Thursday, June 01, 2006


UK Calls for German Vision for Europe

Germany’s stock is fast rising in Europe, and Britain is eager to hitch its wagon to Europe’s leading horse.

When the wheels fell off the European quest for federation last year, Germany resolved to fix the wagon. Germany’s popular new chancellor, Angela Merkel, has repeatedly expressed her determination to set the project aright. She has become, in effect, the matron of Europe.

Merkel’s drive to lead Europe out of its problems and set the pace of discussion for its future has caught the attention of Britain’s minister for Europe, Geoff Hoon. In a May 17 speech delivered at Humboldt University in Berlin, Hoon called for the implementation of Germany’s vision for Europe and a new alliance between the two countries.

Hoon’s speech came on the heels of Angela Merkel’s “European Policy Statement,” delivered before the German Bundestag on
May 11. In her first major policy statement since taking office, Merkel outlined Germany’s vision for a united Europe, touching on a number of important topics facing the EU: enlargement plans; its disconnect with the voting public; infusing a new rationale into the European project; cutting bureaucracy by 25 percent; pursuing economic vitality; strengthening public safety in the face of international terrorism; and acting on the international stage in military affairs. “To master … all these tasks Europe must be capable of acting,” Merkel said. In this respect, she highlighted two areas Europe must now focus its energy on, if it is to achieve this ambitious vision: improving the efficacy of its internal structures, and resolving the issues surrounding European enlargement.

Merkel’s cogent policy statement appears to be magnetically drawing together disparate voices on the future of Europe. Hoon, representing Britain, can be included among them. Hoon’s speech at Humboldt University was the political shadow of Merkel’s policy statement. He echoed nearly every major policy point she issued. wrote on
May 19, “In his first speech in his new ministerial position, Hoon talked about Britain and Germany’s shared views on energy, the wto trade talks and foreign policy. He also praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying that ‘whilst we may not always agree on all of the solutions, we need her kind of vision and leadership in Europe.’”

What makes Hoon’s speech remarkable is that it signals the UK acknowledging who the lead horse is in European affairs—Germany. For years, Europe was led by an “old Europe” Franco-German alliance. However, that alliance has failed, with the French public voting down the federal project in last year’s constitution referendum. Germany, separated from its two-legged-race partner, now comfortably leads the charge.

So the race to lead Europe is being won by Germany. And Britain is willing to seek an alliance with Germany. But note: Germany is leading—Britain is following.

This is very unsettling, considering what Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has said in the past about Germany being Europe’s sole leader: “Since the unification of Germany under Bismarck—perhaps partly because national unification came so late—Germany has veered unpredictably between aggression and self-doubt ….

“As I have already argued, that is one reason why so many Germans genuinely—I believe wrongly—want to see Germany locked in to a federal Europe. In fact, Germany is more rather than less likely to dominate within that framework; for a reunited Germany is simply too big and powerful to be just another player within Europe …. Germany is thus by its very nature a destabilizing rather than a stabilizing force in Europe. Only the military and political engagement of the United States in Europe and close relations between the other two strongest sovereign states in Europe—Britain and France—are sufficient to balance German power: and nothing of the sort would be possible within a European superstate” (The Downing Street Years).

That is exactly what is happening in Europe today. France and Britain are losing the race to lead Europe, and Germany is beginning to “dominate within [the European Union] framework.”

The result?

Astoundingly, the outcome of these developments was spelled out over 60 years ago.

As an unofficial ambassador for world peace, Herbert W. Armstrong, as early as 1944 and continuing until his death in 1986, foretold that Europe would unify, with Germany at the helm, and Britain left out in the cold. He also said that, just before this situation eventuated, we could expect Britain to draw itself into a cloyingly false “lover” relationship with the Germans. He based all of these statements on inerrant Bible prophecy (eg. Hosea 7:11-12; Ezekiel 23:4-5).

Commenting on the uniting of European nations, Mr. Armstrong warned in 1956, “We Americans, with the British, gave them the idea. We’ve tried to organize the European nations together against Russia. They are going to unite against us! And now Europe is about ready for it! The stage is all set! … The Germans are coming back from the destruction of World War ii in breathtaking manner. Germany is the economic and military heart of Europe. Probably Germany will lead and dominate the coming United States of Europe. But Britain will be no part of it!”

Through television, radio broadcasting and the print media, Mr. Armstrong told of this coming division between Britain and Europe. He met with Prime Minister Thatcher, and the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles. In Europe he visited with many presidents and prime ministers, including an architect of the EU, Otto Von Habsburg.

Mr. Armstrong died 20 years ago. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that he was right!

In the near term, watch for Britain to draw closer to Germany—but in the long term, watch for Britain to eventually pull out, or be kicked out, of the European project. Also, watch the trend of Germany asserting its vision of Europe with growing success, to eventually lead a union of 10 nations or groups of nations.

Finally, consider one of Angela Merkel’s concluding statements from her policy statement: “I think that if we answer the questions facing us and if we, the Federal Republic of Germany, play our role in helping people all over Europe understand that this EU is a unique opportunity for us to make our interests, values and way of life livable, then the people will come around to our way of thinking.”

Britain is already coming around to Germany’s way of thinking.

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