Étiquette : États-Unis

The European Union: Caught between the United States and China

This article is the English version of: Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, « L’Union européenne, entre États-Unis et Chine », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 86, Issue 3, 2021.

Au premier plan, couverture du volume 3/2021 de Politique Étrangère. En fond, drapeau de l'Union Européenne sur un bâtiment.

The European Union (EU) has long aspired to a stronger and more coherent foreign and security policy. With the Lisbon Treaty, it upgraded the position of High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and created a new diplomatic service, the European External Action Service (EEAS) to help it achieve this objective. Although progress has been made in a number of areas, including in defense cooperation, the EU is still far from having a unified, coherent and effective external policy, while the departure of the United Kingdom has diminished its economic, political and military weight.
However, as the international environment has drastically changed, awareness of the need for Europe to be able to act more autonomously and decisively has risen substantially in recent years. The instability in the EU’s neighborhood has been aggravated by Russia’s aggressive policies, while the challenges resulting from China’s rise became increasingly apparent. At the same time, American unilateralism under President Trump severely undermined confidence in the transatlantic alliance.

Climate and International Trade: The Clash of Powers

This article is the English version of: Carole Mathieu, « Climat et commerce international : le choc des puissances », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 86, Issue 3, 2021.

Couverture de la revue Politique Étrangère n° 3/2021, présentant l'article "Climate and International Trade: The Clash of Powers" de Carole Mathieu, sur une image de fond représentant une carte du monde plate entourée de billets de différentes devises.

Since Joe Biden’s election there has been a sense of optimism around international climate negotiations. The hope of finding a multilateral solution will be revived in a few months’ time at the important COP26 summit in Glasgow, which should mark the end of another cycle of amendments to the 2030 commitments. In record time, the United States has not only rejoined the Paris climate agreement, but it has also presented the rest of the world with a plan to reduce its national emissions by 50–52% from their 2005 levels by 2030. That announcement came on April 22, 2021, during a major virtual summit organized by the White House. It was motivated by two goals: to demonstrate the credibility of the United States’ commitment to climate action, and to increase the diplomatic pressure on other large emitters, chief among them China, to follow the same path.
Nevertheless, the figures are not encouraging. In 2020, the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic caused the biggest drop in CO2 emissions (6%) since the Second World War, but that decline has been reversed since the resumption of trade and activity. Predictions for 2021 suggest a rebound of 5%, reflecting the lack of lasting structural change. To find reasons for hope, we must turn to the evolution of official discourse. At the end of 2019, European countries were more or less the only ones to have promised to achieve climate neutrality by 2050; that goal has now been adopted by two-thirds of the global economy, including the United States and China (by 2060)…

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