In the years to come, the European Union will likely face difficult strategic decisions: whether to back the United States in its geopolitical competition with China; whether to punish China for its support of Russia; whether to rebuild relations with Russia after the war.
These decisions will affect European citizens – whose support European leaders will need for their foreign policy choices. Two years ago, the European Council on Foreign Relations conducted a study of public opinion about how Europeans see their place in the world. The results pointed to a cooperative European mindset whereby, in a world of competing great powers, Europeans preferred to cultivate strategic partnerships with various countries and advocated a largely values-based foreign policy.
Since then, Russia’s revisionism, the rising danger of a military confrontation between China and the US, and the disruption of global supply chains first by the covid-19 pandemic and then Russia’s war on Ukraine, have called this cooperative mindset into question. In response to these developments, European leaders have expediated their plans to strengthen Europe’s role in the world. But there is major disagreement on the substance and purpose of this role. For example, should the EU aim to become an autonomous ‘third pole’ alongside the US and China or concentrate on strengthening the transatlantic alliance? Should it find its own way of dealing with China, independent of the US, or should it strive for a joint transatlantic China policy? Should it aim to cut all ties with Russia in the future, or should it envisage some form of cooperation after the war?
The strategic direction of European foreign policy will have a massive impact on the lives of every European citizen – be it through their exposure to security threats, supply chain disruptions, or the volatility of the financial market. Their opinions will enable or constrain European leaders’ ability to negotiate a common European foreign policy. As these leaders re-adjust their relationships with the US, China, and Russia, they not only need to reach agreement among themselves – they also need to build a public consensus around European foreign policy. Otherwise, there is likely to be growing mistrust of the elites and the EU, and a populist backlash in the European parliamentary election in 2024 and in national elections.
In April 2023, ECFR conducted an opinion poll across 11 EU member states – Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Sweden – to understand how European citizens see their place in the world today. The results of the poll show that their cooperative foreign policy instincts are adapting slowly to the new geopolitical reality that is characterised by growing polarisation. European citizens aspire to remain neutral in a US-China conflict and are reluctant to de-risk from China – even if they recognise some risks in China’s economic presence in Europe. They are increasingly pleased with their relationship with the US – though they recognise that it might not be sustainable. Finally, they remain united on the war in Ukraine – but for now have different opinions on the type of relationship Europe should have with Russia after the war.
This paper analyses what European citizens currently think about Europe’s place in the world and its relationship to other powers, and whether the main divisions on these issues occur between member states, within member states, or between citizens and their governments. It also provides guidance for European leaders on how to best take public opinion on board when deciding how to translate the idea of a sovereign Europe into practice.
In a shocking new interview, Donald Trump has gone farther than he ever has before in discussing a potential economic collapse in America. Using phrases such as “you’re going to pay $25 for a loaf of bread pretty soon” and “we could end up being another Egypt”, Trump explained to Newsmax that he is incredibly concerned about the direction our economy is headed. Whatever you may think of Donald Trump on a personal level, it is undeniable that he has been extremely successful in business. As one of the most prominent businessmen in America, he is absolutely horrified about what is happening to this nation. But whether he decides to run in 2024 or not, what Trump is now saying about the U.S. economy should be a huge wake up call for all of us.
Trump says that the U.S. government is broke, that all of our jobs are being shipped overseas, that other nations are heavily taking advantage of us and that the value of the U.S. dollar is being destroyed. The following interview with Trump ….
The good news is that global liquidity has been given a mighty push in the past 11 years, providing a decent impetus to global growth, but the big question is how long it will last.
The risks to world recovery are legion, but if there is one glaring danger that stands out from the crowd, it is the capricious leadership of US President Donald Trump.
On the one hand, he might have delivered a big boost to US growth prospects with tax cuts but, on the other, Trump has set America on a very dangerous collision course with China, Europe and many others over trade. The trade war is the greatest single threat to global peace, stability and prosperity at the present time.
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The trouble is that there is very little we can do about it. The rise of political populism and the switch away from benevolent internationalism to narrow, national self-interest is growing by the day.
Now, you may or may not think much of Donald Trump as a politician, but when a businessman of his caliber starts using apocalyptic language to describe where the U.S. economy is headed perhaps we should all pay attention.
The following are 12 key quotes that were pulled out of Trump’s new interview along with some facts and statistics that show that what Trump is saying is really happening.
#1 “If oil prices are allowed to inflate and keep inflating, if the dollar keeps going down in value, I think there’s a very distinct possibility that things could get worse.”
Donald Trump is exactly right – we are headed for big trouble if we continue to allow the Federal Reserve to pump hundreds of billions of new dollars into the system. As I have written about previously, all of this new money will give us the illusion of short-term economic growth and it will pump up the stock market, but in the end all of the inflation the new money is gong to cause is going to be very painful. Just look at how rapidly M1 has been skyrocketing over the last couple of years. Is there any way that we are going to be able to avoid paying a very serious price for all of this reckless money printing?….
Already all of this money printing has had a very serious affect on world financial markets. The price of agricultural commodities is skyrocketing and the price of oil has almost reached $100 a barrel once again. The last time that the price of oil soared above $100 a barrel was in the early part of 2008, and we all remember the horrific financial collapse that followed in the fall of 2008.
#2 “….you’re going to pay $25 for a loaf of bread pretty soon. Look at what’s happening with our food prices. They’re going through the roof. We could end up being another Egypt. You could have riots in our streets also.”
The price of corn has risen 88 percent over the past year and the price of wheat has soared a whopping 114 percent over the past year. Let’s hope that we don’t have to pay $25 for a loaf of bread in the United States any time soon, but in some areas of the world that is what it now feels like.
Approximately 3 billion people in the world today live on the equivalent of $2 a day or less, and most of that money ends up getting spent on food. When food prices go up 10 or 20 percent in deeply impoverished areas of the globe, suddenly the lives of millions are threatened. The riots that we have seen in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and other nations recently were not entirely caused by rising food prices, but they were certainly a big factor.
#3 “I think gold will go up as long as people don’t have confidence in our president and our country. And they don’t have confidence in our president.”
Investors run to gold and other precious metals when they don’t feel secure. We saw that happen a lot in 2010. As confidence in the paper currencies and the financial systems of the world has rapidly diminished, precious metals have become increasingly attractive.
In fact, the price of gold has doubled since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2007. As the global financial situation continues to become more unstable, the demand for precious metals is likely only going to become more intense.
#4 “The banks have really let us down. Number one, they did some bad things and caused some bad problems. Number two, if you have something that you want to buy, like a house, they’re generally not there for you.”
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Banks were given massive bailouts with the understanding that they would open up the vaults and start lending money to average Americans again.
Well, that has not happened.
In particular, it has become much, much harder to get a mortgage in the United States today. Not that the big banks didn’t need to make changes to their lending practices, but things have gotten so tight now that it is choking the real estate market to death.
#5 “I see $3.50 for a gallon of gas for cars, and cars are lined up trying to get it and it’s $3.50. It’s a shame, a ridiculous shame.”
Our lack of a cohesive energy policy is a national disgrace. There is no way in the world that a gallon of gas should be $3.50 a gallon.
The U.S. has massive reserves of oil and natural gas that it should be using. In addition, the lack of progress on developing alternative energy sources in light of our sickening dependence on foreign oil is very puzzling. We should be very far along towards solving our energy problems by this point.
Meanwhile, we keep pouring billions into the pockets of foreign oil barons every single month. Unfortunately, Trump was exactly correct in the interview – if something is not done the price of gas is going to keep going higher.
#6 “I think the biggest threat is that our jobs are being stolen by other countries. We’re not going to have any jobs here pretty soon.”
Donal Trump is one of the few prominent leaders that is openly speaking the truth about the predatory economic practices of some of our “trading partners”. Most of our politicians have just kept endlessly promising us that free trade is “good for us” even as tens of thousands of factories and millions upon millions of jobs have been shipped overseas.
Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
Yes, computers and robots have replaced a lot of manual labor today, but technology does not account for most of the decline we have seen in manufacturing.
n 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent. Meanwhile, manufacturing in the “developing world” has absolutely exploded.
#7 “We’re like a whipping post for other countries. We are standing there and just being beaten by South Korea, by Mexico, by China, by India.”
Most Americans have absolutely no idea how lopsided many of our “trade agreements” actually are. Other nations openly manipulate their currencies in order to keep their exports dirt cheap and we allow it. Other nations openly subsidize their domestic industries that are directly competing with businesses in the United States and we don’t complain. Other nations make it incredibly difficult for American companies to do business in their countries while we allow foreign corporations to come on in and do pretty much whatever they want here.
Then there are certain nations (such as China) that brazenly rip off trade secrets from foreign corporations time after time after time and never get penalized for it.
Meanwhile, our economy continues to bleed jobs at a staggering pace. The number of net jobs gained by the U.S. economy during this past decade was smaller than during any other decade since World War 2.
Fortunately, more Americans than ever seem to be waking up and are realizing that globalism is causing many of these problems. A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted last year discovered that 69 percent of Americans now believe that free trade agreements have cost America jobs.
#8 “All of our jobs are going to China. We’re rebuilding China and other places.”
China is doing great. China is now the number one producer in the world of wind and solar power. They now possess the fastest supercomputer on the entire globe. China also now has the world’s fastest train and the world’s biggest high-speed rail network.
Most Americans don’t realize that China is literally kicking the crap out of us.
Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.
Every single month we buy about 4 times as much stuff from them as they buy from us. Our trade deficit with China has ballooned to enormous proportions. In fact, the U.S. trade deficit with China during this past August was more than 4,600 times larger than the U.S. trade deficit with China was for the entire year of 1985.
So when Donald Trump says that we are rebuilding China he is not joking around.
Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040 if current trends continue.
Yes, that is how serious things have become.
#9 “We are a laughingstock throughout the world.”
Donald Trump has said on several occasions that his friends and business partners in China just laugh and laugh at us. They can’t even believe what they are getting away with.
We have become an incompetent giant that is the butt of all the jokes.
According to Stanford University economics professor Ed Lazear, if the U.S. economy and the Chinese economy continue to grow at current rates, the average Chinese citizen will be wealthier than the average American citizen in just 30 years.
Our formerly great industrial cities are slowly becoming ghost towns. The number of long-term unemployed Americans is at an all-time high. Tens of millions of Americans can’t even survive without government assistance anymore. The number of Americans on food stamps set a new all-time record every single month during 2010, and now well over 43 million Americans are enrolled in the program.
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