How will Biden’s Atlanticism translate into Germany, France and Italy?

How will Biden's Atlanticism translate into Germany, France and Italy?

The first tangible effect of the return of the States to the multilateralist and Atlanticist doctrine with Biden is a blatant gap between the position of France and that of Germany. And in Italy with Mario Draghi… The italics of Teo Dalavecuras

A long time ago, when dairies still existed, geopolitics was trivially called "international relations" and the ISPI (Institute for International Political Studies, in fact) did not have dozens, if not hundreds of "competitors" like today, there there were some certainties, with all the margin of approximation that human certainties involve, as long as they are kept at a respectful distance from the bureaucratic mentality.

One of these was that the United States, compared to the rest of the world, tends to oscillate between an isolationist and an interventionist attitude. The first was associated with a second certainty, namely that interventionism reflected a "reformist" or "progressive" or, in the American way, "liberal" political orientation; the conservative, on the other hand, was naturally inclined to an isolationist policy.

Although today the world has become so small that isolationism is out of the league of conceivable things, progressives' approach to international relations issues remains different from that of conservatives and one need only compare Joe Biden's rhetoric with that of Donald Trump to be aware of.

Trump did not believe in interventionism and it is said that at the beginning of his mandate he explained it rather abruptly at the top of the Pentagon. Biden, whose run for the presidency was also supported by an open letter signed by several hundred experts and officials of American foreign and security policy, never misses an opportunity to relaunch the Atlantic alliance which is a symbol of interventionism (in the "sense good ”, to the point that the term interventionism has fallen into disuse, now we only speak of multilateralism) of the United States. He did so also in recent days at the Global Security Conference in Munich, clearly suggesting that in Washington the entire Western world is expected to align itself without hesitation with the policy of isolation and containment of the enemies of progress and human rights , Russia and China, outlined by Biden.

After all, Atlanticism must be back in fashion if Mario Draghi, the Italian certainly better tuned to global trends, hit the Atlantic button as soon as he had the opportunity, in the programmatic declarations to the Senate and informally even before. .

The geopolitical experts, who are not lacking, will discuss the why and wherefore of this turning point that has already been married by Emmanuel Macron's France (the same one who not very long ago defined NATO in a state of "brain death") and by United Kingdom but, with much less enthusiasm, by Germany which has always been considered America's most faithful European ally.

In short, in the things that matter, the overcoming of the "anomaly" Trump proceeds at full speed, for the rest, customs duties and other details, there will be time. Only for us Europeans, in particular for Italy, to want to be very picky in addition to duties remains a small problem: the first tangible effect of the return of the States to the multilateralist and Atlanticist doctrine is a conspicuous gap between the position of France and that of Germany, as if to say the right leg and the left leg of the European Union, what can only herald a setback in the approach march, already so staggering that it cannot be called march or even path, towards the horizon political integration of the continent or at least of a significant fraction of it.

On the other hand, it is physiological that when America asks them to "huddle together" under its leadership, the cohesion of European countries, already structurally poor, tends to further fray and the prospect of integration, if never there was one, to fade.

So far in theory no problem: some, like the writer, may be sorry, but it cannot be ruled out that what Italy gains from the revival of Atlanticism is more than what it can lose from the loosening of European cohesion, already a lot precarious of its own.

In his programmatic statements, however, Draghi stressed that "this government will be convinced pro-European and Atlanticist", and at the beginning of his declarations he had expressed his "Europeanism" in very emphatic terms: "The nation states remain the reference of our citizens, but in the areas defined by their weakness they surrender national sovereignty to acquire shared sovereignty. Indeed, in our convinced belonging to the destiny of Europe we are even more Italian, even closer to our territories of origin or residence ”. Emphatic terms but not without a hint of cunning: the premier pretended to ignore that in Brussels there is no "shared sovereignty" but an "irresponsible" bureaucracy that is not always up to the situation, as the story of vaccine contracts is letting it shine through.

It will be said that this has always been, with different nuances, the rhetoric of the “pro-European” leaderships. It will be said that Europeanism does not necessarily mean – indeed, it basically never means – commitment to political integration but only to an increasingly articulated European bureaucracy with ever more extensive competences. It will be said that nothing different could be expected from a man of the world like Mario Draghi.

It is certainly so, but you cannot conclude your speech by proclaiming: “Today, unity is not an option, unity is a duty” and at the same time lead yourself as a man of the world. Stride: "duty" is not a word that belongs to the lexicon of the man of the world.

Even if, to tell the truth, Draghi's use of the world, inseparable from the role to some extent, works in evil as well as in good: for example in the measured words with which he gave, in his speech in Parliament, the obligatory " lip service ”to the renewed American crusade against the geopolitical adversaries of all time.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Sun, 21 Feb 2021 10:35:11 +0000.