Did the war in Iraq expose EU division?

France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia, along with several other European nations, staunchly opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The UK, Poland, Spain, Italy, the Baltic nations, and others supported it. If the European Union’s key members can’t even unite on an issue like this, can we seriously expect the EU to become a major world power?

I’ll grant that the euro has gained ground against the dollar. But this has had mixed results for the EU. After all, Aerobus and several other European companies are now building plants in the US, and admit that the currency slide has cost them dearly. Meanwhile, nations like India, the ASEAN members, and others are far more concerned about their relations with the US than the EU. Iran is an isolated exception.

So how much influence does the EU really have in world affairs? I think it’s greatly exaggerated…the EU is not a world power and won’t be for years to come. They couldn’t even handle the Kosovo crisis without heavy reliance on US involvement. The Iraq war may have angered many nations, but the political fallout has not been nearly as bad as one might expect, considering most European, Asian, and African governments still cooperate with the US on anti-terrorism and other issues, and nations from Eastern Europe to Eastern Africa are clamoring for US military presence.


Answer #1

Uhm Russia is not in the EU… but that’s really besides the point.

I dont think the EU was meant to be some sort of political entity that had a single view point on world affairs… it’s really set up more for free trade between the countries… Im not an economics or poly sci major, but if anything I would say there showed up problems in the UN more than the EU…

Answer #2

So how much influence does the EU really have in world affairs?

I think it has minimal influence, but it should have more. Theoretically, it’s a good idea–however, the chasms between policies in the countries that make up the EU make it nearly impossible for a decision to be reached. Iraq did provide a situation where this inefficiency was exposed.

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