52. Pace of change is nearly exponential, so EU must act fast

EU has experienced Grexit and Brexit but it may also experience the EU collapse, or even worse – the European wars – it is worth quoting the fragments of an almost Cassandra-type speech by the former Polish Foreign Minister, Radek Sikorski in Berlin in 2011 when he said to his German hosts: “We are standing on the edge of a precipice. This is the scariest moment of my ministerial life but therefore also the most sublime… I fear German power less, than I am beginning to fear German inactivity”. And then this scaring scenario, which eight years ago seemed so improbable: “The break-up [of the Eurozone and the EU] would be a crisis of apocalyptic proportions beyond our financial system. Once the logic of ‘each man for himself’ takes hold, can we really trust everyone to act communitarian and resist the temptation to settle scores in other areas, such as trade? Would you really bet the house on the proposition that if the Eurozone breaks up, the single market, the cornerstone of the European Union, will definitely survive? After all, messy divorces are more frequent than amicable ones” .

Today, in view of the Euro crisis of 2014-2016, migration crisis 2015-2016, Brexit and of course Covid-19, this scenario is far more plausible than we are willing to admit. So, the EU collapse can happen quite suddenly, especially if several critical events happen at the same time. After all, the world has stopped changing linearly. For the last few years, it has been changing at nearly an exponential pace.. Think about the speed with which massive migration came to Europe, or how soon Technological Unemployment could be with us (in 20 years’ time there will be more robots on the planet than people), etc. The economic, political and military competition coming from China, Russia, India, Brazil, Indonesia etc. will be so powerful that Europe consisting of individual states, as now, will not withstand such pressures and will fall apart with potentially catastrophic consequences.

In Europe, the clear winner would be Russia. It would be emboldened by the weak EU and might try to annex either directly or indirectly the neighbouring territories, initially the Baltic Republics, the whole Ukraine and Moldova. Later on, it could paralyze the democratic processes of other countries, such as Scandinavia, Poland and South-Eastern Europe through the process known as ‘Finlandization’. This refers to the decision of a country not to challenge a more powerful neighbour in foreign politics, while maintaining national sovereignty. Read more here.