How the US Runs the EU

By Alexander Mercouris

This is the overwhelming influence the US exerts on it. Britain’s politicians and media completely ignore this, focusing instead on Germany. Wild claims are even made the EU is a “German empire”.

The EU is not a German empire. Germany is not the EU’s master. Rather its role is that of the US’s leading vassal.

The dominant silent partner in the EU is not Germany but the US.

What makes British silence about this so strange is that it is not even a secret.

For example a source has told me US representatives routinely attend the EU’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (“COREPER”), though minutes of its sessions are edited to suppress the fact of their presence.  However their regular attendance at sessions of a key institution of the EU — of which the US is not a member state — has been complained about on the floor of the European Parliament.

Since COREPER prepares the agenda for the EU’s Council of Ministers (the EU’s key law making body) and co-ordinates the work of some 250 EU committees and working parties — in effect the entire EU bureaucracy — US presence at its sessions gives the US a decisive voice in the making of EU policy.

Since the European Council decided to impose sectoral sanctions on Russia by the European Council on 31st July 2014 every single decision to extend the sanctions has been taken not by the European Council but by COREPER, though COREPER’s legal authority to make such decisions is questionable to say the least.

What happens in reality is that US President Obama tells German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Hollande to extend the sanctions, the Commission drafts the decision, COREPER ratifies it, and it is then published without further discussion on the Europa website.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi has complained German Chancellor Merkel talks about EU decisions to French President Hollande and EU Commission President Juncker. They are then announced, and it is only then he learns about them.

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The EU is not unconditionally subservient to the US. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have admitted that a key reason the US agreed to the nuclear agreement with Iran was that the leading EU states insisted on it.

However that it is the US which has the dominant voice in the EU is obvious.

German Finance Minister Schauble has for example said that during the Greek crisis last July German Chancellor Merkel reversed her backing for his plan for Greece to be expelled from the eurozone after being told to do so by US President Obama.

The US objected to Greece’s expulsion from the eurozone from fear it might increase Russian influence there.

Even in small matters like the escape of the US whistleblower Edward Snowden the EU simply did what the US told it.

No EU state was prepared to grant him refuge. Instead they all came together to force down the plane of the President of Bolivia in the belief he was a passenger, despite this being contrary to international law.

Though all this is well known to EU insiders, the people of the EU are told none of it.

Nor are the people of Britain. Atlanticist sentiment in Britain is very strong, so possibly they would not object to it if they knew about it.

The fact however remains they are being asked to vote about an EU they are not told the most important thing about.