15/12/2021

Geopolitics

The emerging new world order from an EU perspective

Where will be the place of the European Union in the emerging world order? There are two ways ahead of the EU: accept the emerging geopolitical status quo as a policy-taker, or actively participate in its evolution as a policy-shaper. In what way can the Washington-Moscow-Beijing triangle race have an impact on Europe, and what are the lines Europe should build its policy on in the three-pole world order? The present study seeks to address the above issues while presenting European interests from a narrative of three pillars: economy, security policy, and climate policy.

Where will be the place of the European Union in the emerging world order? There are
two ways ahead of the EU: accept the emerging geopolitical status quo as a policy-taker,
or actively participate in its evolution as a policy-shaper. In what way can the
Washington-Moscow-Beijing triangle race have an impact on Europe, and what are the
lines Europe should build its policy on in the three-pole world order? The present study
seeks to address the above issues while presenting European interests from a narrative
of three pillars: economy, security policy, and climate policy.


For the EU, the forthcoming period will be a time when it has to evaluate the
economic benefits of strengthening its Eastern relations and analyse the risks
and geopolitical concerns of China's unstoppable rise as a great power. The
changing world order requires careful consideration in several aspects from the
EU: besides the unquestionable importance of the transatlantic relations in
terms of security policy, there is the economic interdependence with China, and
there is Russia remaining an unavoidable actor in providing energy security for
the continent.
The present study seeks to provide a guideline for the future world order from
the EU's point of view, reviewing the crucial economic, security, and
environmental aspects, essential in terms of the Union’s advocacy and
opportunities.



Historical context


To understand the geopolitical tectonics of today’s superpowers, it is worth taking a
look back to the Cold War period, when between the opposing parties, Beijing earned
a special attention as a geopolitical balancing tool. As a result, when US President
Nixon saw open conflict between the two communist regimes he interpreted it as a
unique opportunity for the US to weaken Moscow’s systemic position. The resumption
of US diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China had resulted in a
“triangulation” of superpower policy, which led to achieving agreements between the
Soviet Union and the US on the control of nuclear arms proliferation (Strategic Arms
Limitation Treaty and an Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty).
While Kissinger’s foreign policy sought to weaken Moscow’s position by resuming
diplomatic relations with Beijing, decades later, history repeated itself, but in a reverse
format. The phrase from the ‘70s “If only Nixon could go to China”, nowadays might
sound like “anyone can go to Russia except Trump.”
 In his foreign policy, former US
President Trump considered Moscow as a possible tool of exerting pressure on Beijing,
which, over the past 30 years has evolved from a geopolitical sphere of influence to a
great power of the multipolar world. The US’s unipolar moment is over, simultaneously
the Cold War seems to be returning now with the competition of three parties:
Washington, Moscow, and Beijing. Based on the foreign policy discourse of the last
two US administrations, the economic-driven sanctions applied by both the US and
China (US-China trade war started during Trump’s term) are being replaced by
ideological opposition of the parties (represented by President Biden’s
administration)....

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