Saturday, April 10, 2021

“It is by becoming a political and military power that Europe will renew its alliance with America”

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Tribune. Hurry up. The challenges that we, European and American Democrats, have to face are immense because the respect for human rights and the dialogue between nations, the values ​​and principles on which the international order had been re-founded in the aftermath of the Nazi defeats are now contested by increasingly numerous political powers and intellectual currents.

There is China, Turkey, the Philippines or Russia, but the United States is experiencing the rise of conspiracy, while the European Union has to reckon with “illiberal democracies” and the entrenchment of extremes. nationalist rights seduced by the most authoritarian regimes. Everywhere under threat, democracy can lose the battle, and this one possibility denies us the luxury of secondary quarrels and division.

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Because we are in the same trench, we, the American and European Democrats, can no longer allow trade disputes between the United States and the European Union to degenerate into fratricidal tussles. Between us, the rule should no longer be retaliation but compromise. Far from allowing us all the blows, the competition between our industries must lead us, on the contrary, to impose common rules on us in matters of public aid, environment and taxation, in order to be able to close our ranks on the international scene. .

The United States no longer has any interests to defend in Europe

It is the first of the cultural revolutions that we have to operate and, at the same time, we Europeans can no longer act as if the election of Joe Biden guaranteed us the same military protection as in the days of the Cold War. . This would only be an illusion because the United States no longer has any vital interests to defend in Europe. They no longer even have oil supplies to secure in the Middle East, and their priorities today – they say it, we know it – are the Pacific and Asia, the area where they must respond. the Chinese challenge.

Unless we find ourselves naked in the face of nostalgia for defeated empires, the chaos of Muslim worlds, jihadist terrorism and the push from China, we must therefore equip ourselves with a common defense. In none of the Union’s capitals is this prospect any longer the absolute taboo it had constituted. Yet we are in no hurry to act.

Some of us fear reconnecting with military might. Others do not want to risk precipitating an American disengagement. Still others, often the same, do not resolve to increase their budgetary difficulties by increasing their military spending and, without even admitting it to themselves, many member states persist in believing that, with the Trump parenthesis closed, the American umbrella is falling. will reopen, just like in the good old days.

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