After Barack Obama’s win, the news media in Europe has enrolled itself in a search for hints of what the re-elected US President’s European policy will be like. The conclusions cannot be admitted at a face value so early in this second mandate, but it does look as though coming times will not be exactly auspicious for the Old Continent.
“He will think Pacific rather than Atlantic; Asia rather than Europe,” Libération said. “The most convincing sign of this change is that during their foreign policy debate neither of the candidates mentioned Europe or NATO, substantial allies on which all US diplomacy relied for some seven decades.”
“Because Europe is no longer a strategic problem for the US since the Soviet Union crumbled and because it has no new markets to conquer there, the US has turned all of its attention towards an emerging Asia where it must ensure its industrial position and curb the competing power, China, before it imposes its dominance on its neighbours and rivals in this New World.”
“This does not mean that all solidarity will disappear overnight between the two shores of the Atlantic,” the French daily believes, “A privileged tie will continue but it will constantly be weakened because the US and the European Union will have other priorities than to maintain it.”
In fact, Il Sole-24 Hore reminded European readers, “Direct investments from the United States into Europe and vice versa are much higher than the figures from China and Japan put together.”
“In 2011 cross-Atlantic trade jumped 14 percent to reach $636 billion, or 500 billion euros, and it employs 15 million people. Research and development in the two trading blocs account for 65 percent of the global total, while the transatlantic economy makes up 54 percent of world production and 40 percent of purchasing power. If we knocked down half of the trade barriers, trade could increase by $200 billion. Not to mention the strength of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation [NATO], one of the largest alliances in history.”
However, “To counter Asia, the former will have to build an Americas’ Front unifying, from Alaska to Argentina, into a single market zone. This would be coupled with a reinforcement of alliances with Japan, Southeast Asia and, if possible, India,” the French newspaper added.
Il Sole-24 Hore agrees: “The great global shift underway is the big question: it is true that the major economic powers, China and the U.S., are overtaking us. But it will be up to us to keep up with them, to put in place common structures such as those designed at the G20 meeting at Los Cabos, to move ahead with ‘federal’ institutions, to deregulate, and to dismantle rigid structures.”
In partnership with presseurop.eu |