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FT: Europe’s plot to take over the world

Author: Gideon Rachman
October 5, 2009

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With Ireland passing the Lisbon treaty, Gideon Rachman contends that the European Union is staking a claim to be taken seriously as a global superpower, particularly with the Group of 20 where Europeans hold eight seats at the conference.

At last! Ireland has passed the Lisbon treaty and now the European Union can move forward with its plan for world domination. Within months, the EU is likely to appoint a president and a foreign minister. Tony Blair is limbering up for a run at the top job. A clutch of Swedish, Dutch and Belgian candidates are jostling for the post of foreign minister.

Fortified by its new foreign-policy structures, the Union is staking a claim to be taken seriously as a global superpower. David Miliband, Britain's foreign secretary, says: "It shouldn't be a G2 of the US and China. There should be a G3 with the European Union."

But what happens in Brussels - or even in trilateral dealings between the US, China and Europe - is a sideshow. The real key to Europe's global ambitions is the Group of 20.

Jean Monnet, the founding father of the EU, believed that European unity was "not an end in itself, but only a stage on the way to the organised world of tomorrow". His successors in Brussels make no secret of the fact that they regard the Union's brand of supranational governance as a global model.

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