JIA 109 (1982) 189-201 ALFRED WATSON MEMORIAL LECTURE THE EUROPEAN POLITICAL IDEAL AND THE REALITY BY DR OTTO VON HABSBURG [An edited version of the lecture delivered at the Institute on 22 February 1982] IT is quite certain that there is, at least in our mass media, a reaction against what has been done in the European field. There has been this reaction because the case has been badly presented. It was said at one time that European enthusiasm was buried in the statistics of the European Community (EC). When Europe is discussed only in terms of economics, it will always risk becoming unpopular because it will be lost in detail. Mrs Thatcher stated recently that Britain had not entered into the European Community primarily for economic reasons, but that the basic motivation had been the problem of security. In this perspective the whole picture of Europe is different, and I at least, who travel quite a lot on this continent, find that each time the matter is being discussed in political terms, and in the areas where it is discussed—for instance in Bavaria, where it is primarily a political issue—there is not this lack of popularity which I find wherever the economics are overemphasized. Of course, we are now in the twenty-fifth year of the Treaty of Rome and it is undeniable that economically the EC, with all its shortcomings, has been an outstanding success. So much so that the crisis which we face today is primarily a crisis of success rather than a crisis of inadequate operation. There is one fundamental fact that is nearly always forgotten in politics, namely that a grown up person cannot wear babies’ clothes! The Treaty of Rome was a wonderful thing in its time—worked out by great personalities—and was then fully justified; but in these twenty-five years—and in our fast moving times a quarter of a century is an awfully long time—the institutions are no longer adequate for the realities of the Community. This great economic success compels political action, because it is the experience of history that nothing is more dangerous in the world than to be simultaneously rich and weak, and that is exactly the situation in which we Europeans find ourselves today. We have in these twenty-five years, thanks to the Community, over-developed our economy, feeling at the same time the security of America’s protection, but we have forgotten to deal with our security and, since wealth always attracts envy and weakness attracts aggressiveness, we are today in a world which is certainly not a safe world. We are today in a great deal of danger. This is, I submit, the main reason why the governments permitted the election of the European Parliament to take place on 10 June 1979, in order to 189 190 Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture introduce into the system of the Treaty of Rome—incidentally something which the authors of the Treaty of Rome had wished to take place much earlier—that element of democratic control and of democratic initiative which a popularly elected Parliament should represent. On looking back at these elections one finds there were two major reasons why they were held. I have already mentioned the reason of stability, but there is also that of economic development and of general economic adaptation of the organizations of the Community. Concerning first the point of security, we must realize that today we face two major challenges. One is the international danger which stems from the Soviet Union, and the second is an international danger which comes from the north/south relationship, that is to say, all the problems which arise increasingly between the developed and the less developed countries. As to the first problem regarding our security, namely, the Soviet threat, it is not something that is new in our age, because after all the Soviets have said with a great deal of honesty from the beginning what they would do with us. The head of the Italian Communist Party—a colleague of mine in the European Parliament, a highly intelligent man, Mr Enrico Berlinguer—once made a statement to Europe which our statesmen, or so-called statesmen, ought to have learned by heart, namely: “For God’s sake take seriously what the Soviet Union tells you.” You see, one of the basic falsehoods of all European politics is that people refuse to believe what the Soviet Union tells us. The Soviet Union is honest. You have only to look at a Russian paper to read at least once the words “world revolution”. What does that mean, if we take it realistically, other than a continual declaration of war on all the countries which are not yet under the Kremlin’s control. There is no other justifiable interpretation of those words. But then when the Soviets tell us that they want world revolution, we answer—not all of us but many, including some in high places—by speaking of détente, by speaking of peaceful co-existence and by speaking of a number of things which the Soviets negate, and consequently we create for ourselves the illusion which is vitiating our policies in the face of the Eastern threat. This is a danger which has been with us for quite some time, but I feel that it is becoming much more acute now because of some in-built difficulties which exist within the Soviet empire. Several months ago I had an opportunity to discuss the relations between the Soviet Union and the western world with one of the more intelligent heads of state of Western Africa. He made a remark which seemed, to me at least, to be very striking. He said: “You know, when I go into the virgin forest and meet a gorilla, it is always dangerous; but when the gorilla is wounded, this meeting may turn out to be deadly.” When we look today realistically at the Soviet Union, we must of necessity think of the wounded gorilla, because there are three factors which currently place the Soviet Union in an almost desperate situation. Many years ago when I was in the United States I had dinner with the then Secretary of State, Mr Dean Rusk. There were just four of us discussing world affairs and, at the end of the discussion, one of us asked Mr Rusk: “Mr Secretary, with all those Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture 191 horrible problems you have to deal with, how do you manage to sleep at night?” He replied: “I have found an excellent method. When I really cannot sleep because of my own problems, I just think for five minutes what my dear colleague, Mr Gromyko, must think in the Kremlin, and then I sleep very well!” The first of these problems is, of course, economic. In economics there is a basic law and, in my opinion, the best proven law of economics—but one which some of our professors, for ideological reasons, are prone not to admit-that bloc is a wherever Marxism enters into the economy, productivity ceases and misery begins. I submit that the Soviet Union and, indeed, the whole Eastern in this hall will still remember Europe. It Now, after same thing well. Take Poland. imposed the time when Poland living example of the reality of this law. Consider Poland: those of my generation was not a socialist State. Before the Second World War Poland was one of the wealthiest countries in exported food, raw materials, and even fairly good finished products. three decades of Marxist reconstruction, where has Poland gone? The also applies in a different degree to other Eastern bloc countries as Romania for example; it also is basically a tremendously wealthy country, but today the economic misery is almost as bad, or as bad, as it is in This is not because the Romanians have ceased to be good workers, development or because the Poles have become incompetent, but because the system which is on them is simply hostile to economic and, indeed, ruins what has been developed previously. The same also applies in large degree to the Soviet Union itself. After all, let us look at the problems which the Soviet Union has with regard to food supplies. One remembers that Russia-when the Soviet Union was still called Russia —was once the greatest agricultural producer in the world, while today the Soviet Union is compelled to buy food elsewhere in the world so that its citizens do not of food, one sees what a degradation Now there is no starve. When we observe, for instance, the mass of gold which has now to be sold by the Soviet Union to pay for the imports and even Russia show, is continuing and deterioration has set in. This evolution, as the examples of Poland, Romania and, indeed, is accelerating. way out, and the bankruptcies or semi-bankruptcies which these States experience will extend. I should like to draw your attention to one thing that has taken place in the last few months and is extremely worrying. Some of the older people present may remember, as I do, how Russian dumping between the two world wars added enormously to the world economic crisis. It was these sales that really disorganized the markets. When we see what has happened in the course of the last two years, namely, the massive sales of gold by the Soviet Union, which have gone up from 90 tonnes in 1979 to over 300 tonnes in 1981, and when we consider furthermore what happens on the diamond market, and more recently what has happened with the sale of wood-where suddenly the Soviet Union offers wood at 20% below world prices—we see the first and serious signs of Russian dumping setting in once again for something like the same reasons, namely, that the Soviet Union is today over-extended and in a deplorable economic shape. It needs to get 192 Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture as much foreign currency as possible and, at the same time, since it considers foreign trade as an instrument of politics, it attempts to disrupt the economies of western countries. It is, indeed, one thing which the Community will have to think about very seriously and very fast, because we have not much time left in which to take those measures necessary to deal with the problem. To this economic plight of the Soviet Union comes, secondly, another basic fact which all too many Europeans are prone to forget, that is, that in our time of global decolonization, the Soviet Union is the last big colonial empire in the world. This is because Soviet colonies are not only the countries which Russia conquered in the Second World War or secured under the Yalta Agreement, but also all the areas which we know as Siberia and as Russian Central Asia. We must not forget that, for instance, the French were in West Africa long before the first Russian crossed the Urals in an easterly direction to conquer Asiatic countries. Russians are already today less than 50% of the population of the Soviet Union, at a time when they have 95% of all the leading positions in the economy of the country, in the civil service, in the army and in the party. This is a situation which is completely untenable especially since, with the changes in the population structure, the development of the Soviet Union in the next two decades will be frankly cataclysmic. Consider that in 1978 more than 50% of all the children born in the Soviet Union were children of Islamic parents, at a time when the Islamic part of the population of the Soviet Union was slightly over one-fifth of the total. Here you can simply calculate—and you are better at calculating than I shall ever be-what kind of cataclysmic changes will occur between now and the year 2000. This of course takes place at a time when from every side around the borders of the Soviet Union the pressure increases-the pressure from the Far East, namely, the agreement between China and Japan to decolonize the Soviet Union, because that is the deep sense of the slogan of the Twelfth and Equal Treaties or of the Japanese attitude taken on the problem of the Southern Kurils. We have the tremendous pressure of the Islamic nations which are in a process of rebirth from the south, and somehow I do feel that the Afghan operation of the Soviet Union was largely due to this thrust forward in order to escape the tremendous problems that their own Islamic population means for them inside the country. Finally we have also a western border. If I were in the Kremlin I would not be over worried, because the attitude of the Europeans is anything but worrying to the Soviet Union. For I submit to you, it is not we the weak western Europeans who are the real threat. The real threat is the hundred million or more Europeans whom the Soviet Union took over under the Yalta Agreement, because here the basic truth applies which Bismarck once expressed when he said: “With bayonets you can do everything but sit on them!” The Soviet Union today in central Europe is sitting on bayonets, and if some day you have the opportunity of reading that fascinating book on the Treaty of Vienna by the great Italian historian Guglielmo Ferrero, who takes an old congress in order to prove his thesis on present affairs, you will realize that the Soviet Union is in fact already the prisoner of those nations which were surrendered to it by the Yalta Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture 193 Agreement. It has lost, by being their prisoner, the capacity to conclude a peace agreement. Furthermore, as Russia since time immemorial has never been able to wage war on two fronts because the relation of population to space has always been too difficult, and since a big power can only be effective politically where it could in the case of need wage war, the Soviet Union is today in a desperate plight similar to that in which the Czarist Empire found itself at the time of the Russo-Japanese war. Then we have on top of this political situation, which has become much worse in the last decade, the generation problem in the Soviet leadership. Of the twenty-two people today who have any say in the Soviet Union, the members of the Praesidium, of the Central Secretariat and of the Politburo, the average age is 71 years. The youngest in this group is Mr Romanov who is 51, and the largest age group among this leadership are people between 80 years of age and the stratosphere! In practical terms this means that the changeover will now take place fairly soon. The leadership over these people is slipping. I have had the dubious pleasure of meeting quite a number of communist leaders of Eastern and Central Europe, because I have been delegated by my parliamentary faction, the European Peoples’ Party, to be present at discussions with these leaders when they come to visit the Parliament. There is a continuous flow of such people coming there: Cabinet ministers, experts, top civil servants, and so on. Of course, these meetings, especially when the seven political parties are pontificating on our side, are very unrewarding for the simple reason that when those communists come in and see their comrades sitting on our side of the table, they become completely uncommunicative. But then, of course, there is the advantage of the evening, because after all these hapless people must somehow be shown kindness. We have invited some of them to join a small circle where communists and some others were not present, and since all these people—I have yet to find one who is not-are prone to liking alcoholic beverages, and the wines of Alsace are some of the best in the world, the results are usually rewarding. I can tell you, once they have really opened up it is impressive to see that they talk today about Brezhnev and his collaborators as we did two years ago when in the United States there was still a President who was a universal calamity. This illustrates the real situation that exists in the political structure of the Soviet Union. Again it must draw our attention to the fact that we are now at the tail-end of the last generation which has really known world war. If you look once again at the leadership in the Soviet Union today, you will find that in the whole power élite of twenty-two people, there are only three who have had experience of the Second World War in a leading position. There are three people, including Mr Brezhnev, who still know from personal experience that it was not the Soviet Union alone which defeated Nazi Germany. Indeed, Hitler would have arrived in Vladivostock if it had not been for American help. When these three have disappeared-and they are all over 70—it will mean that a new generation will come in which has been raised on the big lie of the Great Patriotic War whereby they truly believe that the Russians alone defeated Nazi Germany, that the West was sitting on its hands or even 194 Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture collaborating with the other side, but that the Russians were so powerful and so strong that they finally were able to defeat the whole world. This is honestly believed in the Soviet Union, and here lies one of the major dangers for the future when the three old men who have had personal experience of the Second World War disappear. Then for us will arise the great problem of whether at some point in this development the Russians will be tempted to use their advantage in armaments, while this advantage still holds good, to improve the situation by a thrust forward such as we have already seen in Afghanistan. This is one of the major reasons for European political unification, because political unification is also the precondition of European security and of European defence. This I submit was the first important reason why the European elections were permitted. The second was the mess we are in regarding the north/south dialogue. If we are to be honest, we must admit that all our policy of development which has been carried out so far, taken overall and barring some local successes, has been a dismal failure. A great deal of money was poured into the underdeveloped countries, but the result has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. It has had no practical result except to create a much more explosive situation than existed at the beginning of the development. We have been told by our professional do-gooders that the true solution would be to give as much money as possible to developing countries, to take from the industrialized countries a minimum of ·7% of GNP, and to pour it into development aid. Before getting onto the Budget Committee of the European Parliament, I was, for over a year (for the atonement of my sins), a member of the Development Committee. I must say that sometimes there were quite interesting hearings, and frankly what I found in genera1 was that the economists from developing countries were infinitely more reasonable and infinitely wiser than were the European ideologues, because they always insisted, and they were right (as for instance the famous Indian economist, Professor B. R. Zhenol of the Gujarat University), that we were spending too much and not too little money, and we were giving to this money all the false priorities. Those on the spot would tend to agree with him, because it is obvious that any industrialization on unprepared economic ground never leads to the goal. The areas where development aid is justified are agricultural productivity, education and transport. All the rest is useless and prone to render the social tensions even greater. Of course there are brilliant plans being made, such as Mr Brandt’s Committee on North/South dialogue. A book was published carrying the signature of this former German Chancellor, and a copy was presented to us. Before he presented it I, as a member of that Committee, together with one of my colleagues, read the book. Truly, we read it, and you can believe me when I say that after two and a half years of Parliamentary activity this was, by a long shot, the greatest sacrifice I have ever made on behalf of my constituents! This book can be summarized in three points. First, infinitely more money should be spent in the future than has been spent in the past, without saying of course where it should be taken from. Secondly, to repeat all the errors which have been committed since the inception Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture 195 of the development aid, and to repeat them on an even larger scale than before. Thirdly, to create the largest army of bureaucrats ever assembled in human history to control, that is to say to ruin, the world economy. That is the essence of this plan; it is of course very dangerous, and our governments in general seem to realize this. But, since development aid is a popular issue and it is difficult to oppose it in parliamentary assemblies, they do not dare to admit what the reality is, and hope that we would try to repair it, but we were not outstandingly successful. Apart from these issues of security beyond the borders of Europe, we have the problem of economic stability, and here once again economic stability must first start with the modernization of the institutions of the EC so that they can start functioning again properly. Two things were and still are needed. One is the effective control of European bureaucracy. Now I am not one of those who always criticizes European bureaucrats; having had to deal with them quite a bit, I must admit that some of them are both intelligent and competent. But I emphasize some of them: others are less so. The greatest weakness we have is that European bureaucracy was for many years, practically speaking, without adequate control. Those institutions which then existed did not have the power to control effectively, and the governments who ought to have exercised control never did so seriously. So the bureaucracy acquired certain habits of doing things without regard to what they were told, and that led to some developments which today are highly deplorable as, for instance, all our dealings with countries of the Eastern bloc. This was debated last week in the European Parliament, and we are perhaps on the way to correcting it, eventually. For some strange reason, which no one could understand, the Commission in Brussels is of the opinion that you must apply exactly the same type of legislation when trading with the countries of the Eastern bloc as when trading with countries where there is a liberal market economy. Of course, when you trade with countries in the Eastern bloc you have first of all to deal with monopolies, because in purchasing as well as in selling there is a monopoly. Secondly, this monopoly, as is clearly shown, always wants to use the weapons of economics in order to achieve political goals. We see that, for instance, in the agricultural exports of the Community to the Soviet Union. The bulk of these exports are being channelled through the Interagra Group of the French billionaire Jean Baptiste Doumeng. I have been battling for over a year with the Commission, to learn finally the real part played by M. Doumeng concerning our food deliveries to Poland. Doumeng himself, when he was asked two weeks ago on French radio how he had become such a rich man in such a very short time, replied cynically: “Because others who were dealing with me were so stupid.” He is dealing with the bureaucracy in Brussels and now the task has been given to us. The second task, which is much more difficult, is that the Council should be completely restructured. As long as we have the rule of unanimity in the European Council, we shall always have an institution which cannot function, because you cannot function politically under the rule of unanimity. The only 196 Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture surprising thing about this is that when you talk to the Foreign Ministers in Europe individually, each admits that the unanimity rule is a nuisance. But when they are together as a Council, that wisdom disappears and they maintain the rule. In dealing with these problems the European Parliament has, of course, initial difliculties because of the novelty of the task, because of the lack of experience of those parliamentarians who were suddenly elected, and because of the fact that the whole machine had first to be put in motion. I think this has now succeeded, and I am happy to tell you here that the British representatives in the European Parliament have been extremely helpful and useful in this task, not only because they are of a very good average quality, but because they have brought some of the traditions of the House of Commons and it has been extremely useful for others to learn from their example. We are now at the turning point, and I believe that the second half of this Parliament will be much more successful than the first because many things will have been prepared by then. We shall have the big institutional debates which will gradually try to get the machine moving. Next month there will be a very painful one in connection with the common electoral law for Europe. Unfortunately, as things are going there will be a majority decision and it will be accepted, but the British representatives, regardless of whether they are Conservatives or Labour, will not accept it. They are the only group not to accept this new European electoral law, and it will create some very grave problems in the near future. As a minority of one in his own group, I tend to agree with them, because I have always been a great admirer of your system of personal representation in small constituencies. I would have been very happy if this had been applicable in Europe too with some modification. But that is not to be the case, so we shall have some problems. In the meantime certain things have been fairly successful, which I want to mention in the face of widespread pessimism. There is, first of all, the fact that the Community today is the only government body in Europe which has a balanced budget, and last year even had a large surplus. This shows that the budget is not as bad as it is generally made out to be. This surplus was almost exclusively due to the activities of our Budget Control Committee which has done a great deal to stop all sorts of needless expenditure, particularly in the agricultural field. I want to tell you quite frankly, and this may shock some of my British friends, that I am a great supporter of the common agricultural policy. On balance I think it has been highly successful, because let us not forget that food is going to be the next great shortage in the world after the energy crisis. From that point of view, while we all complain today about certain surpluses, we should always remember that too much is never deadly, but too little can be if you are suffering from starvation. Consequently, when looking at Poland and at other parts of the world, I do not think that these surpluses are such a catastrophe. Whilst for financial reasons it will be wise to keep them as low as possible we must think of the times which are ahead when food will be one of the decisive weapons in the world. That is only a few years away. Let us not forget that, in the last fifteen Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture 197 years, agricultural food production in black Africa alone has gone down by 23%. The Soviet bloc’s production is steadily decreasing. The next sources of agricultural surpluses away from Europe are 4,000 kilometres by sea. These are the realities of the situation. We have all the makings of a bigger crisis than the energy crisis because you can live without a motor-car, but not without food. We have made some progress in the field of diminishing border controls. We shall have a European passport in the relatively near future—at the latest on 1 January l985—and I am hopeful (and this is an event which may take place this week) that we shall finally take a step forward in creating that European juridical territory which in my opinion is a precondition for effectively fighting terrorism. As to the other fields of foreign policy and security, we have got ahead quite a bit. When I remember the howls that went up when we started talking of security two years ago, and the fact that we shall soon have a subcommittee on security matters, especially on the security of the seaways, this demonstrates the progress in people’s thinking that the European idea has made in the last two years—and from that point of view especially, the conversion of the French Gaullists from fairly anti-European positions to their now very active pro-European attitude is quite remarkable. In the balance we also have some poor sides to the European development, but we should not overlook the fact that overall we have made fairly steady and good progress. Indeed, let us always think when perhaps complaining about European unification, and about the difficulty of unification, that we simply have no other choice. The world has been shrinking, and in this perspective we have become too small to exist alone. We should not forget that in population we are superior to the United States and the Soviet Union. In economics we are the second power in the world. Consequently, we must give to these realities that dimension by common action which is needed if we wish to maintain peace in a dangerous world; we must see to it that this European venture succeeds. I have a feeling from my practical work in the European Parliament that we are well beyond the point of no return. We can no longer undo what has been done. We are already much deeper inside political Europe than people generally realize. The day before yesterday I met one of my young colleagues in the German Bundestag; this young man, without any sort of political experience, was designated by the Christian Democrats to win a constituency which they had previously lost. I was asked to help him, and he got himself elected. When I met him again the other day, he said to me rather naively—because he is really one of the youngest members of the Bundestag—“You know, when you came to help me in the election, I didn’t know how important you were, because it is only now in the Bundestag that I realize how deeply we are already tied to Europe, and how many of the things we are deciding had their origins in the European organization. We are in many instances only the transmission belt of what has been created in Europe towards the German Public”, and that is true. So in conclusion I want to tell you that we are now really on a path which we must ensure leads us to success. We have the weapons; we have the possibility. 198 Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture We are in a very dangerous and threatening world, but I do not think there is the slightest reason for pessimism because we have the instruments to cope with the situation and turn it for the better. The decision as to whether this situation will end in catastrophe or whether it will turn out to be one of the great successes in the evolution of our continent is entirely in our own hands. When you are engaged in active politics you will find that all these stories of irresistible trends is simply not true. No political trends exist. What exists is only firm conviction and hard work, whoever has the firmest conviction and works hardest is successful. I think we have every reason to be confident for the future. ABSTRACT OF THE LECTURER’S REPLIES TO QUESTIONS Question: You talked about two dangers, one being the threat of Russia to our security, and you also talked about the north/south divide. You were very scathing, if I may say so, about the Brandt Report, but you said very little of what you see is the way forward in solving what I think many of us would regard as one of the most critical political problems which the world faces at the moment, that is, of the industrialized nations getting richer, and the developing countries, alas, not developing in the way that is necessary for world security. Answer: I had, of course, to restrict myself because I wanted to keep within the time limits for my talk, and you cannot make excursions every where; but since you raise the question of our relations with the developing countries, I believe that we ought necessarily to rethink our whole programme, rather than start out from judgments which have proved wrong in the development. It is difficult to do, because from my experience in the Development Committee of the European Parliament I can tell you that there are ingrained ideas, which those on the spot know perfectly well are untrue, but you cannot get them out of certain people’s heads. I remember that we had a discussion once on the general subject of hunger in the world, and the majority of those present were of the opinion that it was the multinational corporations which were responsible for all the miseries of the world. They went after the experts, such as, for instance, Mr Tamcos of the Philippines, who is the head of the World Food Council, or Mr Duke, who is now President of Senegal and who was then the Minister of Economics of Senegal, in order to persuade them to admit that their countries were being enslaved by the multinational corporations. Mr Tamcos replied that as far as he was concerned—he did not know what the multinationals were doing outside the Philippines—he and the Philippines were quite happy with the multinationals operating there, and would be only too happy if more came in. The same answer was given by Mr Duke, but then when the summary came, those people who had asked questions and received replies from the representatives of the developing countries said: ‘Of course from that testimony it is obvious we must control the multinationals because they are ruining the world.” We must realize that our help to the developing countries must first of all be concentrated on those countries which are ready to co-operate with us. When you sink your money into countries which are not ready to co-operate, then it is a waste of money. It creates social disruption and will never lead anywhere. Secondly, we must insist on a certain juridical order. Mind you, we cannot of course have exactly what you have here in Great Britain, but some measure of security will be needed. Thirdly, as I have already stated, we must have three clear priorities—agriculture, education and transport, for a very simple reason. First, if you industrialize on unprepared ground, industry takes the labour force from where it is, namely, from agriculture, and it is generally the best people who go into industry. So you have an immediate decrease in food production and, consequently, social difficulties for the least strong elements in society. Education is needed for any modern economy, and transport is the blood circuit of any economy. I take two examples where priorities have been established in that sense, the Ivory Coast in Africa and Taiwan in the Far East. There development aid has been a great success. I Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture 199 admit that it will be extremely difficult to impose these rational criteria, because we have for a long time gone along this path. So many people have come to live off this kind of thing, because let us not forget development also has great repercussions on our own countries. Much of the money destined for development aid is flowing back in some form or other into private pockets, into those countries which are the donor countries. This of course ought to be stopped, but these are people who are going to defend their incomes, so there is here a de facto situation which has been created and which makes things very difficult. We shall need a great act of courage, and it is certainly not the spirit of Cancun, nor the plan for the north/south dialogue which will be the solution. The solution will have to be the application of economic rationality in order to solve the worldwide social problem. Question: We are always hearing that sanctions do not work. Is this true? If it is not, what should be the Community’s next steps as regards Poland? Answer: First of all I have my doubts whether the formula “Sanctions do not work” is adequate. Certain sanctions do not work, but selective sanctions may work. To take a practical matter. There are two points in respect of which the Soviet Union is absolutely vulnerable and where, if sanctions could be applied, they would be extremely effective. One is the question of credits. The Soviet Union, as you know, is today living very largely on Western credit. The deals made by the French Government on the one hand and the German Government on the other with regard to selling the tubes for the Soviet gas pipeline constitute a type of credit. The German Government has used the argument that these were German capitalists who were risking their own money. That, of course, is a brazen lie, because all of these credits are guaranteed by the German State, and the German State is the German taxpayer. So it is the German taxpayer who runs the real risk in respect of these credits. That is one field in which we could be very effective. An even more effective field is modern technology. The Soviet Union is one of the great importers of modern technology, and if we imposed sanctions in respect of modern technology, this would have a very great effect. Whether it would have a decisive effect is open to question. I do not know. But I can tell you that there are other means by which we can deal with the Polish situation, although they are very long range means. In our global contest with the Soviet Union we are always at a disadvantage: first of all because the Soviet Union can propagandize all our countries, but we never propagandize them very effectively. Also they can have their agents all over our countries in the form of communist parties, but in the Soviet Union we cannot have any party of our supporters except in the gaols and the Gulags, but that is all we have. So there is an imbalance in the psychological warfare. There is a third factor, namely whenever a country has been conquered by the Soviet Union, it is immediately accepted on our side that this now definitely belongs to the Soviet orbit, and if somebody says he wants to see this country free again, he is immediately called by our own people a Cold War warrior and a warmonger. The Soviet Union is enjoying complete freedom to challenge us day by day in our own countries so there is a complete and continuous imbalance in the psychological warfare. We have a practical example now with Afghanistan. It would obviously be in the interest of Europe and the whole of the West if the Afghan freedom fighters were given adequate weapons in order to meet the Soviet invading forces. If the Afghans had rockets with which to fight Soviet helicopters, the whole situation would change overnight. Let us assume for a moment that the United States had invaded Afghanistan, and the Afghans had resisted the Americans. Do you believe that the Soviets would not have furnished these Afghan fighters with rockets? Of course they would, as they did in Vietnam and many other places. But we find it totally indecent and impossible to send the Afghans adequate weapons. It is unfortunate that from our side at best only a trickle arrives. The only effective weapons they get are from our Chinese friends, but the Chinese have not all that advanced a weaponry, which is needed. We could tie down enormous Soviet forces in Afghanistan but we do not do it. These are the things which put us out of balance, which help the Soviet Union. despite its predicament, to advance, and it would entail for us absolutely no risk whatever because the Soviet Union itself is a wise country. It will never, at least as long as Brezhnev is leading it, risk a major war just as we would not. Consequently one knows perfectly well precisely how far one can go. 200 Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture Question: The comment has been made that however desirable the European clement may be, and however efficient European bureaucracy may be, it still means one more layer of government. We already have three, and the comment I heard made by a distinguished former public servant was that it was simply not possible to have another layer of government where all of these were democratically elected. The system would simply break down under its own weight. Would Dr von Habsburg care to comment on that? Answer: I think that this other layer exists already. We have many problems which can no longer be solved on the national level. They arc, with the shrinking of the world, beyond the national level. We have some problems with which governments can no longer deal. I think this is more a reality on the continent than in your country, but on the continent, for instance, we have a genuine problem with those young people who begin to question the legitimacy of government and of the State. I feel that while this is a very unfortunate development, it is totally justifiable, because our governments are often claiming sovereignty rights which they are no longer able to exercise. They are out of tune with what they claim, and the means they have at their disposal. Whether we like it or not, this level already exists. If we did not create adequate organs to control this level, it would run wild, and then you would have a sort of extra legal area and extra legal politics. A practical case in point are the terrorists. Why are the terrorists at present so successful? It is because they are operating in the twentieth century while our forces of law and order are operating in the nineteenth. The terrorists no longer recognize the existence of borders, whereas our police forces and armed services are still stopped by borders. Even though many good institutions have been built up to accelerate transit across borders, it means loss of those precious minutes which are decisive in the struggle of the forces of order against the terrorists. So long as we do not have a European juridical territory, we shall never be able to cope with the series of terroristic problems, and I am not thinking here only of the IRA, but the same thing applies to ETA, to the Red Brigade, and so forth. If you look at a map of the continent you will find that the centres of terrorist activities, the planning centres, are always in cities from which you can reach a border within one hour. They are never inside the countries, but always close to borders where they can disappear. Take a very peaceful city such as Aachen in Germany. From there in less than an hour you can reach Belgium and Holland. Consequently this is one of the centres of planning, one of the strategic and logistic centres of German terrorist operations, although when you look at the city of Aachen you would say that the terrorists did not have a chance because it is a perfectly middle-class, bourgeois city with a very conservative population. But it is precisely because of the two borders that it is such a centre. You have a similar situation in Liège, which today is one of the centres of terrorist operations for the ETA. So really what is of the utmost importance here is to create a juridical territory. The Council of Europe has prepared an excellent plan for this juridical territory. It has had prepared a draft treaty to combat terrorists. The EC then followed up with the Dublin protocol on 5 December 1979—but some of our beloved governments have not ratified it. Some have problems: the Irish Government has problems because of the IRA, and the Maltese Government has problems because it depends financially on Colonel Gaddafi, and you can well imagine that he does not wish anything to happen to his terrorists. But as it is, these are the areas in which we must operate. Consequently it is not a question of whether we like it or not, but here there exists already a level which we can no longer cope with in the framework of the national governments. In this framework also some form of democratic control is absolutely necessary, because a bureaucracy which can flourish uncontrolled is always going to go too far; consequently some form of control has to be found. Whilst the danger exists that the whole machinery may turn out to be top heavy, it is indispensable because there is no alternative. Question: Do you think the process of integration in the EC will go on developing until we get the same kind of situation as exists in the United States with, as it were, federal government and individual state governments? Answer: I hope not. I do not think we should try to make European unification a copy of the United States or of the Soviet Union. If Europe has been a great cultural and, I might add, even a great Alfred Watson Memorial Lecture 201 economic success, it has been because of its diversity. We have to find a new formula whereby we can ally unity in what is indispensable with as much diversity as possible inside. Plus another factor; we want to have a continent of freedom, and freedom is always best preserved in smaller units. We must always try to follow the principle that the greater unit has never the right to take over any field which the smaller unit can deal with effectively. Consequently it is only by concession from down below to the upper one that they will gain any sort of competence and not vice versa. It is indeed one of the dangerous developments of our times that in too many minds the idea arises that the State owns every right and concedes those rights and freedoms to its citizens. whereas in reality the reverse is true. The citizens have the rights and concede them to the State, and the State has no right to infringe the rights of the citizens or the municipalities. It is only in that formula that we can make something out of Europe. I admit it is not an easy task, because anything that is at the top of the pyramid has always the horrible tendency to draw everything to it. So we need very strong juridical control within this European construction, and from that point of view I think that so far the experiment of the courts in the European Community has been very successful; I would also say that too of the financial control over the budget of the Community and of the Court of Human Rights which has been doing a really outstanding job. The European Court of Justice has also been one of the better achievements in the European Community, but we must develop this so as to prevent that United States type development which we do not really want, for we want to keep our languages, we want to keep our personality and our independence, and we want Europe to be as diversified as possible, united only in what is indispensable. Question: Would you say there is a limit when the democratic process must be suspended in order to preserve it, if, for example, an extremist party looked as though it was going to come into power by democratic means? Answer: I have had experience of totalitarianism and I would say that democracy must defend itself against this for one very simple reason. We give everybody who holds an opposite view to our own every chance, and this is correct. If the totalitarian once gets into power, the democrats will never again have a chance because there will be no more free elections. That is why I believe the EC ought to make as an absolute condition of membership of the Community that from time to time free elections have to be held. If a country does not abide by this, then it ought to be excluded from the Community. Of course there may be difficult passages, and I take the example of Turkey where we should, in my view, suspend judgement. I have recently visited Turkey and the Turkish situation was really desperate when the army stepped in. The record of the Turkish army is that it has already twice gone back to its barracks and handed power back to the civilians. I have talked with the Turkish leaders and I have reason to believe that they were speaking honestly when they said they were eager to re-establish the democratic processes as quickly as possible. The constitution which had been operating, and which in 160 days had been incapable of electing a President of that country, was no longer a good constitution, and something had to be done about it. Terrorism was rampant to the point where something effective had to be done. I would say in the case of Turkey, let us wait. If the generals keep their word and re-establish democratic processes within a reasonable period of time, we shall be very happy. If not, of course we shall have to face the consequences because we cannot indefinitely keep countries in the Community which do not comply with one of the basic laws of the Community which is political freedom, one of the basic characteristics of Europe.