Since the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the US has been leading the unipolar world order. But Russia is still a major concern for both the EU and for the USA – thinking of the negotiations between Russia and the USA on Ukraine for example, without Europe at the table. And with the rise of China as an economic and military superpower, a world player that cannot be ignored has entered the stage. Europe needs to make tough choices in its geopolitical relations. But for whom and how unanimous will these choices be? Join us for a current affairs lecture on Europe’s role in this shifting geopolitical world.
The historical ties between Europe and the US are strong, but are showing increasing cracks because of the Trump presidency, arguments about NATO contributions and because of America’s focus on Asia over Europe. At the same time, the chaotic evacuation in Afghanistan shows that Europe is still militarily dependent on the US. And this is all happening in times where Russia’s military threat has been at its fiercest since the Cold War.
Meanwhile, China – the US’ biggest competitor on the world stage – is rapidly expanding its influence on strategically important European ports with the Belt & Road Initiative (New Silk Road). China is also the EU’s largest trading partner and with a population of 1.4 billion, it has exceptional demographic mass. How should Europe position itself between these two heavyweights on which it is depending so heavily?
Will the transatlantic alliance survive a bipolar world order as the US shifts its priorities to Asia, or is the Ukraine crisis a ‘blessing in disguise’? Should Europe take sides in a potential invasion of Taiwan by China? Or is there a European, third way conceivable in addition to a choice for the US or China?
Specialist in international politics, René Cuperus will shine his light on the changing geopolitical world order and Europe’s balancing act between Russia, America, and China.