The European Union is gradually turning into a big loser of the Syrian war in the international arena. Over the last year, a number of tendencies have emerge which could erode the legitimacy of the bloc and reverse the integration process, an article for the Portugal media outlet Publico read.
Conflicts in the Middle East have resulted in the growing radicalization of the European Union. The Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist group which is recruiting militants in many EU countries poses a serious threat to European domestic security. Another serious problem is the recent influx of migrants which are now storming the borders of European countries.
According to the article, both problems stem from the EU’s wrongful understanding of the situation in the Middle East, especially in Syria. Brussels supported Arab Spring revolutions across the region; however its expectations for Syria were too optimistic.
When the EU sided with Washington and its regional allies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Turkey) it was mired into a set of regional conflicts it could never take advantage of, the article read.
As the civil war in Syria intensified the country was engulfed into religious violence between the Sunnis and Shiites. And atrocities by ISIL only aggravated the situation and provoked a massive exodus of refugees to European countries.
This catastrophic situation is the result of the EU blindly following Washington’s policy in the Middle East, the author wrote. European interests in the region never were the same as US interests, and do not reflect the principles of democracy.
The crisis in the European Union is unfolding in the geopolitical dimension where the bloc should take the initiative to conduct its own political course, without influence from the US and NATO.
Currently, the EU’s harsh policy toward Syria is dictated by the US and its allies, the author pointed out.
In order to cope with its domestic crises (like the migrant crisis) Brussels would have to change its foreign policy and find a strategy to deal with the root of the problem, the article read.