Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute,
The leaders of France, Germany and Italy have jointly visited Ukraine in an attempt to present a unified European front regarding the Russia-Ukraine war. The one-day visit was long on rhetoric but short on substance: European unity remains elusive.
When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the European Union responded the following day with a package of unprecedented economic sanctions aimed at isolating Russia.
The EU, which was praised for displaying "determination, unity and speed" in its response to Putin, was said to be facing a "transformative moment" that would allow the bloc to become a "geostrategic actor" on the global stage. An observer claimed that the EU had become "a top geopolitical protagonist" and that Europe "discovered that it's a superpower."
On March 21, less than a month after Russia invaded Ukraine, European officials announced an ambitious plan for the EU to achieve "strategic autonomy" aimed at placing the 27-member bloc on equal footing with China and the United States. The implicit objective was to enable a "sovereign" EU to act independently of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in matters of defense and security. That plan is now in shambles.
As the war has dragged on, European unity has collapsed and efforts to transform the European Union into a European superstate — a United States of Europe — have been exposed for what they are: delusions of grandeur.
The EU's largest member states — France and Germany — have sought to appease Putin at the expense of Ukrainian sovereignty. French President Emmanuel Macron, the strongest backer of European strategic autonomy, insists that Putin should not be "humiliated" and has even called on Ukraine to make territorial concessions to help the Russian...