martedì 6 novembre 2012

US Elections: what does it change for Europe?

What does it change for Europe whether Obama orRomney wins tonight's elections? Nothing! Sad but true, Europe does not matter to whoever becomes the 45th president of the United States of America. The only statement about Europe has been Mitt Romney's unpolite one on indebted countries like Greece, Italy or Spain. For the rest,transatlantic relations did not enter US presidential campaign debate. China, Iran, India and even Russia seemed to be more important to Washington than Brussels economic problems. 
On our European side, US elections really matter as well as whether Obama or Romney wins. Weird but true there should be some reciprocity on the issue. Europeans should not be so interested in who will be the next US president. So why are both right-wing and left-wing EU politicians in favour of Obama’s election? Usually, European right-wing politicians openly supported a Republican candidate. Why this time, are they silently opting for the Democratic Obama? The answer could be linked to communications. Maybe because Obama never mentioned Spain or Greece with such a negative connotation as Romney did. Perhaps, because he never criticized the continent’s welfare model, even if with $1,1 trillion public deficit (+151% from 2009) it would be hard doing that. Another point could be that Obama is part of a left-wing American bourgeoisie having close ties with Europe. On top of these irrelevant aspects, Obama’s approach to US/EU relationship management is not very different from his competitor's. It is the same US/EU foreign policy, with an hawkish approach in the case of Romney and a dovish approach in the case of Obama. What does this mean? This is the symptom of a more and more irrelevant Europe's role in a new world balanced on America/Asia relations. Europe seems to be relevant when it is time to talk about its economic problems. The same economic problems generated in the United States 5 years ago. 

Europeans would vote for Obama, but few things will change. A change was expected in 2008 and what Europe had in turn was the export of the worst economic crisis since 1929. Maybe, a weak Europe with a weakest currency is more to benefit US fragile economy. On this issue, both Romney and Obama agree. At least, for the sake of all those companies and banks that have been supporting the two candidates 6 billion dollars campaign! 

One more aspect. This election debate was entirely focused on domestic issues. Sooner or later the next US President will have to face world politics, including US/EU relations. As it happened to Roosevelt after years of isolation syndrome due to the crisis.    


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