The atmosphere at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, where the leaders of its member states are meeting, is not pleasant.
To begin, I will mention that the Associated Press characterizes the meeting as "one of the most daunting and divisive summits in recent history.”
The issues under consideration are the agreement to an economic policy that can mitigate the fallout of COVID-19, the adoption of a 7-year budget plan and the legal transgressions of eastern members of the NATO alliance.
All of these are, of course, serious issues, but different majorities in different countries, and especially in the more powerful ones, see them with different eyes, especially in the South and the East.
However, the Greek Prime Minister and the Cypriot President have placed another extremely serious issue on the agenda, which concerns the credibility of the European ‘Union,’ and therefore, its future: the protection of its borders.
If NATO has an excuse for not intervening to stop Turkey's aggression against Greece, because both countries are members, then what is the EU's excuse? Turkey is not a member state.
It should be expected that the confidence of the Greeks in the EU will be seriously weakened if, as it seems so far, its concerns remain mere items on wish lists. I refer specifically to the issue of Aghia Sophia and the continuing and increasingly serious acts of aggression of Turkey against two EU member states, Greece and Cyprus.
Greece’s faith in the EU has already been shaken by the issue of refugees, where everyone turned their heads and left Greece to face the hordes of refugees/migrants from Turkey.
But can the EU remain neutral in the case of raw Turkish aggression?
Can the Greek Prime Minister, a European leader of recognized ability, ask for sanctions while the other leaders pretend that they do not understand?
Unfortunately, we are not surprised by their treatment so far. We have condemned the EU’s hypocrisy many times. Despite France's apparent willingness to do the right thing, Germany is pushing back because of economic and political interest – millions of Turks live there.
Thus, merely invoking the Article on joint border protection when a member is threatened is meaningless.
Nevertheless, we must invoke it to shame them. And they should be ashamed.
But at the same time, we must not continue to have illusions, those who still have them.
The EU is an economic union from which Greece and Cyprus have significant benefits.
But it is not a military union. They do not have a common army. So we have to be able to defend ourselves. We cannot rely on them.