Le défi européen d’Obama

PARIS – L’année 2009 et le début de la présidence de Barack Obama marqueront-ils le commencement d’une nouvelle ère dans les relations transatlantiques, ou les anciennes divisions persisteront-elles, nourries par la profondeur et la gravité de la crise économique ? Cette crise provoquera-t-elle des attitudes nationalistes et individualistes des deux côtés de l'Atlantique, qui empêcheront un rapprochement attendu depuis longtemps, si ce n'est une réconciliation totale ?

Bien entendu, il est encore trop tôt pour le dire. Même si la gauche européenne – tout comme les démocrates les plus libéraux d'Amérique – s'inquiète qu'Obama ait choisi un cabinet bien trop centriste, la forme classique d'antiaméricanisme perdra sûrement du terrain en Europe. Il est très peu probable que les Européens descendent dans la rue pour dénoncer « l’essence » des Etats-Unis – l’identité de l’Amérique tout autant que ses actions – comme ils l'ont fait sous le mandat de Bush et même durant les années Clinton. L’image de l'Amérique en Europe a profondément changé depuis le 4 novembre, et la diplomatie façon Obama confirmera probablement ce changement, dès le début du nouveau mandat.

Pourtant, au royaume des relations transatlantiques, comme partout ailleurs, il n'est pas raisonnable d'attendre trop d'un seul homme, même s’il a d’exceptionnelles qualités. En effet, les problèmes fondamentaux demeurent et il n'est pas exclu que d'autres apparaissent.

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