put forward to streamline the decision-making process by Emmanuel Macron and Mario Draghi, as well as increased powers for the European Commission in areas envied by national governments such as security.
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