Putin succeeds in breaking EU decision making machinery — Now, no EU decision by top leaders will be final

You have to hand it to Finland, and the pacifist and appeasers among the leaders of EU member states.

To placate Vladimir Putin, they have broken the decision making machinery of the European Union.

If any “final” decision can be blocked at the formal written approval and printing press stage, no decisions will ever be final, and endless wrangling and re-neogtiations can always ensue.

It is hard to see how the EU can ever take final decisions, on any hard-fought matter, if the decisions of the heads of government or foreign ministers can be blocked by misusing a technical procedure designed only to ensure the written text complies with the agreement, before it is published in the EU’s Official Journal.

Here, Finland was apparently the country which refused to sign off on the sanctions agreement of September 5 when it was reduced to writing.

Finland’s objection went to the heart of the EU “final” decision itself.  It was not merely a question of whether the lawyers and other officials who drafted the written document had gotten some detail wrong.

The new foreign affairs chief designate, Italian Forein Minister Federica Mogherini, demonstrated how ill-prepared and what a poor choice she is for her new post, by taking up the banner of the pacifists and appeasers who have sought to overturn the September 5 “final” decision on adoption of the new EU sanctions.

She will have to be kept under tight control by incoming European Council President David Trusk (the just-resigned prime minister of Poland), if the European Union is to have any kind of coherent foreign policy at all.

Either Mogherini will have to be replaced, or more of the foreign policy authority will have to shift to the office of the President of the Council.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, by pushing Mogherini through over the staunch objections of a number of member states, particularly those on the front lines facing Russia in the East, has demonstrated that he is not the bright socialist hope for the future that many had thought.

He and Ms. Mogherini, rather than consensus builders, appear to be like bulls in a China shop.

The broken China represented by the broken decision making machinery of the EU is lying on the floor for all to see.

Vladimir Putin can take pride in the fact that by his threats and machinations, including blatant lies, war propagand and acts of agression, he has brought this fiasco about.

No doubt he is planning to do something similar in NATO.

The Trenchant Observer

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The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.