Europe does not need more seats on the UN Security Council

EU is overrepresented and undercommitted

Germany’s Foreign Minister Joshka Fisher declared that India and Germany are natural candidates for permanent seats on the UN Security Council. That sounds like Germany hitching its wagon onto India’s engine.

With two of its core members, France and Britain, in the Security Council, the EU is already over-represented. In any future re-organisation of the council, Europe’s role must be consolidated. With a single market, single currency, armed forces and soon a formal constitution, the EU has no excuse for not consolidating its foreign policy and security position onto one vote. Germany may be a powerful economy, so is California.

More likely candidates are India, Japan and perhaps even Turkey.

Update: Kemal Dervis, a former member of Turkey’s cabinet, argues that besides India and Japan, Africa, Latin America and the Arab world must be represented in the Security Council.

7 thoughts on “Europe does not need more seats on the UN Security Council”

  1. RS,

    South Africa yes. Nigeria’s democratic credentials are not strong enough, neither is its commitment to regional security.

    I put in Turkey only half-seriously. It is an Islamic democracy with significant regional military power and influence.And Europe does not want it 🙂

  2. S.C needs to be re-evaluated. It’s a joke. Putting India and Japan on it will be a good first step. And take away the damn veto powers.

  3. I agree with Sepoy that procedural changes need to be made if an expanded Security Council is to work. This means eliminating the veto power of the permenant members.

    I think the following countries should be added. Brazil or Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, India, Japan, and Australia.

    But when is this supposed expansion happen? I’ve been hearing about it for years.

  4. Decision by majority instead of unanimity…hmm that’ll leave even the US worried.

    The main reason there is no change is because there cannot be any change unless the P5 are willing to change. Why they will agree to change when change means dilution of their own power is the question. But sooner or later the SC will have to change or risk losing legitimacy.

    The UN General Assembly has turned out to be a talk shop, and is unable to counter-balance the Security Council.

    Personally, I’m a bit wary about Australia in the security council. It has a tiny population and is still unable to decide whether it belongs to Asia or not. Except East Timor – which is in its backyard, Australia has always worked for the United States.

  5. The proposal – as I understand it – is to include Germany, Japan, India, Brasil and South Africa as permanent members plus an additional five non-permanent members, -none- of them from Europe. In that case Europe’s representation would drop from 26% to 20%. They make the point that the ability to contribute to maintaining peace and security – the main criteria for Security Council membership – isn’t distributed equally over the world but that any enlargement should be subject to a review in the future.

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