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French Conservative: "Union of the West" will Sustain Western Dominance

Édouard Balladur, the right-wing former French Prime Minister (1993-1995), envisions the creation of a "Union of the West" that will help the US and Europe maintain global primacy. The International Herald Tribune summarizes Balladur's argument:
Europe and the United States acting in concert can best deal with China and Russia's advance, and the instability brought by radical Islam. Reality insists that alone, the Americans and Europeans have growing disadvantages in a world where the rule of law and democracy are not serving as controls over newly distributed economic and political power.

The practicalities: a permanent Union secretariat to prepare common positions for international meetings; gradual creation of a common trans-Atlantic market; linkage between the dollar and euro; converging policies on energy supply and its security; and the creation of a trans-Atlantic executive council of leaders that would convene every three months
The article also quotes Balladur's 120 page essay titled, "Pour une Union occidentale entre l'Europe et les États-Unis” (available at Amazon, in French):
History is starting to be made without the West, and perhaps one day it will be made against it. There's a simple method for avoiding this. The people of the West must become aware of the risk and convince themselves that the greatest possible solidarity between them is the only means for dealing with it.

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Kevin Sampson on :

Will we get a referendum on it?

Zyme on :

Not in Europe! :D

Don S on :

"Europe and the United States acting in concert can best deal with China and Russia's advance, and the instability brought by radical Islam" Thus far our efforts seem to be directed at unjuring tender body parts with rugby cleats. I have cleat divots on the family jewels (metaphorically speaking), and it will take me a long time to completely overcome the desire to stick my (preperly shod) foot in in response.... I hope Balladur understands those facts - that many Americans are inclined to look anywhere BUT Europe for the partnersships of the future. Japan, India, Brzil. Even Russia and China perhaps!

Elisabeth on :

When French politicos start casting cow-eyes at the Anglo-Saxons, I'd double-check my wallet, watch and triple-check the boys.

Kyle - Atlantic Review on :

Don: "many Americans are inclined to look anywhere BUT Europe for the partnersships of the future. Japan, India, Brzil. Even Russia and China perhaps!" What makes you say Americans are inclined to look anywhere "BUT" Europe for future partnerships... do you have polling data for this or just an informed sentiment? I am not challenging you (well, at least not yet), but I am curious as to why you believe this. Also, do you personally think there are potentially more reliable allies than Europe for the US?

Don S on :

"Also, do you personally think there are potentially more reliable allies than Europe for the US?" What about the European behavior of the past decade would you characterise as 'reliable'? Or rather German, French, and Spanish behavior? The Brits and Nederlands probably qualify as reliable, as does the US. Australia. Japan has been semi-reliable in the sense that it did nothing to undermine US efforts and actually contributed a little. Reliability has been disvalued and abused by most of the NATO alliance - so expect less of it in future. No, I could not describe Russia and/or China as reliable except in the sense that (unlike Europe) those countries reliably follow their long-term interests, which makes them more predictable. Europe (or at least Germany/France/Spain) are apt to cut off their nose to spite their face. Or, worse, to attempt to cut off Uncle Sam's nose for spite. And they behave so predictably if not reliably. Do understand that the US potentially shares a lot of geopolitical interests with Russia in particular. Quit possibly more interests than with Germany. Russia is nominally an enemy or at least an adversary but there is no compelling geostrategic reasons for that state of affairs to continue; we could even be partners on particular matters of shared interest. The primary fact which makes Russia an adversary of the US is the US defense of Western Europe, a service which Western Europe today obviously values very little. Perhaps it never did. Therefore it's in the US interest to withdraw that protection, which will remove the major inflammation point for Russia and permit closer colabaration.

John in Michigan, USA on :

The idea of an alliance of Democracies is compelling; but I see no reason to limit it to America and Europe. Surely as a Francophile, Balladur would include Canada? Perhaps this reveals a certain Parti Québécois sympathy ;)

Pat Patterson on :

I vaguely remember that even Winston Churchill discussed something like this, not in reference to NATO, in the late 40's. The idea of a North Atlantic trading zone makes quite a bit of sense as such a zone has been shown to work remarkably well in Europe. Of course the main US temptation of the US to support such a proposal, at French instigation, would be to listen to the indignant cries that the French are trying to impose "savage Gallic business" and political practices on the world. Plus the idea of being able to blame every misstep on the French I'm sure would be an irony that many would love to deal with.

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