European Union flag

Die Gefahr eines schwachen Europa

CAMBRIDGE – Nach einer Phase, in der sich Amerika hauptsächlich mit Vietnam und China beschäftigt hatte, rief US-Außenminister Henry Kissinger 1973 „das Jahr Europas“ aus. In jüngerer Vergangenheit äußerte man in Europa vielerorts Sorge über eine Vernachlässigung durch die USA, nachdem Präsident Barack Obama eine strategische Hinwendung nach Asien oder die Wiederherstellung des Gleichgewichts im Hinblick auf diesen Kontinent verkündet hatte. Angesichts der anhaltenden Flüchtlingskrise, der russischen Okkupation der Ostukraine, der illegalen Annexion der Krim sowie der Bedrohung durch einen britischen Austritt aus der Europäischen Union könnte nun 2016 für die amerikanische Diplomatie zwangsläufig zu einem weiteren „Jahr Europas“ werden.

Ungeachtet aller Schlagworte verfügt Europa nach wie vor über beeindruckende Machtressourcen und ist für die Vereinigten Staaten von entscheidendem Interesse. Die US-Wirtschaft ist zwar viermal größer als diejenige Deutschlands,  doch insgesamt liegt die Ökonomie aller 28 EU-Mitglieder gleichauf mit der amerikanischen Wirtschaft. Und mit einer Einwohnerzahl von 510 Millionen übertrifft Europa den entsprechenden amerikanischen Wert von 320 Millionen in beträchtlichem Ausmaß.  

Ja, das Pro-Kopf-Einkommen liegt in Amerika höher, doch im Hinblick auf Humankapital, Technologie und Exporte kann die EU den USA sehr wohl als ebenbürtig betrachtet werden. Bis zur Krise des Jahres 2010, als die Haushaltsprobleme in Griechenland und anderswo für Angst auf den Finanzmärkten sorgten, hatten manche Ökonomen spekuliert, dass der Euro den Dollar als primäre Reservewährung bald ablösen könnte. 

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