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La Repubblica - Italy | Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For Barbara Spinelli the EU should be a pioneer of democracy

The protests against the anti-Islamic Mohammed video are a good opportunity for Europe to emancipate itself from the US and adopt its own style of defending democracy, writes political scientist Barbara Spinelli in the left-liberal daily La Repubblica: "Europe could take action if it finally had its own foreign policy. … All the more so now that a European federation is no longer a taboo. … But the 'Arab Winter' is more than a major setback for the EU. It reveals that we lack ideas, resources and a joint government and that we are incapable of mastering such crises. This explains our silence and the meaningless chatter of the EU representatives. What good is Catherine Ashton, who bears the pompous title of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, when no one knows what the 27 foreign ministers' point of view is. They are hybrid figures in a union that consists of states that are neither sovereign nor federal. … Emancipation from the US means recognising that the US model of exporting democracy through war has failed. … Now it's Europe's turn to give these countries hope and defend their democracies."

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