Europe may die / A look at the speech of the High Representative of the European Union

We Europeans wanted to create a circle of friends in our area. Instead, what we have today is a ring of fire.

May 11, 2024 - 14:23
Europe may die / A look at the speech of the High Representative of the European Union
 Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy (May 3), during a speech at the University of Oxford, England, outlined his views on the most important issues in the world, such as the war in Ukraine, the Palestinian war, the international system, the rise of power China and the need for Europe to become more independent from America in security matters.
 You are reading part of a speech published on the website of the European External Action Service.
 “The international system we were accustomed to after the Cold War no longer exists. America has lost its hegemonic position and the post-1945 multilateral world order is losing its place. China is becoming a superpower. What China has done over the past 40 years is unique in human history. Over the past 30 years, China's share of global GDP (in purchasing power parity terms) has risen from 6% to almost 20%, while we Europeans have fallen from 21% to 14% and the US from 20% to 15%. . This is a dramatic change in the economic landscape.
 China is emerging as a competitor to us and the United States not only in producing low-cost goods, but also as a military power at the forefront of technological development and the creation of technologies that will shape our future. China began “unlimited friendship” with Russia. At the same time, middle powers emerge. They become important players. Regardless of whether they are BRICS members or non-BRICS members, they have very little in common other than the desire to have a greater place and a stronger voice in the world, as well as greater benefits for their own development. To achieve this goal, they maximize their independence, do not want to take sides, support one side or another depending on the moment, depending on the issue. We Europeans wanted to create a circle of friends in our area. Instead, today we have a ring of fire. A ring of fire stretching from the coast to the Middle East, the Caucasus, and now to the battlefields of Ukraine.
In some important straits, such as the Red Sea, we have even encountered EU naval missions. There are also two wars in which people fight over land. This shows that geography is back. We are told that globalization has made geography irrelevant, but this is not true. Most of the conflicts in our region are related to land. A land promised to two nations in the case of Palestine and a land at the intersection of two worlds in the case of Ukraine. “This is my land,” “No, this is my land.” And this struggle for land sheds a lot of blood.
 At the same time, we are witnessing an acceleration of global trends. Climate change is no longer a problem in the future. Climate collapse is now, not tomorrow, but today. Technological developments, in particular everyone is talking about artificial intelligence, are creating changes that we cannot fully understand.
 Population is also changing rapidly, and when I talk about population balance, I am talking about migration, especially in Africa, where 25% of the world's population will live in 2050. In 2050, one in four people will live in Africa, while we see rising inequality, shrinking democracy and threats to freedoms.
 This photograph was taken in the 1930s in Senegal, then a French colony. The photo shows African porters carrying a European man on a chair to cross the river. [File photo: AFP]


In this perspective, it is necessary to define the role of the European Union and the role of the United Kingdom. I don't know what our role will be. We are hearing warnings that Europe could die. So what should we do?"