A few weeks after the groundbreaking budget agreement adopted by the European Council on July 21, 2020, it would be tempting to say that COVID-19 changed everything in the European Union (EU), in line with the oft-repeated principle: “It takes a crisis for Europe to act.” Like all clichés, there is some truth in this statement. The EU’s shared debt plan is the most important boost to European integration since the euro, and a step that would have been impossible without this crisis. This major progress owes, in large part, to a less obvious dynamic—the return of a golden triangle, which had not made such an impact since the early 1990s—the French-German partnership and an ambitious European Commission.
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Une sélection d’articles traduits en anglais, et en accès libre
This article is the English version of : Thomas Gomart, « Entre concentration et dispersion : le bel avenir de la puissance », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 84, Issue 1, 2019, for the 40th anniversary of Ifri.
Far from being an absolute, power “is a human relationship”, one conceivable in both theoretical and political terms. Both an analytical concept and a policy principle, power is now understood in all its different forms, and is either celebrated or criticized in the academic on the topic.
This article is the English version of : Raymond Aron, « En marge des combats douteux », initially published in Politique étrangère in 1979, and again in Politique étrangère, Vol. 84, Issue 1, 2019, for the 40th anniversary of Ifri.
The French in 1954 and the Americans in 1973 withdrew from the three countries in the Indochina peninsula, now subject to parties that claim to follow the same ideology. And the wars continue, either between armies, or between an army and guerrilla forces. The withdrawal of the Western powers did not enable the people to decide on self-determination, on their desire for independence or their quarrels. Previously involved in the East-West conflict, here the Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians are the subject of the rivalry between the two great Marxist-Leninist powers.
Asking whether a European democracy is in fact possible is clearly a sign of the times. Does this question, which points to a deficit by inviting us to revisit a much-criticized model, also point to a necessary objective? We might initially think not: things move fast in the early twenty-first century and, as Hubert Védrine highlights, the world does not wait for powers to constitute themselves as such if they have neither the desire nor the ability to do so.