Like many 'lefty' people here in the UK, I've often been pretty generally supportive of the European endeavour, even indulgent, but for completely the wrong reasons. But recent foreign and security policy developments mean I can no longer afford this luxury.
Living in the UK distorts your view of the issue. Europe can appear as a bulwark against some of the worst depredations of Thatcher's Tories and Blair's Neo-Tories - for instance the protections offered by the Convention on Human rights and the European Court.
This has meant that certain criticisms of the EU haven't really got much attention here in the UK - particularly the European left's view that the EU is too 'American' in its organisational structures and ambitions i.e. is focused on making the world safe for global capitalism and its war-mongering outriders.
Another aspect is unelected cabinets - which is how Javier Solana gets to be appointed European foreign policy 'supremo ', rather than being dragged before a war crimes tribunal for his services to American foreign policy. They may be chosen by our elected leaders, but so what? They sure show no interest in reflecting popular opinion when it comes to foreign policy. Just as long as they can placate their political base.
And there are suggestions he's assembling an unsettling array of powers which will even elevate him above the EU Presidency, but that's another issue.
So he's been responsible for the development of a "more muscular EU foreign policy, including 'last resort' military action to combat terrorism... the strategy recognises that early, rapid and robust intervention may be needed to fend off the most dangerous threats to global security... Mirroring America's preoccupations, the doctrine hammers home the strategic threat posed by global terrorists and weapons of mass destruction - identified as the "single most important threat to peace and security among nations"- as well as failed states." (link)
A dead giveaway.
Oh yeah, terrorism - not the environment, increasing injustice and repression, or even nuclear proliferation, corporate and NGO subversion of governments, and especially not illegal nuclear proliferation in Europe by NATO and the US.
Oh yeah, failed states - they're one's you invade illegally, but it's OK, they were failed states, not really states at all. And of course we will ignore history and whoever had a major role in their failure.
And part of this is the Americanisation of Europe and European foreign policy. European foreign and security policy is taking some dangerous turns; and most have NATO at their heart. And there seems to be a perilous blurring of the line between the genuine concerns of the EU and those of NATO.