Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
The problem with Europes numbers. Thanks to the daghtator and all the way fromAndrew Sullivan comes an article from Stratfor's George Friedman.
It may be true that a simple majority of Europe's nations would support the US,
Stratfor's George Friedman performs the revealing task of actually counting where European countries stand on war against Saddam. There are three categories: countries that explicitly support the U.S position; countries that support it but wanted a second resolution; and countries that oppose war against Saddam. In the first camp, we have the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Croatia, Portugal, Bosnia and Montenegro. In the second camp - supportive - we have
the Netherlands, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia - a bloc of five. But of these, The Netherlands sent Patriot missiles to Turkey before NATO approved the shipment, while the Czechs and Slovaks have sent chemical detection teams to Kuwait.
I'd put those five into the broadly positive column myself. That makes a total of 21 European countries in favor of war. Then we have the neutrals: Ireland, Austria, Finland, Serbia, Switzerland and Norway. And the opponents: France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden and Greece. Friedman therefore notes something that should be borne in mind when you hear NPR, the BBC and others tell you that "Europe" opposes the war. By an overwhelming majority of 21 countries to five, Europe backs war, with five countries neutral. And of those 21, you have the second and fourth largest economies, Britain and Italy, the two biggest emerging powers, Spain and Poland, and the entire former Eastern bloc. It would be a huge majority in the future EU. So why isn't the story that Germany and France are now isolated on the continent?
But sadly Europe operates under Qualified Majority Voting (QMV), or as currently for Foriegn and Security matters, unanimity. Thus yup, the French could veto any action by Europe as it has done at the UN. What is more under the plans for an European Constitution currently being drawn up, individual nations would have no right to act independantly either. q.v. the infamous Chirac insult to the countries of Eastern Europe.
In fact there are plans to introduce simple majority voting, sponsored by France and Germany, which would make things more interesting, but as the figure below argue that under such rules German and French forces woumld be today parked in the Kuwait sand I do not see the plans being persued.
First Figure Current weighting second From 2005 For