President Macron’ visit to Rome has enhanced a new dynamic in Mediterranean politics. Italy, whose diplomacy is in admirable shape, has undertaken a common line with its transalpine partner.
After the impasse triggered by the reallocation of the European Medicines Agency with Spain, Gentiloni’s Government has started an important rapprochement path with France in function of those bilateral interests needed for a joint euro-Mediterranean governance over migration fluxes, following the new Italian humanitarian intervention in the Niger region.
The prospects for a renewed “transalpine sympathy” between France and Italy have further implications. Indeed, as a consequence of the relaunch of the French President “europeanist” programme, also taken opportunely by the new “Grosse Koalition” in Berlin, we can expect a further rapprochement between the EU and Russia through a domino effect of supportive relations.
Why would a rapprochement between the EU and Russia be a possibility?
The US’ influence as an effective interlocutor in Europe is waning due to Trump’s very undiplomatic tactics—not to mention his speeches that have repeatedly carried racial undertones. Trump’s arrogant foreign policy is simply not reasonable for continental powers in Europe. The inauguration of the new US embassy in London is not the only event Trump will not attend, since his participation to Prince Harry’s marriage is also on hold. This time, gossip goes hand in hand with the odi et amo between the White House and Downing Street, between Donald and Theresa, between the presidential hypocrite-but-grand strategy and the UK government’s fragility.
The immediate effect I foresee is on Trump’s credibility vis-à-vis the World: where is the dogmatic America First if the President does not run a tight ship?
It is through this question that Russia enters the stage.
The Kremlin is enhancing its role of diplomat between Beijing, Pyongyang and Seul. Such an upgrade means substantially that the EU would look more and more after Putin when it comes to the international order. Trump’s midterm elections are the worst moment for a power shift, although such prospects seems now to be increasingly likely.
In a purely realist sense, considering that the EU’s foreign policy is more limited to soft-power strategizing, a shift to Moscow as the centre of the international order is not necessarily a negative fact. Instead, it is part of a possible, pragmatic, necessary shift as a consequence of America’s new-fangled untrustworthiness, nourished by Trump’s schizophrenias (let’s think about the Muslim Ban, about Trump’s unilateral move over Jerusalem and about its “other” daily gaffes). Despite its political crisis, Europe is looking for a short-run reliable partner whose military force must be a shield against terrorism: in this case, Moscow fits that position better than Beijing.
Should Brussels open a Thin Red Line with the Kremlin? This is what Brussel’s future relationship with Moscow suggests.
A cura di Manfredi Morello