Kabul: EU missed the boat again?

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Johansson warned against further destabilisation of Afghanistan at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Wednesday and said the bloc was preparing for all scenarios. According to media reports, the European Council had already discussed the situation at the beginning of July and come to a similar conclusion. Commentators criticise the EU for failing to take appropriate steps back then.

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El Mundo (ES) /

The EU cutting a poor figure

That the EU member states seem incapable of even coordinating the evacuations among themselves is pathetic, says El Mundo:

“Once again, it has showcased its loss of importance as an international actor and its inability to react to such a serious crisis quickly and with a coordinated strategy among the member states. Already with the evacuations of EU citizens in Kabul airport, the 27 are conveying a disgraceful image of themselves, with each country trying to save their own first with an every man for themselves attitude.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

A paralysed union

It is clear now that the EU has made a mess of one of its most essential tasks of the last few years, finds De Telegraaf:

“Since 2015, the EU has failed to create a common asylum policy. In particular, Eastern European countries do not want quotas for asylum seekers. Migration has become a dossier, with stagnation as the primary outcome. Providing a safe place for refugees in the region they come from is the safest solution politically, but doing this comes at a price. And if the situation in the region is hopeless, migrants will come to Europe in a few years' time anyway. For Brussels, the credibility of European cooperation is at stake.”

Handelsblatt (DE) /

Impossible without the US

The crisis in the Hindu Kush once again shows the EU's impotence in foreign policy, laments the Handelsblatt:

“Technologically, militarily, logistically, the Europeans are dependent on the US, for better or worse. The German government was not even able to evacuate its own staff from the German embassy on its own. ... Securing this so important airport? Not conceivable - the American GIs took care of that, too. ... When US President Donald Trump sealed the troop withdrawal after an agreement with the Taliban, the EU did not even give a thought to how it could possibly secure the Afghan government with the help of other Nato partners. It was clear from the start that the US is indispensable.”