CAUTION - The European Union under American influence
The information did not create a major upheaval in national European medias, but shocked in the European circles : an American official document written by the assistant to the Secretary of State of European Questions has been made public by a Slovenian newspaper, listing "instructions" made by the United States to Slovenia for its presidency of the European Union.
In Slovenia, this scandal already cost Mitja Drobnic his position as political director of Foreign Affairs. He had to resign. De facto, It was to M. Drobnic that this document was 'more or less' addressed, strongly advising him to recognize Slovenia's independence. Where did that advice come from? From the United States....
This sudden disclosure cast a doubt over the entire Slovenian Presidency that could have been influenced by orders from Washington, Mitja Drobnic being a 'surge fuse' only.
The Slovenian state now tries its hardest to prove its good faith and the independance of its foreign policy. Especially the Prime Minister Janez Jansa and the Secretary of State Dimitri Rupel.
In an interview to the Slovenian press agency STA, the president Danilo Turk has asked his governement to be more "careful". He considers that the EU presidency asks for "the responsability to plan and implement initiatives carefuly". He is also careful to minimize consequences of this affair on Slovenia's image : "a little bit damaged". An inquiry has been launched in Slovenia to find the source of the leak.
Dedefensa.org, an independent news portal, quotes an anonymous European source declaring that "the Slovenian affair is on all minds and in all conversations, even if this doesn't show. But it is out of the question to blame Slovenia. Actually, Slovenia is very rarely mentioned. In reality, everybody feels guilty, caught in the act, as if what happenned to Slovenia could happen to anybody, to any EU member sate or European administration. This attitude of the American goverment is quite routine, usual, common... And Europe is so accustomed to cooperate, without reacting, and eventually to obey".
The informant carries on: " It is the first affair of this type in the European history, implying the leak of a compelling document by a diplomatic source, proving that America is assuredly and directly interfering in European affairs. We thus fear that the Slovenians, by speaking out, opened Pandora's Box. We fear that this affair wil give ideas to other diplomats in other member countries. You see, it is not only the image of Slovenia that is now downgraded it is the image of Europe. All the European civil servants perceive it as such. And some of them could react and 'accidentaly' allow new leaks to happen, judging it is their duty to take part in the denunciation of this situation.
With France taking over EU next Presidency starting on the 1rst of July 2008, the question that need to be asked is whether or not the United Stated will also consider making such recommendations? During Jaques Chirac mandate, this prospect would have have seemed quite irrelevant and to some, even quite funny. But with Nicolas Sarkozy leaning towards atlantism, this option cannot be ruled out so easily...
This whole episode triggers a disturbing set of questions about American influence in European affairs, especially within the ex-communist countries.