It's clear that any of the US President's step or initiative today's Europe also tries on for size. For example, the attitude towards illegal migrants and the wall with Mexico as a symbol of Trump’s rejection of uninvited guests. Or recovery of production within the borders of the national state. Or the refusal to support coups in foreign countries. Eagerness to build rational relations with Russia. It is clear that all this is very painful for the European Union because it gets to either keep its old priorities, but alone, without the US, or radically change them, turning 180 degrees.
Especially Angela Merkel, German Chancellor who's up for re-election in autumn for her fourth term, is particularly in a real mess. All would seem okay, but with the election of Trump, coincidentally, I personally have the feeling that Merkel suddenly got old. No, don't get me wrong, I am far from touching upon this deeply feminine subject and discussing her wrinkles, hair, her clothes colors and unchangeable cut of the trouser suit. I just feel that Merkel has become out of fashion. As they say in French, démodée. Political fashion.
In this sense, she got old, even more precisely, outmoded, representing the past of Germany and Europe, rather than their future. I have been cultivating this feeling about Merkel for a long time, but now, everything has suddenly become clear. It seems that she did everything she could, and, in the end, she naturally appeared to be in a standstill. Speaking at the beginning of the week, she recognized that a new era was coming. «I think that after a quarter-century of German unity, one historic period is being changed by another one. After 1990, after the end of the Cold War, we thought it was a victorious march of freedom, and it is only a question when it comes to the most remote parts of the world. And something that we could not imagine in Europe suddenly happened. As a result, I'm standing in front of you in united Germany». In the old era, Merkel filled Germany and the European Union with immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East. In one year, she spent more than 20 billion euros on them. Now she's at a dead end, because neither Germany nor the European Union can continue down the same path.
But migrants are not the main thing. The main thing Angela Merkel is blamed for is that she destroyed the policy of her outstanding predecessors that allowed, on the one hand, Germany to become united, and, on the other hand, to build the European Union in a peaceful environment. This line, the foundations of which was laid by Chancellor Willy Brandt at the late 60’s, was called Ostpolitik of Germany. Its meaning was a friendly relationship with Moscow based on the change through a rapprochement. Apart from Brandt, Ostpolitik was developed and implemented by such strong supporters of firm state authority of Germany as Egon Bahr, Helmut Kohl, and Gerhard Schroeder. They knew that without Russia’s favor it was impossible to build neither united Germany, nor united Europe.
When united Germany became a fact, and the European Union was on the rise, Merkel ungratefully turned away from Russia. Moreover, in the alliance with the United States, she started the policy which was hostile to Moscow. If you look closer at the actions of Merkel, the old German thesis of the lack of living space is easily recognizable. We know it well from Hitler, but, in fact, the lack of living space was discussed in Germany even before World War I. Central Europe was considered a resource to fill the «lack».
The term Mitteleuropa, which means Middle Europe, was born in the German political theories more than a hundred years ago. The idea was developed by political philosopher Friedrich Naumann. I'm not going to talk long about him. Shortly speaking, the meaning of this old German game was reduced to a simple and precise formula that what was not Russian, should become, so to speak, «Middle European». And «Middle European» simply meant German.
In fact, Middle Europe will be German. It will be used for global relations established in the German language. This is how it was. Expansion of the German living space pushed the country into World War I and World War II.
Prior to the beginning of the XXI century, Germany somehow coped with its hereditary disease, but Merkel secretly broke down. Why secretly? Because all the time she loudly said the words «democracy», «peace», and «inviolability of frontiers», but during her term, Germany wanted to literally swallow Ukraine, which is entirely within the concept of Mitteleuropa and expansion of its living space. It's the devil's work.
In February 2014, Germany, represented by its Foreign Minister Steinmeier, issued a written guarantee of a peaceful and early transfer of power from Yanukovych to Maidan. But in less than a day, it de facto supported the bloody coup in Kiev in the name of Europe, as they said. Merkel, as it now appears, was happy: Ukraine was going to her hands. She thought it was perfect, hoping to continue to use others to pull her chestnuts out of the fire. «Others» because the first violin in the coup in Ukraine was played by the United States. Angela Merkel was fine with that also because all moral responsibility for this dirty work was for Americans to bear. Ukraine seemed to fall into her basket, like a ripe fruit, and America also said thank you for everything. Perfect! What’s happening now?
The Moor has done his duty, let him go. Is it about Barack Obama? No. This phrase seems to be about Merkel spoken by German romanticist Schiller. In his story, the new government didn’t need the Moor, who helped organize the uprising. A sad story. Now Merkel becomes unwanted. And does Germany need such Ukraine from Angela Merkel? No. Or, at least, is the EU ready to take such Ukraine from Merkel? Also no. Germany’s relationship with Moscow? Worse than ever. In response to the agreement on the unification of Germany, there is callous ingratitude and encroachments upon the cradle of the ancient Russian national identity. How is the European Union ruled by Merkel doing? As bad as never before. Maybe, everything is fine inside Germany itself? Let’s not speak about sad things. That is why Merkel looks démodée, out of fashion.
President Trump also nailed her to the wall by saying that Germany was in NATO for free. It was agreed to invest at least 2% of GDP on NATO’s security, and Germany did not pay itself and set a bad example to the others. This is what Trump means. Let's see the table. As for military spendings for NATO, measured in the proportion of GDP, Germany is modestly hiding in the bottom half of the list of 28 countries, somewhere after Albania and before Denmark. 16th place! It is even indecent for Merkel, who speaks so loudly about Russian aggression. Maybe she is being insincere? Just to make Americans pay? This is exactly what Trump means. If you believe that you are threatened, then you should strengthen the defense. If not, do not fool the others. In general, here too Merkel is in a jam, and because of her so are many other NATO buddies.