La nouvelle impasse transatlantique

WASHINGTON, DC – La récente tournée européenne de Barack Obama suggère que le sénateur de l’Illinois est le choix de l’Europe pour la prochaine présidence des États-Unis. Mais les Européens ne doivent pas en attendre trop. Obama restaurerait sans doute la courtoisie et la politesse dans les rapports transatlantiques, mais les sources de friction sont plus profondes que cela. Les intérêts géopolitiques de l’Europe et de l’Amérique n’ont fait que s’éloigner les uns des autres, et pourraient continuer dans le même sens, quel que soit le président.

Des changements de perspectives et de politiques majeurs sont nécessaires de chaque côté de l’Atlantique pour interrompre ce processus d’éloignement. Les États-Unis doivent abandonner leur mentalité hégémonique dans leur définition de leurs intérêts transatlantiques, et l’Europe doit prendre en charge de façon plus complète sa propre région.

Qualifier des intérêts de “géopolitiques” souligne l’influence de la géographie dans leur formation. Comme en convinrent notoirement Charles de Gaulle et Winston Churchill : “Quoi qu’on fasse et quoi qu’on dise, la Grande-Bretagne est une île, la France le promontoire d’un continent et l’Amérique un autre monde.” Il était clair pour tous les deux que pendant des siècles, la Manche avait formé une formidable barrière géopolitique empêchant un partage durable des intérêts entre la Grande-Bretagne et la France. Si la Manche a pu constituer une telle barrière, des liens durables entre les deux rives de l’Atlantique semblent peu plausibles.

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