Le pivot intelligent de l'Europe vers l'Asie

MADRID – Pour la première fois depuis des siècles, le centre de l'économie mondiale se décale vers l'Est. Les États-Unis ont entamé leur « pivot » vers l'Asie et leurs relations avec la Chine en particulier semblent constamment flirter avec le piège de Thucydide, la tendance historique qui suggère qu'une puissance émergente se heurte inévitablement à une puissance en place. Mais alors que les États-Unis et la Chine s'observent avec circonspection sur les principales affaires internationales, quelle est la place de l'Europe dans ce processus ?

L'Union européenne est à un tournant historique décisif, qui exige son propre pivot vers l'Est - une stratégie asiatique cohérente et décisive, qui puise ses forces dans l'Europe. Bien que la population de l'UE compte seulement un cinquième de celles de la Chine et de l'Inde réunies et que sa présence militaire en Asie soit faible, son économie de 12,6 trillions d'euros (16,8 trillions de dollars) est la plus importante au monde.

Ceci n'a pas échappé aux gouvernements de l'Asie, qui dépendent fortement de la croissance économique pour répondre à la demande de leurs populations jeunes et croissantes en quête d'emploi et de prospérité. L'Asie est actuellement le partenaire commercial principal de l'UE, qui dépasse en cela l'Amérique du Nord et représente un tiers de son commerce total. Les échanges avec la Chine seule s'élèvent à plus d'1 milliard d'euros par jour. Les échanges avec les États-Unis ne figurent qu'à la deuxième place.

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