From our correspondent
PARIS – “Europe should not get involved in crises that are not ours”, and European countries should not be “subordinate to the United States” and The EU should instead act as a “third pole” vis-à-vis China and the United States. So the French president Emmanuel Macron He outlined his vision of international politics, on the plane that brought him back to Paris after his state visit to China, and spoke to watching journalists. Why EquusAnd Politician And France Inter.
On the Airbus Presidential, in his French Tech sweatshirt, Macron made remarks demanding – which would be greeted with surprise and bewilderment in many European capitals (from Vilnius to Warsaw to Rome) – Europe’s need to “not follow the United States” by distancing itself from the United Statesjust at a time when Washington’s new interest in Europe is crucial to the fate of the war in Ukraine.
Macron is starting from a principle he holds dear “European strategic independence”In a speech at the Sorbonne in September 2017, a few months after his arrival at the Elysee. He quotes Antonio Gramsci as claiming to have “won the ideological battle”, H He stresses the need for European sovereignty also in defense, at a time when it is necessary to adapt to the “war economy”.
“Strategic autonomy must be Europe’s battle,” says Macron. We do not want to depend on others for crucial issues. The day you no longer have freedom of choice about energy, about how to defend yourself, about social media, about artificial intelligence, because you no longer have the necessary infrastructure, you are leaving history.”
If in general this approach raises no objections, The subtle point is the subsequent distancing from the United States, which was not at all explicit, especially with regard to the confrontation with China.
“Strategic independence means having similar views with the United States, but whether it is about Ukraine, or the relationship with China, or sanctions, or having a European strategy. We don’t want to introduce block against block logic. Instead, we need to get rid of our model (make it less risky, Mr. Dr), not being dependent on the other, and maintaining strong integration of our value chains wherever possible. The paradox may be that it is only when we build real European strategic independence that we begin to follow American policy, for a kind of panic reaction. Macron adds. On the contrary, the battles that must be fought today are on the one hand to accelerate our strategic autonomy and on the other hand to ensure the financing of our economies. I take this opportunity to stress a point: we should not be dependent on the dollar extraterritorially.”
Macron’s statements are also important for the context in which they were made. Or on board the presidential plane at the end of a state visit to China, in which the French President used more conciliatory tone and behavior towards Chinese President Xi Jinping than those followed by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who accompanied him on his visit. visiting.
As soon as the French Air Force One departed from Chinese airspace, Xi Jinping launched a massive military exercise to simulate the blockade of Taiwan. The immediate effect of Macron’s visit to China, as well as of his announcement of his doctrine, appears to be the end of the minimal deterrent effect of Chinese objectives in Taiwan: Beijing is acting as if it has received some sort of green light from Europe or at least France, and it can hope that in the coming months’ dealings with the United States, the European Union will stick to some kind of egalitarianism. Or, in any case, try not to get involved, at least if European partners listen to Macron.
If the United States focused during the Obama and Trump presidencies on the peaceful region by disengaging from part of Europe, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlighted the indispensable military umbrella for Washington and NATO, is never present, necessary and attractive (as confirmed by the recent accession of Finland and Sweden to come). Within the European Union, the Baltic states, the Nordic countries, Poland and even Italy seem to be very close to the United States once again, and Macron’s words – not agreed at the European level – may stir up embarrassment and disagreements.
In France, Antoine Bondaz, a researcher at the “Fondation pour la recherche stratégique” and an expert on China, was among the first to interact. “The timing of the announcement is disastrous,” Bondaz writes on Twitter. After returning from a state visit to China, Macron finds nothing better than criticizing the United States, which confirms the doubts of our partners about the equal distance between Paris and Beijing. Macron is working in Beijing’s favor by indicating that France will remain neutral in the Taiwan Strait crisis scenario. So we don’t have to worry about French and European reaction, which reduces Taiwanese and American deterrence and increases the risk of conflict.
As for the general tone and feeling of Macron’s positions, they seem to be many footnote Politicianan American media with a significant European editorial staff. Politician He explains that the Elysée insisted that the president’s subpoenas be re-read and verified (the standard requirement in France and elsewhere for interviews with presidents and ministers). He adds that The Elysee cut out certain parts of the interview, during which the president spoke more directly about Taiwan and the strategic autonomy of Europe..
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