You don’t need to look much further than the Biden administration to see that the European Union has much to learn from the US about how to become a superpower and think big.
Biden knows only too well that the bigger you are, the harder you fall and this is what is behind his $1.9 trillion dollar rescue package for the economy and for tackling covid head on. He literally took hours to get his act together.
Yet it has taken the European Union months to form a policy.
Just recently, the EU finally signed off a Covid-19 aid package of just over $2 trillion when Poland and Hungary initially blocked it being agreed as part of the EU's new operating budget for 2021 to 2027.
These two EU member states, who joined the EU in 2004, both smelt a rat in the deal, which they claimed was a backdoor immigration deal which was going to affect both of their countries. The two trillion dollar budget was finally backed by the European Parliament in late December but many will argue that the EU’s lack of unity and its own corruption, allowed for crucial delays to take place, costing many lives.
Even today, the headlines are still featuring the “fiasco” of the EU’s vaccine program which last year favoured a French company – which then failed to step up to the mark – only for reports in January to show the EU program in a murky light.
The EU wants above all to favour European firms and for its own slow program to take precedent, but has seen Germany break ranks and order its own supplies while Hungary went even further and defied Brussels by ordering from Russia.
EU “blunders” indeed.
The word “fiasco” comes up a lot in google when you search for “EU” and “vaccines”. Some pro-EU analysts even go as far as saying that the EU lost sight of the vaccine rationale just as it did with Brexit negotiations, calling it a “disaster” as a policy area.
In America, things are less complicated and Biden’s covid rescue plan will only have to be backed by a majority of votes in the Senate next month. According to Bloomberg though, the plan might see some resistance as it bundles in with it a few social reforms from Democrats.
“The pandemic aid bill - spanning $400 billion for Covid-19 management, more than $1 trillion in direct relief spending and $440 billion for communities and businesses - comes in at more than double the bipartisan bill approved last month, and only slightly below the March 2020 Cares Act,” claims Bloomberg. “The bigger size, and inclusion of Democratic priorities such as a minimum-wage increase, sets a challenge for Biden to bring Republicans aboard,” it explains.
The big thinking from the US will irk EU mandarins in Brussels who are wondering whether the EU will survive beyond its own elections in 2024, with Brexit now already a real worry for the EU as a number of other countries consider making the same move.
Chief among them being Italy, which will have to still wait months to receive a dime from the EU to rebuild its shattered economy following the covid outbreak. Others such as Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Poland and even France could also make moves towards plans to leave the EU, with French President Emmanuel Macron becoming increasingly nervous each day after Brexit, scared that French citizens will watch how Britain flourishes outside of the EU but still retaining access to its single market – explaining why he felt the need to lie to his own people about Brexit being based on “lies and false promises”.
If Italy falls...
Aside from a lot of Brexit hype in eurosceptic press, which is often exaggerated, the reality about the EU’s failure to build a pandemic rescue package is that Italy cannot be saved, even if the cash is released from the International Monetary Fund this week as the EU’s own pandemic plan is so cumbersome and slow, that even top EU officials in Brussels are talking about a vaccine plan starting in the second quarter of 2021.
In reality, this will not lead to this country following Britain quickly in a path to leave the EU. This will take years, perhaps even another decade. In the shorter term, what is much more likely, is that Italy will seriously embrace the idea of leaving the euro.
Even the pro-EU Guardian, is warning of this reality, leaving Brussels wondering whether the project could survive in its present state, given that all roads lead to Rome. Italy is a founding member of the EU. If it left the eurozone, the impact on the single currency itself and those eurozone members, could be devastating – let alone to the EU as a whole.
That’s what happens when you have all of the auspices in place of being a superpower – huge institutions with billions of euros of taxpayers cash to squander on sponsored news, along with a fake parliament – but when in reality you’re only left a theatre of allusion and props from The Truman Show.
Unity is the key component which the EU can’t fake, which is one of the reasons why its so-called foreign policy agenda is so befuddled with contradictions and opaque ideals, so much so that Carnegie needs to be paid just to explain it to voters.
Call Boris, Joe
When the hoards of overpaid officials look back and search through the rubble for answers, they will agree that the tipping point was Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion dollar rescue plan which is bold and revolutionary and will make America great again when 2021 is the year of the US pulling itself out of the Covid-19 swamp with, among other things, a doubling of the minimum wage. Brilliant. Bold. Thinking big.
How the EU fails time and time again when it thinks big. EU army? Never going to happen due to no solid vision or agreement across the bloc. Much bigger budget for foreign policy or tech? Nada. Covid rescue plan to save Italy? Too late. Sending a few naval ships from France or Belgium to the eastern Med to “defend” Greece against Turkey’s exploration of energy resources? Ain't gonna happen.
Biden is poised to rescue large and small businesses indirectly by pumping money back into a failing economy - via social reforms. Putting money into the pockets of the poor and local authorities helps American businesses.
Meanwhile in the EU, Brussels is only looking at ways it can save its own political demise. The real difference between superpowers and their cheap knock-offs is where you place priorities when the going gets tough.
Biden knows that his massive cash injection and minimum wage plan will help small businesses while the larger ones will grumble but deal with it. Biden is unburdened by detail or political process; by contrast, the EU may have left its plans too late to implement as the entire 27-nation bloc looks on and watches Boris Johnson surge ahead with vaccines and be the first leader to take a call from Joe Biden.
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