Archive for category: Europe
French president Emmanuel Macron has renewed calls for the creation of a joint EU army. The proposal smacks of a desperate attempt to reverse the old European powers’ declining influence in global politics.
The European Union’s aspiration to become a military power is growing. (Getty Images)
“The idea that Europe is an exclusively ‘civilian power’ does not do justice to the emerging reality.” So wrote Federica Mogherini — at the time the European Union’s foreign affairs representative — in a Die Welt column back in July 2016. With transatlantic relations eroded over the following four years under Trump, the EU’s aspirations to become a military power only grew. Such calls have again gained traction as Emmanuel Macron’s France takes over the formal presidency of the EU for the first half of 2022.
This broad aim is in fact asserted by the European Commission’s own foreign policy guidelines, asserting that “Full spectrum defence capabilities are necessary to respond to external crises.” Indeed, when Ursula von der Leyen became Commission president in December 2019, she proclaimed that the EU “want[s] to be a strong geopolitical union,” and to do that it “must also learn the language of power.” Indeed, today there is hardly a statement from the EU institutions that does not express its longing to become a global power. It has almost become the gravitational field of Brussels politics — and individual policy areas are increasingly aligned with it.
This ambition also goes hand in hand with attempts to breed a kind of European patriotism in which supposed “European values” will foster a sense of superiority over the rest of the world. For example, Martin Schulz, in 2017 the German Social Democrats’ candidate for chancellor, declared the EU the “greatest civilizational project in the history of mankind.” His party colleague and erstwhile foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel similarly spoke of the “most successful project for freedom, peace and prosperity the world has ever known.”
The reason for this renewed European assertiveness lies in international upheavals. The rise of China, the shift of the center of the world economy to Asia, and the renaissance of Russia as a great power — and, in all likelihood, also of India and other emerging economies — mark the end of an era. The five hundred years of colonialism, imperialism, and neocolonialism in which Europeans and their North American offshoots were able to impose their interests on the rest of the world are passé. But this isn’t the only reason the EU feels left out. Even under Joe Biden, the United States is committed to an “America First” policy that takes little account of what EU powers are thinking — as demonstrated by the withdrawal from Kabul and the submarine agreement with the UK and Australia.
The five hundred years of colonialism, imperialism, and neocolonialism in which Europeans and their North American offshoots were able to impose their interests on the rest of the world are passé.
The fact that the EU lacks resources at the level of military power is especially worrying for its top brass, because in the one field where the EU is actually still a global player — the economic terrain — it is in decline. In 1981, the economies that today make up the Eurozone still accounted for 21 percent of global GDP. Today, that figure has fallen to 12 percent. According to a forecast by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the share will drop to 9 percent by 2050. Tellingly, the EU also lags behind the United States and China in key technologies such as quantum computing, semiconductors, cloud computing, and the like.
In light of this, the left-liberal Die Zeit asks, “How is it possible that the EU is not in the great power league?” Apparently, such a status is also an affront to Europeans’ collective self-confidence — unable to get used to no longer being the center of the world. Yet plans are afoot to stop the decline, through what French president Emmanuel Macron has termed a bid for “strategic autonomy.”
Strategic Autonomy and Its Limits
The exact meaning of “strategic autonomy” remains rather vague — it often appears as a catchall term that everyone can attribute whatever interpretation they like. At its core, however, is the need to establish the EU as an independent actor, including militarily, and to reduce its dependence on the United States. That said, reducing its dependence does not mean decoupling altogether — this is a matter of a gradual shift, and relative autonomy.
This also reveals one of the two major barriers to Brussels’ wishful thinking. NATO, in which Washington — actually a geopolitical competitor — calls the shots, imposes strict limits on genuine autonomy. For example, the Lisbon Treaty already stipulates that member states’ security and defense policy must be “consistent” with NATO (article 42.7).
The second major barrier is the heterogeneous interests of the member countries. This starts with the small fact that some EU members (Finland, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, and Cyprus) are not NATO members, whereas the UK, Norway, and Iceland are in NATO but not in the EU. One concrete manifestation of this is that Finland is ordering sixty-four F-35A stealth jets from the US firm Lockheed Martin for $10 billion, while EU-based competitors like Airbus’s Eurofighter and France’s Rafale have been rebuffed. Another telling case is the Tempest fighter planned by the UK together with Italy (Eurozone) and Sweden (an EU member with its own currency). Poland has also recently purchased thirty-two fighter jets from the United States. There is no end in sight to the complex crisscross of competition for defense profits, national security interests, and supranational integration attempts.
There are also considerable differences in the perception of friend, foe, and ally. In Poland and the Baltic states in particular, a mixture of extreme nationalism and hysterical Russophobia predominates. This is often justified by historical experience. However, a look at the centuries-long “age-old enmity” between France and Germany shows that such extreme ideological hostilities can be overcome if the political will is there.
The differences also find expression in a particular closeness of the EU’s eastern member states to NATO and the United States, in contrast to Western Europe’s relationship to them, exemplified by a French president who speaks of NATO going “brain-dead.” The most spectacular example of these differences was Washington’s 2003 war against Iraq, in which eastern countries soon to become EU member states (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia) joined George W. Bush’s “coalition of the willing,” while France and Germany did not.
These differences also play a major role in the current crisis over Ukraine. While governments in Poland and the Baltics are stoking aggressive sentiment against Moscow — with rhetorical support from German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock (a Green) — the good news is that Macron and Germany’s new chancellor Olaf Scholz are seeking de-escalation. The German government’s communiqué on the phone call between Scholz and Vladimir Putin is demonstratively matter-of-fact, arguing for the implementation of the Minsk ceasefire agreement, which Kyiv is desperate to get rid of, and for the resumption of talks in the Normandy Format (a four-way process involving France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine). Apparently, an informal decision has been made in Berlin that Scholz (just like Angela Merkel before him) should retain prerogative over the most important foreign relations.
Even under Joe Biden, the United States is committed to an ‘America First’ policy that takes little account of what EU powers are thinking.
Behind all these contradictions, there is ultimately a fundamental fact that tends to be overlooked: the EU is not a state like the United States, China, or Russia but a hybrid of an alliance of nation-states and elements of supranational statehood. This is a complicated fair-weather construction that does not have the capacity to act as a state. So-called multilevel governance is not up to the scale and complexity of the crises of the twenty-first century and not sufficient for anything more than muddling through. Therefore, a simple addition of the military capabilities of the individual member states is a milquetoast calculation. If one takes, for example, the total expenditure on armaments, the EU comes to $231 billion, according to SIPRI figures. That’s third in the world behind the United States ($778 billion) and China ($252 billion), and nearly four times as much as Russia ($62 billion). But as long as that is distributed among twenty-seven nation-states, for which the military remains an attribute of their sovereignty, it does not translate into a common military potential.
Ultimately, this is also reflected in what joint military capabilities exist so far, or are at least planned with some degree of commitment.
Militarization Through PESCO
The central instrument for such military coordination is the so-called Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). What is interesting is that PESCO is designed from the outset to ensure that military capacity-building is carried out by member states that “meet more demanding criteria in terms of military capabilities” (article 42.6). They can form any subgroups they want, quasi-coalitions of the willing, without the need for the others to join in. This means two things:
First, in terms of integration policy, this is a flexibilization of integration toward a “multispeed Europe.” This creates different categories of member countries in addition to existing fragmentations in the EU, such as divides of center-periphery, north-south, east-west, Eurozone-non-Eurozone, etc. In contrast to the similar procedure known as Enhanced Cooperation (based on a minimum quorum of nine member states), in which the failed project of a financial transaction tax was negotiated, just two partners are sufficient for PESCO. In this respect, the complicated problem of multilevel governance is bypassed from the outset.
Second, the member states that meet “more demanding criteria” are, of course, the large and economically mighty countries — first and foremost, France and Germany, and, in the second rank, Italy and Spain. This solidifies the informal power hierarchy with Berlin and Paris at the top. Among the many other democratic deficits, this quasi-imperial power imbalance is one of the EU’s greatest democratic defects. Indeed, all major PESCO projects are concentrated around France and Germany.
So far, there are forty-seven projects in various coalitions. These include a joint medical command, bug-proof radio technology, and military training centers. The creation of a joint high command has also been announced. However, only three armament projects are really strategically relevant:
- A combat aircraft, the Future Combat Air System, to be produced mainly by France and Germany (Dassault and Airbus), with Spanish participation. The jet is to fly in tandem with combat drones and microdrones, as well as with its own digital cloud. It is expected to be available from 2040. Estimates of its cost currently range from €100 billion to €300 billion.
- A new Main Ground Combat System, also a Franco-German project. The German partner is KraussMaffei; the French partner is the Nexter defense company. Entry into service is scheduled for 2035. Its unit price currently stands at €10 million.
- The so-called Eurodrone, in which France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are involved. Airbus is the leader of the consortium, which includes Dassault and the Italian defense company Leonardo. Seven systems, each with three drones, have been ordered so far. The price tag is said to be €7.1 billion, with delivery scheduled for 2029.
Taken on their own, these projects may look impressive. But in a global context, they hardly fulfil the goal of giving the EU world-power military capabilities.
Paris hopes to regain the leading role in European politics it enjoyed until German reunification.
It is, in any case, by no means certain that these projects will be successfully implemented. An internal evaluation by the EU Commission, for example, concludes that only one-third will be realized. The doubts apply mainly to the smaller projects. But there are also considerable difficulties with the larger ones. For example, French and German defense companies are fighting over access to technologies and patents. So it is always a question of industrial policy and profits.
Finally, in its rivalry with Germany for leadership of the EU, France sees the military as a means of compensating for the Germans’ economic dominance. Brexit has changed the power architecture at the top of the EU. The departure of the British also saw a nuclear power and a permanent Security Council member leaving the EU. But nuclear weapons are still the decisive criterion for membership in the premier league of geopolitics, thus handing Paris a monopoly position in the EU’s ranks as the only nuclear power and permanent member of the UN Security Council. Paris thus hopes to regain the leading role in European politics it enjoyed until German reunification. It has clearly rejected German attempts to have a say in France’s nuclear weapons and its seat on the Security Council.
The reality that nothing will come of plans for an EU army for the foreseeable future does not mean that those who seek an emancipatory peace policy can sit back and let things take their course. For, regardless of the fate of such a force, the security climate between the great powers is currently deteriorating dramatically on several fronts — above all in the Indo-Pacific between the United States and China, and in Europe between Russia and NATO and the EU. The world is on a slippery slope toward a Cold War 2.0.
But this will not solve the really big problems of the twenty-first century, which first and foremost means the climate crisis. To tackle this real threat to our safety, what is needed is a policy based on détente, cooperation, and peaceful coexistence. Instead of embarking on the futile endeavor of an army, the EU should instead reflect on Europe’s traditions of peace policy. From the Peace of Westphalia to Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace to Social Democratic German chancellor Willy Brandt’s policy of détente, role models do exist. Peace is not everything — but without peace, everything else is impossible.
Last summer, left-wing French MP Danièle Obono was portrayed in a nationalist magazine as a slave in chains. She told Jacobin about how the far right is taking over French media — and how Emmanuel Macron’s supporters are adopting its reactionary agenda.
Then economy minister and current French president Emmanuel Macron with billionaire Vincent Bolloré, head of Bolloré Group, which owns the Fox News–style network CNEWS, in 2016.
(FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images)
French politics seems to be radicalizing to the right — with president Emmanuel Macron’s interior minister accusing Marine Le Pen of having gone “soft on Islam” and far-right TV polemicist Éric Zemmour rumored to be planning a bid for the presidency. Ahead of April’s presidential election, mainstream media as well as Fox-like outlet CNEWS are dominated by an obsession with immigration and national identity.
One figure in the firing line of this narrative is Danièle Obono, an MP for the radical-left France Insoumise. Elected to the National Assembly for a northeast Paris constituency in 2017, this anti-racist activist has been a frequent target of conservative media’s efforts to demonize minorities and the Left. Last summer, she was the target of a vile “political-fiction” story published by the far-right weekly Valeurs Actuelles, which portrayed her as a captive of an African tribe complicit in the slave trade.
Attending France Insoumise’s annual summer convention, Obono sat down with Jacobin’s Harrison Stetler to discuss Emmanuel Macron’s rule, the far-right threat, and her party’s hopes of a breakthrough in next spring’s elections.
- Harrison Stetler
You’ve been a member of France Insoumise since the start. How has the political situation changed since your election — and do you think that the conditions that fed the rise of France Insoumise have changed?
- Danièle Obono
I think that we’re clearly at a tipping point. We’re at a crossroads, in terms of the direction that this country, this continent, human civilization, is heading in, whether in terms of the climate crisis, democratic institutions, or rising inequality.
I’ve been involved in politics for a long time now — even if this has been my first spell as an MP, I was also involved in the [presidential] campaigns in 2012 and 2017. The last four years have seen a form of radicalization. But from two different points: from both the far right and the extreme center, which has grown into an annex of the far right. We see this when we consider Macronism as a political force, as a form of power, both in its antisocial dimension and in its anti-ecological dimension.
They have accelerated the democratic deficit at the heart of the crisis of the Fifth Republic. There were remarkable moments in this regard, from the Benalla scandal [the beating of protesters by the president’s personal bodyguard, disguised as a policeman] to the response to the Yellow Vests. The handling of the pandemic is also revelatory of their incapacity to think in any other way than through the framework of neoliberalism, where it’s the market that regulates everything and we must, at any cost, get back to “normal,” to business as usual.
These people are incapable of thinking in any other way, even when governments elsewhere are starting to ask themselves, “Perhaps neoliberalism cannot solve the present crisis.” I’m thinking especially of Joe Biden — under the pressure of popular movements, of course. Macronism has proven shockingly reactionary — ideologically, culturally, and economically.
The factors that convinced me to join France Insoumise and to build this alternative have only been confirmed by developments in recent years. The period has justified our analyses and the place we hold in the political terrain. We are the main progressive, ecological, and alter-globalist alternative to Macronism and the Right.
- Harrison Stetler
To build on what you were saying on differences between the political classes in France and the United States: In 2016 and 2017, Macron seemed to represent broadly what Biden stands for in the US context. And even without wishing to give undue praise to Biden, who is markedly conservative on several issues, there is a certain degree of flexibility, a certain political pragmatism, while in France we seem to only see an ideological stiffening.
- Danièle Obono
It’s clear Biden is a reformist. He wants to reform things to save the system, whereas we want to change it. There’s a radical difference between that and social democracy, which has mutated into a social liberalism. But certain segments [of the ruling class] are starting to realize — because of the climate emergency and the pressure of social movements — that they’re at an impasse with their model.
I have the impression that there is a particular form of backwardness specifically among the ruling class in France, when you consider the trajectory of Macronism which was something of a floating signifier in 2017.
In 2017 there was no doubt a general dégagisme [“clear them out!”] relative to traditional forms of party politics and political identities, which we benefited from. Macron played off of this as well to put on the facade of renewal, but we very quickly saw that there was no new mentality — even from a capitalist position and from that of the ruling classes. The COVID-19 crisis has shed light on this ideological, political, and strategic impasse. There will be no return to their “normal.”
- Harrison Stetler
For our readers outside France, your party may bring to mind the experiences of similar forces in Europe that have been marginalized or outright defeated — Podemos, Syriza, Corbynism . . . So, does this realization of just what Macronism is, and what it represents as a development of the ruling class in France, call for a new strategy for La France Insoumise?
- Danièle Obono
We’ve been able to learn a lot from the dynamic around Bernie Sanders in both 2016 and 2020, including the circumstances which led him to not fight to the last and to rally behind Biden, and the limits of political rupture that exist in the very particular American context — which was also something of the experience of Corbyn in the Labour Party. All while knowing that the difference between Sanders and Corbyn and us is that we had the opportunity to construct an autonomous force.
We think that we have the responsibility to do that, even if we’re constantly under fire from a myriad of criticism and attacks from the political and media establishment. It has been nonstop for four years.
When we consider a movement like the Yellow Vests, that confirms everything we are trying to say about the “citizens’ revolution,” the people, the anger and resistance in society. But at the same time, we have to confront the question of how we weren’t able to become the clear political expression of that. We saw in the midterm [local and regional] elections after the Yellow Vests that we were not able to free ourselves from the general climate of hostility and distrust.
I think that that confirms that we can’t win without the people. We see in the recent polling forecasts that the higher the turnout, the better we do. I think that the fundamentals of our political analysis — on the necessity of breaking with social-liberalism, and being clear about that, on the idea of speaking directly to the “people,” on class, independent of political markers, and on the question of the program — are still valid today. We are speaking about the “Popular Union” for our strategy in 2022, we’re putting forward the idea of federation, bringing people together . . .
- Harrison Stetler
I’d like to continue on that point. One can only be impressed by the intellectual richness of this movement and the ideas in the program. But what explains the difficulty of translating that into a concrete breakthrough in public opinion?
- Danièle Obono
There are plenty of things that we have not yet succeeded in doing. I think that we have had trouble breaking out of a certain space on the traditional left, of the educated, white middle classes. These limits are handicaps for us today that we need to figure out how to overcome. Despite that, I believe that what remains of the popular and left-wing electorate can recognize itself in Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s candidacy. There is a strong class nature in the attacks and polemics that he — and we — have endured, especially in the aftermath of the investigations and police invasion of our headquarters. Likewise, there is clearly a class element in the support of the lower classes and the middle classes that we were able to unify in 2017.
Today, we’re emphasizing that these ideas we bring to the table, the ideas that we have defended at the National Assembly, represent a majority of the French population.
These ideas we bring to the table, the ideas that we have defended at the National Assembly, represent a majority of the French population.
- Harrison Stetler
But that majority hasn’t expressed itself in recent elections, and many of the popular revolts have had ambiguous political forms.
- Danièle Obono
The presidential election in France is the one that traditionally decides everything. When institutions lose their purpose and their sphere of effectivity, midterm elections pay the price. Political power is, institutionally speaking, more and more concentrated, even on the local level. But we are nonetheless in a situation where the country has had a series of unprecedented popular revolts for the last two years. It’s not like we’ve woken up in a different world overnight: the Yellow Vests did not forget what brought them out to the streets for weeks on end, presenting a grave danger for the political powers that be. I also think we were somewhat taken by surprise by this, along with the broader left and the labor unions.
We have in this country a deep anger, and even forms of resistance that are contradictory — such as the problematic elements in the opposition to the compulsory health passes. But objectively, the country is not Macronized, and it has not shifted to the far right.
I think that there is really a rift between the institutional, political, and media terrains — which have really shifted to the extreme right — and the concrete reality, the state of consciousness, even if these are unfortunately impacted by those shifts. The power of [Fox-like news network] CNEWS and co., of course that has an impact, which poll support for the far right has shown. We have this growing rift between institutions and the actual society, people’s concrete lived experiences. This is what is driving the crisis of the regime, the institutional crisis which is at an unprecedented level today in this country. And it’s therefore in a moment like this that, as revolutionaries — I was about to say, “as a Marxist” — we have to ask ourselves, “How do we seize these opportunities to transform all the anger that exists and all the resistance into a majority force that can arrive in a position of power?”
- Harrison Stetler
Despite, or perhaps because, of the public-health crisis, this past year in French politics has been dominated by a series of right-wing media frenzies — from the government panic over campus “Islamo-leftism” to the former army officers’ column in far-right magazine Valeurs Actuelles calling for military action to stop “chaos.” You yourself have been targeted by some of these attacks. How do you interpret all this?
- Danièle Obono
There is indeed a worrying new level of political violence, and the side pushing it is clearly this new extreme right, which now includes the traditional [conservative] Républicains and [Macron’s] La République en Marche. As popular support for neoliberalism or for the reigning ideology decreases, elements in power or in the right-wing opposition or in the far right are trying to reinforce a form of support grounded in stigmatization, in nationalism, and in ethnocentrism. This is what we see taking place today.
Macron is in power without a real electoral base. He was indeed elected, but people voted against Marine Le Pen rather than voting for him. The country was never Macronized. There is not majority support for his project of the “start-up nation.” During the Yellow Vests movement and during the movement against the pension reforms, we saw that their only recourse was violence and mass repression at a level never seen before in France, even though we have a long history of resistance and social movements.
What I see here is that there is a group in the ruling class that is ready to resort to authoritarian measures. The marching orders for these media attacks have also been sent from the very top of the state: the absolutely dizzying attacks on academic freedom were pushed by ministers, the minister of higher education herself! This all has fed into the creation of a political climate where sexist and racist violence is exacerbated, where figures who represent different voices and different political strategies are targets. It just so happens that I’m a woman, black, and Insoumise, and was picked out by the Right, with a certain complicity coming from the government. But in any case, the attacks have generalized — just take the attacks on universities. We were the only political force to fully come out in opposition to these campaigns.
- Harrison Stetler
At the police rally in front of the National Assembly in May, a Macronist MP spoke to me about the different parties in attendance: France Insoumise was the only major party not to attend. He said that there was clearly a “republican front” behind the police. In French political vocabulary, that is a very charged and loaded term to use.
- Danièle Obono
For them, the “republican front” goes from segments around the Socialist Party all the way to the extreme right. There’s a major displacement going on today. The front today, it’s against La France Insoumise. Today, we’re outside the “republic.”
But more broadly, we are a country that is riven by racism and sexism, but this all goes way beyond my time in politics and beyond this specific term. When you are a woman of a racial minority with a certain degree of visibility in the media — which we have very few of, because of the level of racism and sexism in political life — you are the target. Take the former minister Christiane Taubira, who was singled out by this kind of violence.
When you look at the strategy being used by the Bolloré Group, which controls CNEWS, we see that over the last four years it has positioned itself as the network of the extreme right, and it’s increasingly setting the tone. There is a choice that segments of the ruling class have made — I don’t know exactly what the calculation was — but there was clearly a choice to favor, to diffuse, and to legitimize them. And when President Macron says that to win he has to be running against Marine Le Pen [in the runoff], what he’s really doing is campaigning for Le Pen, for her to be in the second round. And he’s hoping that he’ll be the one to beat her. That is the general context of these attacks.
- Harrison Stetler
“Fascism” is of course a very heavy word, and it originates in a historical moment very different from our own. But should we speak of a “fascist” risk in France? For several weeks in April, French politics was dominated by the column I mentioned by army officers calling for military intervention against “chaos” and — even if polls need to be scrutinized — one survey suggested that as much as 58 percent of France supported these sentiments. Is there a risk that the French people have shifted dramatically to the right?
- Danièle Obono
No, I think that you need to make a distinction between society and public opinion, and then superstructures like media and political institutions. Within the political-media establishment in France, there is clearly a gravitation toward the extreme right. When I speak about the Bolloré example, it’s because Bolloré is not just CNEWS, it’s a media empire. And then there’s the choice made by Macron to situate himself on that terrain.
But nonetheless, I do not believe that the French people have shifted to the extreme right. There is systemic racism, there is systemic sexism . . . but two years ago, the popular revolts were not against immigrants and things like that — despite a context that might have oriented them toward that. They were carried by a series of progressive demands: for social justice, for ecological justice. That’s what the Yellow Vests were all about at the end of the day. We need to remember the nature of this movement. We had the movement against retirement reforms, which a majority of the French supported. It’s the pandemic which put an end to that.
The people have not been won over to fascism, but the risk does still exist. As in other cases, it is a political choice. More and more segments of the right have participated in the normalization of Marine Le Pen. It will not be the fascism of the 1930s with brown shirts on the streets, but there is a taste for authoritarianism, reaction, and violence, and clamping down on popular movements.
- Harrison Stetler
The reverse side of this “Zemmourization” of media life — the influence of figures like far-right pundit Éric Zemmour — is the increasing political mobilization of racial minorities. The protests that followed the murder of George Floyd last summer were some of the largest since the onset of the pandemic. What is the place of these movements today in relation to France Insoumise — and how far should it be an outlet for them?
- Danièle Obono
I think it’s crucial for our strategy, in fact. It’s connected with what I said earlier about people who have withdrawn from political life not out of a lack of interest but out of a general disgust. That is the place of abstentionists in this movement. I don’t think these forces make up a majority, but they could of course add a few percent to our support to help reach the second round. Among the masses of those who abstain, the overwhelming share is in the lower classes, which are multicultural. Fighting against racism is essential for building the majority, whether on daily discrimination or police violence.
But the purpose of a political force is also to help and to be at the service of those who organize and are leading movements. This is the other important aspect — being allies for those who are organizing their own battles. Then there’s the question of creating a dialogue so that we can be perceived as the vote that would be useful to people. Because it’s not just about ideals or talking about the Sixth Republic.
When it comes to everyday discrimination and people’s rights, is it going to change something to have an MP [on your side], or even a President Mélenchon? So I don’t think that we’ll be the “political outlet” of these forces, as such. I hope that we can construct, in dialogue with them, the right political responses.
While meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the US’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will connect Russia to Germany and warned Berlin about possible sanctions over the project.
“President Biden has been very clear in saying that he believes the pipeline is a bad idea; it’s bad for Europe, bad for the United States,” Blinken said. “Ultimately, it’s in contradiction to the EU’s own energy security goals. It has the potential to undermine the interests of Ukraine, Poland, a number of other close partners or allies.”