Mavros, George: Problems of European Unity and Defence

GEORGE MAVROS

Former Vice Premier of the Greek government

Ι am deeply grateful to the Rector of this famous University for the kind invitation which gives me the privilege of addressing this distinguished audience. Ι am greatly honored by the presence of the Major, who is among us this evening.

The year 1978 witnessed a most impressive development in world strategy. During the current year, an event of equal historical importance, will take place on July the l7th. Both are the conclusion of long processes, which started immediately after the end of the Second World War. Both are events of cosmic dimensions, which will almost certainly change the face of our planet.

The first of these events was the appearance of the Asian Giant in the forefront of international politics. From the moment, China, a founder member of the U.N. took her seat in the United Nations and in the Security Council, as one of its five Permanent Members, a third colossal power, twice the size of the combined populations of America and the Soviet Union -the two traditional Nuclear Superpowers- come into being. Its presence is leading to readjustments of international politics οn a world-wide scale.

After years of isolation from the rest of the world, China is seeking to have its say in all the problems the world is facing. Until now, this has been the monopoly of the two Superpowers. The recent diplomatic initiatives of China, among them the visits of Chairman Hua Κuo-feng to Belgrade and Bucharest, his projected visits to London and Βonn and other Western capitals, together with the visits of the Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua to European capitals, and recently to Athens, give new dimensions to the problems of international strategy. Regardless of how the Soviet Union viewed Chairman Huο-feng’s visits to socialist countries and the Balkans as a nuisance at the beginning, it is now a fact that China has won her place in the international political arena. The habitually realistic approach to foreign affairs of the Soviet Union, led Leonid Brezhnev to go so far as to welcome the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and China as a positive step towards normality.

The second great event will take place on Tuesday, July the l7th this year. This will be a great day for Europe, and perhaps the most significant date in modern world history. On this day the new European Parliament with its members directly elected by the peoples of Europe, will meet for its first session in Strasbourg. The strengthening of the powers of the European Parliament and those of the Commission, will shift a considerable weight of the decision making machinery from the national capitals to the European Parliament. This will be the beginning of a sequence of events, from which the United States of Europe will emerge. Instead of three Super-Powers, the addition of Europe will make it four.

The United States of Europe will be based on a common European spirit, on European solidarity, on the common foundations of European Civilization. It is on those elements that the great European homeland will be built. A United Europe, will make its presence felt world-wide. It will be responsible for its own fate. It will play a leading role in the development of the Mediterranean and the countries around it. And, of course, in the development of the underdeveloped parts of our planet. A United Europe will have a unity of will -a common European will- a common monetary policy and a common policy of defense.

Europe must have, indeed, the last word on the problems of her own defense. This does not mean at all that a United Europe needs to become a strategic nuclear super-power. The possession of nuclear weapons would not add anything to her security. She should, however, organize her defense with conventional weapons and, perhaps, with tactical nuclear weapons, as long as such weaponry is needed. But her greatest contribution to world peace will be to put her full weight behind the policy of effective general disarmament, both in conventional and nuclear weapons until war, or even the threat of war, have been banished from this planet.

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