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Thursday, 18 February 2010

From the new G20 to a new multilateral order

Entering a new decade with a new Treaty, the EU now possesses more tools to adapt and cope with an increasingly complex, multipolar and interdependent world. Of course, the Lisbon Treaty in itself will not transform the EU into a global superpower, nor even save it from eventually becoming irrelevant in light of the emergence of new global powers and of a geopolitical shift towards the Pacific. But the EU can now look forward. One of the key challenges of this decade will be to see how the West, and more specifically how the EU will deal with this rising multipolarity. Indeed, it is in the interest of the EU – not to say a matter of survival – to promote an international order based on systemic and rule-based multilateralism because the EU is simply unable to play realpolitik with other global players.
However, not all forms of multilateralism are favourable to the EU. For instance, the formation of ad hoc bilateral or multilateral alliances could potentially be damaging to Europe. A G-2 between China and America, for example, would slowly but inevitably make the US lean towards Asia, and render Europe increasingly irrelevant.

Source: EU Observer