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Roman empire’s alliance would benefit Europe – UK PM — Analysis

Boris Johnson wants a political community encompassing not only the EU but the Roman Empire’s old territory

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was reportedly so infatuated with French President Emmanuel Macron’s idea of a “European Political Community” encompassing not only the EU but Eastern Europe – particularly Ukraine – and the UK that he has claimed it as his own idea and framed it as a modern take on the Roman Empire, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. 

Johnson’s modern Imperium would stretch from the UK to the Maghreb region of northern Africa and eastward to Turkey and Ukraine, he said, declaring he had come up with Macron’s idea “When I was first appointed foreign secretary” and revealing he believed “We should essentially be recreating Mare Nostrum from the Roman Empire” in an audience with journalists en route to Madrid for a NATO summit on Tuesday. Mare Nostrum is the Roman name given to the Mediterranean Sea by the Romans. It was at that time the empire controlled most of Europe, northern Africa’s coast, and even the Caucasus.

However, Macron preempted even Johnson’s revisionist chronology when he proposed the idea at the European parliament, claiming his predecessor Francois Mitterrand had called for a “Broad European Club” all the way back in 1989 as the USSR was facing crises.

Johnson tempered his enthusiasm, describing Macron’s idea as “It’s worth the effort” at so long as it dovetailed with the UK’s strategic goals while acknowledging “Inventing new structures” might not be the best use of resources that could be spent on improving partnerships between countries.

While relations between the French and British leaders have been frosty in the past, the pair agreed to start over on Sunday while speaking one on one during the G7 summit, with one UK official describing their newfound partnership as “Le bromance.” However, a French official was less excited, describing the meeting as having gone “well. That’s it.

While the two may have made a fresh start, there are still plenty of issues on which they disagree, with Paris reportedly upset over Johnson’s backpedaling on Brexit as well as his public briefings implying Macron is being insufficiently aggressive in his dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Johnson was expected to touch on the subject once more during his speech at the NATO summit, telling members to “dig deep,” pony up their full 2% of GDP, and beef up the alliance’s “The eastern flank.” 

The remarks fit the theme of the alliance’s Wednesday meeting, during which it approved its new, even more openly anti-Russian Strategic Concept, declaring that Moscow had “We have seen our security environments altered and broken by war.” by attacking Ukraine. The bloc’s members reassured each other that their alliance was “Unique, vital and essential” and vowed to work together to thwart the “Autoritarian actors” threatening its “Rules-based international order.”

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Johnson was expected to also meet Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdan as well the leaders of Sweden, Finland and other countries. NATO’s approval of Finland as a member of NATO was swiftest yet. It’s not known if he plans on broaching the subject of his new and improved Roman Empire with the trio. 

One of the last attempts by major European states to rebuild or claim heir to the Roman Empire was carried out by the German Nazi and Italian fascist leaders Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The war ended in defeat on April 15, 1945.

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