The world’s traditional order is breaking down. Indeed, recent elements show a geopolitical shift, such as the unexpected election of President Donald Trump, the general social and economic crisis of both the US and EU, and the instability in the Middle East.
Recent events prove that the population and political stakeholders in Europe are no longer split between a traditional left and a right opposition . The divide is now between Internationalists vs. Nationalists, which are coming to power on both sides of the Atlantic.
Indeed, Brexit embodies the EU’s shift on the political spectrum from a strong European partnership to Nationalism and National Viability. Nationalist movements are strong and especially uninhibited in other European countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary,Sweden, France and even Germany. The German nationalist AFD is becoming the third largest Party in Germany. Two major causes could explain this breakdown in Europe.
The financial and debt crisis in Southern countries and the largest immigration flow of the last half century sparked by the turmoil in Syria and to some extend Afghanistan. The immigration issue took on an important political dimension in the last two years. European nations have opposing views.
Nationalist movements observed in Europe and in the U.S. seduce Vladimir Putin. Moscow and the West have opposing and competing visions of the world and divergent strategic priorities. While NATO functions as a super-national organization ensuring a collective security particularly the security of EU and Germany believes in strengthening this organization, Putin and Trump believe in national security and state sovereignty as the base of their world conception.
NATO is obsolete. By saying this President Trump might be effectively telling Europe to rearm itself and thinking of its own security especially during a rising sense of insecurity due to a wave of terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Germany.
President Trump and the right wing nationalist Parties in Europe believe in nationalism, protectionism and national viability. Chancellor Merckel and her CDU/CSU Party of Germany is the leader for the continuity of globalization, internationalism and transnational relations. Time and patience will show who will have the upper hand in the future.