'Out of its depth!' Von der Leyen dubbed 'danger to Europe' after 'sidling up to China' in major EU speech


The EU has been dubbed a "danger to Europe" after Ursula Von der Leyen gave a major speech pledging "cooperation" with China

European commission/PA
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 06/11/2023

- 13:40

Updated: 06/11/2023

- 14:48

Von der Leyen was accused of being on the 'wrong side of foreign policy' after the conciliatory speech saw her call for 'derisking' not 'decoupling' from Beijing

The EU has been dubbed a "danger to Europe" after Ursula Von der Leyen gave a major speech pledging "cooperation" with China.

Speaking at the EU Ambassador's Conference, the European Commission Chief said "cooperation with China on global issues is possible".

While she acknowledged the threat posed by Beijing, the conciliatory speech saw her call for "derisking" not "decoupling" from Beijing.

Hitting back at her speech, former MEP Ben Habib said the bloc is "out of its depth and a danger to Europe".

He accused the EU of "sidling up to the totalitarian regime in China".

Habib told GB News: "The EU is always on the wrong side of foreign policy. We saw this in Ukraine with Macron responding to its invasion by cozying up to Putin. Germany similarly went on funding the Russian war machine through its purchase of Russian gas and oil.

"It injected around €50 billion into Russian coffers before Nordstream was blown up. It is still buying Russian fuel.

"We are in effect at war with Russia and the EU is fuelling the death of Ukrainian fighters. As President, Trump warned Germany of its over its reliance on Russia; they laughed at him.

"The EU has done the same with Gaza. When Trump imposed sanctions on Iran, the EU tried to sidestep them through the establishment of alternative clearing systems for trade with them. And, in case anyone has not joined the dots, Hamas terrorised Israel under instructions from Tehran. I see no EU commissioners owning up to their massive folly in 2018 and 2019."

He added: "Instead, they are at it again. This time sidling up to the totalitarian regime in China.

"The EU does not understand the very basics in geopolitics and the need to stand shoulder to shoulder with the US and UK.

"It seems to think by contradicting the US and UK its standing will be noticed. It is wrong!

"The EU is of course very keen to project itself on the international stage. Foreign policy is the last bit of the jigsaw required for it to become a superstate.

"And to support its desire to meddle internationally, the EU is rapidly developing its own military command structures.

"We must be very wary of an EU army – at best it will make huge mistakes; at worst we may find ourselves having to oppose it.

"The EU is out of its depth and a danger to Europe.”

Addressing the conference, Von der Leyen said: "Cooperation with China on global issues is possible. And it is happening.

"We see it also in the fight against climate change. There is room to define together common rules and solution to challenges we all share."

She added: "China's actions impact our security and sovereignty and our prosperity. And we have to be very frank on this as a foundation for a constructive relationship.


"China is our most important trading partner in terms of goods, we should not forget that but at the same time, concerns about unfair and at times, predatory practices, distorting our own single market, are absolutely tangible and rising, measurable.

"For instance, China's often resorted to trade coercion, boycotts of European goods, and export controls on critical raw materials.

"This shows that while we do not want to decouple from China, we do need to de-risk parts of our relationship."

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