As the smoke from Sandwith Street cleared up Irish elites bolted over to Brussels in their earnest attempts to add another digit to the already worsening asylum fiasco.
Iveagh House incumbent Micheál Martin led the way as he broached the prospect of dumping the Irish veto on foreign policy matters at an EU Council meeting in between denouncements of the domestic far right.
Such a move if actioned would render the Republic at the mercy of whatever future crusade Eurocrats wish to embark on and would represent a formal demise of vestigial neutrality to all with eyes to see the wood from the trees. The lack of public support for NATO membership means that doubling down on Europhillia is the Irish state’s preferred poison in foreign policy stakes with our overly enthusiastic approach to refugee resettlement explained by a wish to keep Brussels happy in lieu of having a proper military.
Martin announced the shift at the meeting of European foreign ministers which also discussed potential EU membership for the Western Balkans and the further destabilising of East Africa at the behest of Washington’s war arms against Russia in the Global South.
All three decisions are contrary to the national interest and would merely fuel our domestic asylum woes down the line as the asylum system pays the toll of foreign policy pretences.
Ireland has increasingly gained an ignoble reputation in the Horn of Africa after cashing in on previously street cred built up over the decades as an anti-colonial nation to lend assistance to U.S. attempts to worsen Ethiopia’s civil war.
While Ireland has never once mustered the courage to use its EU veto to protect its interests, a move away to qualified majority voting for all foreign policy matters would bind Dublin to the war aims of the increasingly bellicose Western alliance. NATO by the backdoor and without all the bells and whistles of contributing 2% of GDP on defence.
War in Ukraine and the global entrenchment of liberalism against Russia nevermind looming split with China has been a game changer for the European balance of power as Brussels feels sidelined by NATO’s relative success defending the Eastern frontier.
Led by a doggish Polish resolve to twist the knife against Moscow, power is shifting away from the traditional power centres in Berlin and Paris as Poland becomes America’s preferred geostrategic partner on the European stage. Wherever the chips fall at the end of this new Cold War the Europe of even the 2010s is a distant memory as the Continent at large gears up for potential wartime conditions while managing steep demographic transitions.
Europe is not just a free trading zone and a cash cow for Irish farmers as is generously portrayed by our press core but a stumbling geopolitical monster which within a decade could expand from the foothills of Monaghan to the Persian frontier and have all the institutional teeth of a Sovietised superstate.
The veto system is the last potential break for national governments away from permanent Euromania that subsumes states into the fatally dysfunctional project that is rushing for superpower status in response to the multipolar order.
The foreign policy interests of Dublin do not match any other European capital with Ireland just an expendable cog in a European body politics we cannot hope to master. An island nation with an anti-colonial history and a reluctant place within Anglosphere Ireland is not adjusted to the never ending Continental conflict some of our European partners are more than used to.
If Ireland is part of a political union with Poland, Ukraine and the Baltics what saves us from eventual war with Russia should the current conflict expand and missiles start falling in Vilnius or Tallinn?
The worst nightmares of Eurosceptics are more and more manifest as Ireland is sucked into the abyss of endless waves of post-conflict migration and an influx from the Global South as some civil servants reckon that the past year’s asylum flow could become the annual norm. Dáil Éireann is a branch office in a wider scheme of power hurtling towards oblivion either through demographic replacement or self-induced economic disaster caused by green economic sabotage.
The old Republic constrained by civil war politics and buttressed by neoliberal growth is fading fast and into its place comes a tabula rasa for populists and foreign powers to battle over.