Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, unveiled her geopolitical strategy for Europe on September 10. It aims to unify Europe’s defense and space industry, and shift the commission to a faster, more decisive decision-making format. Ultimately, her vision is to transform the bloc into a unified, powerful force on the world scene.
“The world needs more Europe; the world is calling for more Europe,” she said in a speech in Strasbourg on July 16. “Therefore, we have to stand up.”
Von der Leyen is now taking concrete steps to achieve that goal.
The Directorate-General for European armed forces, soon to get its own offices and staff in Brussels, will promote a European “joint military-industrial complex.” It will unify Europe’s rapidly developing space force and military, and $16 billion will go toward developing EU satellite projects. It also intends to hasten the development of European high-tech weapons, such as drones and artificial intelligence.
“We need to take further bold steps in the next five years towards a genuine European defense union,” EU Observer reported von der Leyen as saying. “The European Union needs to be more strategic, more assertive and more united in its approach to external relations.”
Germany is unusually supportive of all of this.
France has called for a European army multiple times, including near the end of last year when relations between Emmanuel Macron and United States President Donald Trump reached a low point. “What is new, is that most other Western European countries agree and, most significantly, that Germany agrees,” wrote Foreign Policy in an article titled “Europe Is Ready for Its Own Army.” This is one of the few policies that both the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party can agree upon—a rarity in German politics these days.
Another important takeaway from von der Leyen’s speech is her intention to shift the EU decision-making process to a majority-voting system, as opposed to the current unanimity system. This would open the path to a faster, more effective decision-making system similar to the United States.
Growth at the European level comes at the same time German leaders are urging greater military spending.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warned on Wednesday that without another spending increase, even basic projects will lack funding. An increase in defense spending of $1.9 billion is planned for 2020.
The media is echoing these calls for greater German military leadership in Europe. Foreign Policy wrote, “European leaders are already thinking about how to cope with a scenario where they face a resurgent empire to the east, and a fading—and no longer friendly—superpower in the West. Under these conditions, a real European army could emerge for the first time.”
This is a message that long-time Trumpet readers will instantly recognize.
It is important to keep in mind that von der Leyen’s commissioners will not take their positions until November 1. So it will likely be after this date that many of these proposed changes will occur.
America is withdrawing from the world scene and no longer wants to be the “world’s policeman.” As Russia grows more capable, Germany is feeling the return of age-old geopolitical pressures, which have historically caused it to militarize.
The media is also making the case that Germany should stop kidding itself and start acting like every other major power. Foreign Policy wrote that Germany has “persisted in treating itself as a special case, not subject to the pressures affecting its Western peers. … It is time for Germany to buck its postwar policy traditions and begin to see itself for what it is: a normal power.”
Germany is being urged, both by media and its politicians, to no longer rely on the U.S. for technological or military support. It is evident to many that Russia is rising in the East and cannot be trusted. China’s rise factors into this as well. “Germany is feeling especially vulnerable these days,” wrote the Berlin Policy Journal. Amid an economic slowdown, tempting deals from China, and other pressures such as the increasing threat of terrorism, German people and politicians alike are realizing that Germany—and Europe—needs to be able to stand alone.
Increasingly, even the U.S. is being treated as a dangerous competitor.
Take Google, for example: A Paris court approved fines of around $1 billion on September 13 after a lengthy investigation. This comes in the wake of tightening Internet privacy laws, which von der Leyen and her commissioners fully and unapologetically support.
Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner and one of the European Commission’s vice presidents, is known for her aggressive stance toward American tech companies. She has already leveled fines at Google, Microsoft and Facebook. With her appointment, “the logical conclusion of the combination is that these investigations will increase,” wrote the Berlin Policy Journal. “Von der Leyen’s ‘technical sovereignty’ comment also signals that she will push for the EU to develop alternatives to U.S. technical products.”
Another commissioner to watch is Josep Borrell. As leader of the commission for a stronger Europe in the world, he is known as a hawkish character who once called Russia “our old enemy.” He will undoubtedly push for greater militarization.
Pressure to militarize grows stronger as America withdraws. “The formation of a European army is as consequential to the reality of national sovereignty for the nation-states of Europe as the withdrawal of the U.S. empire from the Continent is,” wrote Foreign Policy.
Germany and much of Western Europe is getting on board with the notion of a unified military, something von der Leyen, her commissioners, German politicians and the media are pushing for.
Europe seems like a responsible, even overly cautious, global actor. It seems to promote culture. It seems to champion humanitarian causes. It seems to be the likeliest bulwark of stability and sanity in a fast-moving and increasingly dangerous world. Its unification is viewed positively by most people.
But history and prophecy tell us to be wary of a German-dominated Europe—and especially wary of a European army.
The world is ready to take a chance on a stronger, more assertive Europe. It will get more than it bargained for.
“Strong leaders are rising on the world scene today in several nations, including Russia, China and Iran. But what about Europe? What about Germany?” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry asks and answers this question in his free booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent.
Mr. Flurry bases his forecasts on God-inspired Bible prophecy. The Prophet Daniel wrote about a power known as “the king of the north” (Daniel 11:40). This power bloc refers to a German-led, united Europe that will burst onto the world scene in our time. Daniel foretold that this European superpower would be led by a strongman, who was not elected but, instead, would “come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (verse 21).
Explaining this scripture, Mr. Flurry writes:
This soon-coming ruler could literally be called a king. Even if he is not, the Bible gives him that label. When the Bible talks about a king, in most cases it’s saying that this is not a democratic government. Even if he doesn’t have that title, he is going to lead like a king. This vision in Daniel shows that the European empire is about to become a lot more authoritative.
Daniel 11:21 prophesies that this strong leader will come into power “by flatteries”—probably not by votes, but through a coalition government of some kind. We need to watch Germany and Europe carefully.
The Bible says that this leader will not intend to harm anyone. “Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few” (Isaiah 10:7). The Bible warns that his mind will change, and he will end up wreaking unparalleled havoc on this Earth!
Mr. Flurry warned in a July 30, 2010, Key of David program that such a leader could take advantage of a weak German government coalition, much like the condition of the government today.
Whenever this leader appears—and it will be soon—Europe will be ready for him. Ursula von der Leyen and her commissioners are working hard to unify the Continent, just as the Bible says will happen.
To understand how a strong leader will take advantage of Europe’s drive toward unification, request your free copy of A Strong German Leader Is Imminent, by Gerald Flurry.