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GEAB N°76 (15 juin 2013) - Sommaire

Alerte second semestre 2013 – Crise systémique globale II : seconde déflagration dévastatrice / explosion sociale à l’échelle planétaire

Un choc de type Lehman en 2008, départ symbolique de l’incendie et surtout prise de conscience généralisée de la situation, n’a pas encore eu lieu. Ce n’est pas vraiment une bonne nouvelle car avec le temps la situation ne cesse de s’aggraver et ce n’est plus un choc auquel il faut se préparer mais une déflagration dévastatrice… (page 2)

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UE 2014-2015 : après les élections au Parlement européen, le bras de fer entre Parlement et Conseil européen favorise la montée de l’Euroland

L’architecture institutionnelle de l’UE a toujours été, depuis le début du processus d’intégration européenne, fondée sur le sable mouvant de la réalité politique. Si l’on ne fait que regarder un instant donné, on pourrait être amené à croire que la structure est solide, bien ancrée dans les traités européens. Mais la réalité est tout autre… (page 11)

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Le monde en 2030 – Diversification / infrastructures / éducation : anticiper la capacité de rebond post-crise d’une économie

S’il est nécessaire d’avoir une vision des événements à court terme pour naviguer dans cette crise d’ampleur séculaire, il ne faut toutefois jamais perdre de vue le panorama général des transformations du monde, tel que nous le rappelons régulièrement dans le GEAB. C’est la raison pour laquelle il est important de ne pas oublier les tendances de fond qui façonnent une société sur le long terme, c’est-à-dire sur plusieurs décennies (20 à 30 ans)… (page 15)

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Gouvernance Mondiale – Le rapprochement Euro-BRICS au service de la mise à niveau du système ou comme matrice d’un nouveau modèle ? Les institutions de la gouvernance globale théoriquement en charge de gérer la crise qui affecte la planète depuis maintenant 5 ans sont-elles structurellement capables d’engager les réformes nécessaires pour créer les conditions d’une amélioration de leur efficience ?… (page 27)

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Recommandations opérationnelles et stratégiques

Cash / pétrole / bourse / obligations… (page 30)

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Le GlobalEurometre - Résultats & Analyses

Le questionnaire de ce mois reflète une inquiétude élevée mais plutôt constante quant aux indicateurs économiques, à l’exception notable près du risque de faillites bancaires qui se précise à nouveau… (page 33)

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The future of Transatlantic Relations is not anymore what it used to be ? Open letter to future US elites in charge of Transatlantic Relations
by Franck Biancheri

Most probably, by next November, a new administration will be elected in the US. There is no wishful thinking about it (though 90% of Europeans do expect that G.W. Bush will loose). But changing to Kerry’s administration will not by itself makes EU/US relations successful. Of course the new administration will be able and willing to listen and start a true discussion over all major issues on the Transatlantic agenda. Europeans will therefore be very willing to prove that they genuinely were against the Bush administration’s positions and not at all against the USA.

Most probably, by next November, a new administration will be elected in the US. There is no wishful thinking about it (though 90% of Europeans do expect that G.W. Bush will loose). But changing to Kerry’s administration will not by itself makes EU/US relations successful. Of course the new administration will be able and willing to listen and start a true discussion over all major issues on the Transatlantic agenda. Europeans will therefore be very willing to prove that they genuinely were against the Bush administration’s positions and not at all against the USA.

But as was telling me a good US friend of mine in the recent Transatlantic seminar ‘Reconstructing the West’, organised in Berlin by the German Peace and Development Foundation, the American Council on Germany and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies : ‘The Democrats are so ‘in love’ with Europe that they do believe that they own a share of it ; and that they will feel entitled to keep on telling the Europeans what they should do. In two years time the honeymoon will develop into bitter conflicts’. He maybe pretty right especially if the Europeans do not explain clearly, from scratch, to their US counterparts that Europe and the EU has changed a lot during the past 5 years ; and that the European perspective on Transatlantic relations will never be the same after the Iraq crisis. Bush’s presidency has indeed emancipate Europe’s public opinions from the Transatlantic relations born in the wake of WWII. He did not do it all by himself ; but he did act as a catalyst for trends generated by the end of the Cold War and the success of European integration. The catalytic reaction took place and it is not a reversible one. We must now invent a new course for the Transatlantic relation which is already bi-polar (EU/US) and not anymore multilateral (US and each EU country).

But let’s go step by step through each of these two assertions : a ‘regime change’ will take place next November ; and Democrats too must change their vision of Transatlantic relations.

First, about next US presidential elections. Closely monitoring US society for about a decade, and being actively involved in developing the TIESWEB network all around the country for 6 years, I am now convinced that the five main trends currently at work within the US electorate will indeed generate a ‘regime change’ in Washington. Those five trends are :

. the growing understanding by US citizens of the gigantic failure generated by the US invasion of Iraq (and the progressive emerging of facts, decisions, manipulations, lies which have been used to make it happen) which is generating a growing unease even within the Republican Party constituency

. the lack of positive perspective on short term in Iraq which will keep on nurturing the news with ‘bad news’, whatever amount of money will be invested by the huge propaganda machine of the Bush campaign

. the lack of micro-economic impact of the supposed to be economic recovery (US workers are still waiting to see new jobs created)

. the new interest for politics of young people, minorities and citizens, who used to be convinced that there vote did not matter, generated by the ‘strange’ scenario of the last presidential elections (still alive in memories of many who did not go to vote at that time) and by the very strong opposition generated by current administration’s policies on international relations, environment, social issues and of course Iraq

. the emerging in past months of anti-Bush feelings within Republican ranks as expressed by former public servants (as recently did senior diplomats and top-ranking militaries), business leaders or even public figures (last example is Ronald Reagan’s son).

To win a presidential election you need to gather 100% of your own political family and attract parts of those who could vote for the other side. When you cannot mobilize 100% of your own party basis and when on the contrary your opponent can count on such a process, then, you are terminated.

This evolution will start to be accurately reflected by surveys in about two weeks when US people will understand that the so-called ‘handover’ to Iraqis is just another attempt to hide the on-going failure in Iraq, as is the conviction that things will go better for US troops after this deadline. The conviction that things will go better after June 30th is the last element which still prevents a significant number of voters to flip side. They do believe what the president has been repeatedly saying that June 30th will mark a change in the situation. As soon as they see that it will not be (by mid-July), then, they will immediately turn away from G.W. Bush.

Now, let’s have a look to the other assertion that the future Democrat administration must develop a completely new vision of EU/US relations.

First, it is true indeed that the Transatlanticist Democrats tend to love so much Europe that they have big difficulty understanding that Europeans have ideas of their own regarding what their future should be. Let’s take a very simple and up-to-date example : Turkey’s attempt to join the EU. What G.W. Bush has been repeating during his stay in Turkey is very significant of what will not work anymore in EU/US relations : ‘Turkey must join the EU. The EU must say ‘Yes’ to Turkey’s bid next December’. Without even considering the position he promotes, one thing naturally comes to mind to European citizens today : ‘Bush’s better take care of his own country. How comes that he expresses his opinion about something which is of sole responsibility of Europeans themselves ?’. For decades, US’ involvement within internal EU affairs was taken for granted by US elites and by Europeans. Today, and especially after the Iraq crisis, only a handful of officials and experts (the ‘usual suspects’ you meet in all Transatlantic seminars for the past 3 decades)still think the same,while an overwhelming majority of Europeans do not feel that normal anymore.

The Turkish issue is very significant as it is an highly volatile and divisive question within the EU. The ‘pro-Turkey’ finds extremely embarrassing the US public support as it fuels the old suspicion that the entry of Turkey within the EU is serving US interests and not European ones (again a clear difference of perception ignored by public opinion just a decade ago) ; and the ‘anti-Turkey’ use this ‘support’ to show that indeed it is not in European interest because the US wants it. Meanwhile, while there is absolutely no objective reasons to have such a link but just US insistence to have a public word on that issue, it is generating even worst feelings towards the US as trying to influence EU’s own future.

When speaking to a US audience, I use to give a good analogy of the impact on European public opinion today of such declarations : it is as if the European Union would tell the USA that they should accelerate NAFTA integration and have Mexico joining the US in the very next years and denying the right for the USA to do otherwise but for racism. I let you imagine what would be US public opinion reactions to such kind of European declarations. Today’s Europeans do feel the same way when G.W. Bush, or any future US president, will make such kind of declaration about the EU and Turkey.

This example shows the kind of challenge facing future EU/US relations which indeed are becoming bipolar and not anymore multilateral, as convincingly explained John van Oudenaren, Head of the European Division of the Library of Congress, at this seminar a week ago in Berlin. Two big political entities of different age (the EU is much younger than the USA) and different nature (the USA is inspired by the classical ‘nation-state’ identity while the EU is building up a sui-generis identity) have to learn how to interact in a world where together they do matter a lot, but in a world too which is made of other powers. Simply said, the only thing which is essentially still the same compared to 1945 is the US itself ; everything else is different. If the challenge is for each side of the Ocean, the initial task may be more difficult for the US as it is more complex to understand that things are changed when oneself has not changed that much compared to its own environment.

Such an adaptation of future US elites in charge of Transatlantic relations will require from them a tremendous ability to put in question the very basis of their own belief and convictions about what Transatlantic relations have been for decades. They will need a great curiosity to try to understand what is becoming this New European Union emerging from the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Iraq Transatlantic Crisis. Similarly Europeans should be willing to explain the evolution even when they are difficult to explain, especially when they are difficult to explain. Europeans must be pro-active in doing so, as for instance will do Europe 2020 with its first seminar of the second GlobalEurope 2020 series which will take place next Spring in Washington, in order to discuss with US elites the vision developed among Europeans last January in the Hague about future EU/US relations.

Meanwhile, the change of patterns is also a change of players. This trend goes of course beyond EU/US relations and is affecting the whole sphere of international relations. As we were saying when we set up TIESWEB in 1997/1998 : ‘in coming years civil societies will become a major player of Transatlantic relations which will require new tools and new methods if we want this new player to constructively act in terms of EU/US relations’. Assessing and impacting on future Transatlantic relations require to enlarge the circle of people involved in EU/US cooperation to a group going far beyond the handful of ‘usual suspects’ haunting Transatlantic conferences or monopolizing the ‘opinion making’ of this issue.

US society is a mine of energy and enthusiasm for such a new Transatlantic endeavour ; European society is willing and ready to bring its new combined assets into the game. The elites have now to show that they are up to the challenge ; and especially the US elites who, let’s be honest, till now where having a complete control of the game. Meanwhile both sides have to also go to the terrain and directly discuss with civil society players, with community leaders in order to ‘get the message’ to the people. For that reason, I have decided to dedicate a full month of my life next Spring to launch the ‘TIESWEB Transatlantic Marathon’ This series of 15 conferences in 30 days in 15 different US States (in big and small towns) will be co-organized with think-tanks, ngos, universities and local communities in the same way I did the Newropeans Democracy Marathon last year. I hope to pave the way for many other ‘Transatlantic Marathonians’ in coming years.

If US intellectual curiosity and EU will to explain can meet, then we may bet on the best for future Transatlantic relations. If on the contrary, US intellectual complacency and EU weakness of character prevails, then we are heading for major Transatlantic confrontations.

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