Let’s talk about imperialism

It has been a long time since people in Germany spoke of “imperialism”. But now the term is experiencing a surprising renaissance – in France. Two Frenchmen take it in their mouths.

One is called Jean Pisani-Ferry and was for a long time economic advisor to President Emmanuel Macron. Now the Brussels think tank Bruegel, which Pisani-Ferry headed before returning to Paris, has presented a thesis paper entitled “Europe and the New Imperialism”.

The USA and China had turned away from the rule-based global system and again pursued an imperial power politics, according to the central thesis. The EU was not prepared for this. For the EUropeans still believe in the free market and fair rules. Quote:

Europe’s challenge now is to position itself in a new landscape where power matters more than rules and consumer welfare. The EU faces three big questions: whether to reorient its competition policy; how to combine economic and security objectives; and how to avoid becoming an economic hostage of US foreign-policy priorities.

This is strong tobacco. But it goes even stronger. This is proven by Economics Minister Bruno Le Maire. The Macron supporter has published a new book – “The New Empire: Europe in the 21st Century.” If you believe the British “FT”, he argues for a “European Empire”. Another quote:

Mr Le Maire said his idea was not “an empire of domination” but “a peaceful empire” that would unite EU members in standing up to China’s expansionary new Silk Road – the Belt and Road Initiative for infrastructure – and President Donald Trump’s “America First” slogan.

Ex-Commission President José Barroso has already spoken out in favour of a “peaceful empire” called the EU. That was almost ten years ago. It seems that Europeans have not made much progress since then. On the contrary: now they threaten to be crushed by the new empires…

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator