The media would have us believe it is easy to feel that the whole world has but one voice, one direction, and one clear path that all sane people follow. The reality is much more complicated than that. The political process is also in turmoil, and relations between countries and federal systems are constantly changing and influencing each other.
The United States may be the world’s number one superpower, but not everyone feels that the only way forward is to follow Washington. As the French president’s words make clear, neither does he. As the only nuclear power in the European Union and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Paris believes that the EU has a place on the world stage and that it would be a strategic mistake to follow the big and strong America as if it were a loyal dog. This is not a moral issue and never has been; at most, it has been interpreted as such by the right commentators and publicists. Macron believes that alienating China from us would be a grave mistake and that we should not get involved in the conflict between China and Taiwan, which is not our concern.
This is a sober voice amid the clamor of the masses demanding war. Of course, it is much easier to say that we go where America goes, which has many soldiers and fighter planes and has proven over the decades that it means well for the world. The problem is that the United States is exactly the same type of empire as all the others throughout history, looking out for itself and wanting to do good for itself, which is why it maintains an informal strategic relationship with Taiwan, a small but firmly entrenched thorn in the side of the Chinese dragon. It has been a long time since World War II, but also the Cold War.
There is no longer really a free world and a third world, an alliance of non-aligned countries, and NATO is of a completely different nature, with a different purpose. In this large and ever-changing network, countries must find a way out of the impending crisis according to their capabilities and needs. The French have greater potential, their influence over the European Union is immense, and they have clearly taken the political lead over the other driving force, Germany. Some of their thousands of trump cards will be played at the right time, and while none of them will decide the game, they can still help France gain an advantage. We have known Macron’s line for a long time, but he has not articulated it so forcefully before. The politician who was once the celebrated star of the liberal party is now a sober-minded, strict conservative and has taken on the liberal faction in the European Parliament.
In regard to the topic of energy, Hungary’s position is well known: Russian energy is essential, and alternative solutions are extraordinarily expensive, or they are still in the experimental phase and cannot be trusted.
However, let us not forget that Europe can be strong as a community if the member states recognize their own potential. Will Europe become a third superpower? Perhaps it is not relevant to talk about superpowers in 2023, as the time for them has passed. What is certain, however, is that it is only in the interests of Europeans to strengthen the old continent and find their own path, and no one else. No one will dictate how we live, no one will assume ownership over us. We have a duty to be strong and represent our own interests.