The current leaders of the European Union have no adequate response to the changes in the security situation and the economic rise of Asia, political scientist Eiki Berg said.
EU leaders fail to understand when the security architecture of Europe is facing critical challenges or what steps should be taken to compete with the rising economic power of Asia, Berg, the professor of international relations theory at the University of Tartu, told uudised.err.ee today.
“The European Union is a rich collection of museum pieces from yesterday that we have little use for in the future,” he said.
According to Berg, the idea of the European Federation has passed its sell-by date: there may have been an opportunity in the early years of European integration but no one is interested in giving up nation states now.
Commenting on Estonia’s 10th anniversary as a member of the EU, Berg noted that membership has bolstered Estonia’s identity and the political distance from its eastern neighbor Russia has fed a national self-awareness. Connections to Western structures and shared values is not insignificant when looking at recent political developments and membership has also brought material benefits, he added.
The cost of this is giving up a certain degree of independence and paying the “solidarity fee”, giving the example of the EU’s aid to Greece. But Berg said it remains to be seen whether Greece will help us in hardship.