How can Europe become a global participant?

by Igor Shevyrov(Ukraine)  

(This post was originally posted on



How Europe can become a global player. And, for example, to justify the hopes that Seoul poses for the settlement of the conflict on the Korean peninsula.

First of all, Europe already acts as a global player. Europe’s interests go far beyond its geographical and political boundaries. In particular, Europe is already represented on different “platforms” in Asia. For example, Brussels and Seoul have long been active in the ASEM international forums. Between Brussels and Beijing, another “new page” of bilateral relations was opened, and Tokyo and Brussels were able to agree on a mutually beneficial trade agreement. In addition, cooperation between the European Union and ASEAN deserves special attention, two self-sufficient blocks that show an example of partnership and regional integration.

According to the current EU Global Strategy, approved in 2016, there is a “close and irreversible link” between European prosperity and security in Asia. European politicians have long been regulars in Singapore’s “Dialogue of Shangri-La” (the largest Asian security forum). As well as Asian politicians are regular guests at the European Munich Security Conference.

Northeast Asia, which has a fundamental role in the whole Asian security system, is also in the spotlight of Europe.

Europe as a global player is making efforts to resolve the conflict on the Korean peninsula. For example, the historic “Singapore meeting” of Kim Jong-yung and Trump was preceded by a series of meetings and consultations of workers and expert groups held in Stockholm, Brussels and Helsinki. Recall, originally the meeting was planned in Stockholm. But in the end, Trump once again, still confirmed his commitment to bilateral deals, avoiding advice even with the closest allies and partners.

 How could Europe add to the international scene?

First, Europe needs to act more actively in the international arena. And to behave like a global player, take an independent position, often take the initiative

Secondly, to be a global player, you need, first of all, to think globally.

Thirdly, Europe needs to think in common European interests, not limited to purely national strategies. For example, think not about how to make the most from European integration, but above all, so that the European integration allows multiplying the benefits. Well, respectively, and the most incidentally to earn. With this approach, one’s own income depends on the contribution made to the common cause (and not as of now, on the parameters of the gross product, the area of ​​the territory or the population).

Fourth, Europe needs to learn how to speak with one voice. And to work out such an optimal model of behavior, so that it helps to react extremely quickly to different international challenges without spending a lot of time for coordination and coordination.

Fifth, the best option for forming joint interests is to focus on shared values, rather than on national pragmatics. Europe as the largest regional political bloc is constantly on the lookout for a different consensus. For example, between values ​​and pragmatists, democrats and nationalists, between the interests of 28 states. A vivid example of the difference in approaches is shown by leading European leaders: Germany and France. Germany – traditionally focused on a pragmatic result, and it does not matter what methods this result is achieved. France, in turn, is the main guardian of European values. In fact, it is France that is the main engine of European integration. And in fact, the current presidency of Macron (“Europeisback”) for a year has given the second wind of eurointegration.

Sixth, common interests – in practice form the basis of a joint position. And for a global player it is important to base our position on providing universal values. For example, the general interest in the world against climate interests (“WearenotanotherPlanetB”). If we talk about the interests of international security, the common denominator in developing a unified position could be a steady adherence to the norms and principles of international law.

The Declaration on Peace and the Cessation of Wars (DPCW) as a systematized document regulating the guarantees of non-admission and the order of conflict resolution, as well as the principles for the establishment of a sustainable peace could be the basis of Europe’s policy to strengthen international security.

Europe could well be the main proponent of the promotion of the principles of DPCW in the international arena. For the Declaration, this would be substantial support from one of the global players.

Seventh, Europe, as far as active promotion in the “Korean process”, should not only articulate its own unified position, but also connect it with the interests of other players. It should be a unique and self-sufficient role, without any dubbing and which could become an important and inalienable addition to the rest of the efforts in the “Korean process”. As the real practice shows, in the multilateral “Korean process” the interests of different players are involved. And it’s not so easy to find your own place in all this. For example, Japan in its policy focuses on the policy of force deterrence and sanctions pressure. While China is a consistent supporter of the efforts of diplomacy and political settlement. South Korea, in turn, pursues a national goal – the unification of the country.

Against this background, the USA acted as a guarantor of global security for a long time. True, these guarantees, in the conditions of the world order that emerged after the end of the cold war, were based primarily on the economic and military power of the United States.

However, the world has changed significantly over the past few decades.

Globalization, which has passed its “point of return” and maintains a stable dynamic, makes the world a partner, stable and free from unilateral diktat from any state.

On the one hand, the European Union, which managed to unite the interests of 28 states, and on the other hand, the Asian ten countries of ASEAN – could well show a concrete example of not only successful regional integration, but also effective partnership in the new changing international conditions.

… Well, the Korean Peninsula, in turn, could become a concrete “test platform” for such a partnership between the continents of Europe and Asia, between the European Union and ASEAN in the interests of strengthening peace, partnership and post-conflict settlement.

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