Can Franco-Germany Handle Becoming a Vanguard of Democracy after Brexit? (written for The European Views*)

Franco-Germany’s potential as a “vanguard of democracy” badly needed by the West is heavily limited by its unwillingness to commit to such a cause, its historical legacy, and some cracks that are emerging along the Rhine. Map: Wikipedia
(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)

Franco-Germany seems like the only candidate capable of filling the Western leadership gap opened up by Trump and Brexit.

Brexit, the already extremely boring, cliché, and insipid but still high conspicuous departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, seems as if it is going to happen some time.

Despite the UK and EU leadership’s failure so far to execute the will of the majority of the British people declared nearly 3.5 years ago in the Brexit referendum, eventually even those who are truly scared of a “no-deal” Brexit will become eager to just get it over with, rather than let the haggling, extensions, and uncertainty linger on endlessly.

Once Brexit goes through, the European Union will be “devoid” of Britain, still one of the world’s top powers, which has been punching way above its weight for centuries, and, on top of that, the cradle of modern-day representative democracy.

It is these two dimensions of British power that bode some of the most significant ramifications of Brexit that many overlook.

The first dimension has to do with the fact that Britain’s departure will severely upset the functioning “balance of power” and “balance of interests” inside the European Union. That is, the balance among the “big” EU member states (not to mention the even more complicated balance among “big” and “small” member states).

Presently, the pre-Brexit EU has the “Big Six”, i.e. all member states with nearly or more than 40 million people (Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Poland); the “Big Five” (the “old” ones from the Big Six from before the arrival of the Eastern European newcomers, that is, the six minus Poland); the “the Big Four” – all member states with nearly or more than 60 million people and a GDP of nearly or above USD 2 billion (Germany, France, the UK, and Italy); and then there are the “Big Three” – the Big Four minus Italy. (Italy has been faltering in terms of both economic and population growth for the past two decades, and is now even seen as declining to a competition with Spain for the spot it used to occupy unconditionally).

Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here

(351 words cited out of a total of 1,826 words)


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