January 25th, 2016

Trump is not just a person. Trump tends to become a mindset that is synonymous with the profound change of the neoliberal status quo policies.

On January 20th, 2017, the Trump era began, and with the Oath of Office of the President-elect of the United States the planet has entered a new paradigm, one in which democracy is in danger.

In the absence of a reliable partner in its relation with Europe (post Brexit), the United States will seek to not “lay all eggs in one basket”, but divide the centers of influence in a new formula, based on specific fields and bilateral relations.

The regional approach of the United States, will be replaced by specific fields. The areas of economics, politics and security, will be allocated to force centers with strong, specific profile and easy to coordinate.

The United States will abandon the policy of supporting individuals (who disappoint, more or less, at some point) and will focus mainly on civil society structures upholding the same values, able to act as ally and spokesperson.

The new global context will produce a global realignment in which Europe will endure more and more high centrifugal pressure, coming from outside. The strength to resist united will only come from within Europe, from the re-discovery of the values, principles and ideals of the founding fathers.

It is expected that the main center of economic order in the next decade to be located in Germany. The huge size of the trade exchanges between the US and the EU (699 million dollars or over a third of US economic exchanges) can be managed only by a strong economic partner such as Germany. France also is expected to be re-evaluated from an economic perspective, to create a counterweight to the German pragmatism and guarantee American economic interests. Paris will become the main hub of American capital transfers from and towards Europe. Both Germany and France will hold general elections this year, and thus, both, but mainly France will uphold volatile policies which are generally difficult to manage, especially so in an electoral year.

From a political perspective Budapest will be preferred by the two leaders of the United States and Russia. Budapest was the only European capital which officially supported the candidature of Donald Trump and the closest European capital to Moscow. Putin’s February 2nd visit and Trump’s planned February 16th visit to Budapest will confirm the capital’s position. Budapest is expected to become a meeting ground for great powers’ interests, organizing international conferences and summits. While Budapest hosts important negotiations and furthers global politics, Brussels will lose significance on the world stage. Budapest is also the safest policy location from the perspective of a possible alliance with Beijing which became the main challenger for world supremacy. At Davos, the Chinese delegation led by Xi Jinping posed as globalization’s guarantor, as counterweight to Trump’s protectionist policy.

From the perspective of military command the center will most likely be Bucharest, the European capital most devoted and closest to NATO. United States troops from South Korea, Turkey and Afghanistan, but also Germany and Italy, will be relocated to Romania, Poland and the Baltic countries. The traditional front line troops (Germany-Italy) will be moved on the new Bucharest-Warsaw alignment. It is expected that Romania and Poland will become the main hubs of European military security.

From the perspective of American interest, Europe will have six capitals. Berlin and Paris for economic and financial issues, Budapest and Brussels for politics, Bucharest and Warsaw for military and security issues.

Meanwhile the traditional London post-Brexit, will still be the outpost, reference system, and leg for increasing pragmatic, American interests in Europe.

In a historic try to remain relevant, the European Union in its six-capitals format will look for the resources needed to manage global challenges: demography, climate change, economics, while London will be holding specific and separate negotiations.

The 2017 edition of the Strategikon Annual Book – The Year of Challenging Choices

The 2017 edition of the Strategikon Annual Book – The Year of Challenging Choices

It’s not easy to be a leader, but the solution is closer than people may think and it has to do with returning to some good old fashioned traits that shaped leaders in past decades: will power, values and vision. Launched at the Good Governance Summit, The Year of Challenging Choices strives to understand the fault lines in international relations and the relevant actors, as they are and not how they appear to be.

Download book