#geopolitical fridays: Interconnectedness, strategy and the future of European power

Image credit: rosario fiore

The EU, and quite a number of European countries it contains like to see themselves as economic and civil power(s) creating norms (”Zivilmacht”), rather than as a traditional geopolitical player. But how should the EU position itself faced with a world that is both interconnected and competitive? Can it dispense with thinking in terms of power? Can it limit its direct reach to its near-abroad?

In “Securing the ‘middle spaces’: geography, strategy and the future of European power”, Luis Simón of European Geostrategy states that it can’t.

While the EU and its member countries have conveniently outsourced their defense and security to the United States and NATO, their combined geo-economic interests de facto force it to engage with “middle spaces” – the Indian Ocean, Central Asia and the Arctic, which
connect Europe and its immediate neighbourhood to the rest of the
Eurasian landmass.

As a result, according to Simón, the EU cannot solely concentrate on its immediate neighbourhood. Instead, it has to take into account and try to shape developments in far-away “middle-ground” places, as well as to participate in the upkeep of the global commons that underpin the liberal world order – here, the safety of maritime routes and air space comes to mind.

Johanna M

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