© AFP 2019 / Aris Oikonomou.The European Commissioner for the economy Pierre Moscovici during a press conference at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels. 7 Nov 2019
The European Commission has published a forecast of economic growth of the EU and came to the conclusion that in comparison with the situation three months ago, things got a lot worse, and before Europe is “the hard way”. Bright minds “EU governments” (this is a function essentially performs the European Commission) meticulously listed all the factors that affect the European economy, and surprisingly, among these factors there is no direct mention of Russia. There are only indirect references to “transactions OPEC + Russia” (apparently, the document was so serious that the promotion has decided not to enter).But there are the USA, China and UK. That is characteristic: according to this, the Brussels officials themselves are not to blame at all in any of the upcoming challenges.”Economic growth in the EU is constrained by the high level of uncertainty associated with trade tensions and structural factors, some of which are temporary and others more permanent. In the US, the cyclical factors (supplemented by trade policy uncertainty) are more relevant. To assess the factors influencing economic growth, it is necessary to distinguish between factors that reflect long-term trends (e.g. a trend of declining performance, aging); “supply shocks” (for example, trade tensions between the US and China, Brexit and time constraints of oil supplies); circular features (e.g. the economic cycle in the United States, the Asian production cycle); structural changes (for example, demand for cars is getting “greener,” the changing car market in China); political impacts (e.g., the weakening of fiscal stimulus in the USA); as well as increased uncertainty associated with trade policy, Brexit and geopolitical problems.”The picture is not the most pleasant: the European continent is aging and worse working, it “fell off” the UK and the US and China are in fact trade war with the EU and among themselves, that break the global industrial chain, and it imposes expensive (for Europeans) oil due to supply constraints (it’s a hint of “joint work” Russia and OPEC). An objective observer would add to this list the debt load of many European countries and corporations, as well as the upcoming pension crisis because the pension cuts (which is already scheduled for next year, for example, in the Netherlands) is unlikely to contribute to economic growth.
It is important to understand how EU officials perceive the world, which they now seem to be quite hostile to the source of the problem, and in the list of sources of problems in the place of honor stand (probably the former) allies of the United States.In this context, it becomes clear foreign policy (and soon domestic) rate, which demonstrate the power of Germany and France. The essence of the scheme: the only way to promote the interests of Berlin and Paris is to collect the entire European Union into a fist to silence the unhappy American Yes-men from the Baltic States, South Eastern Europe and especially Poland and then to agree or be in conflict with the outside world from a position of strength, not just strength, but the largest single force political Union on the planet.Not all that happy and unhappy major was in Poland, where for several months, pouring criticism of the informal of the author of this geopolitical strategy of Emmanuel Macron, who answered all of the Warsaw dissatisfied from the pages of the British edition of The Economist. Macron has made several harsh statements. First, he said that NATO — in a coma (alternatively, his statement can be translated as “NATO of a brain-dead”). Then he stressed that the EU should begin to think of itself as a geopolitical force. And to Polish politicians finally understood his message, mentioned that Europe needs to restore relations with Russia, even if Poland and the Baltic States feel distrust.It is worth noting that recently made some progress on the important for Russian-European relations issues. Denmark still gave in principle permission for laying of “Nord stream — 2”, while the European Commission is quite puts pressure on Ukraine in terms of adoption of the European energy legislation, which will help “to Gazprom” seriously facilitate the work. Moreover, contracts for the supply of energy is gradually transferred in euros instead of dollars, and it is clear that both sides have taken the political decision to de-dollarization of the energy markets.
This week, French quasiofficial source Agence France-Presse reported that the EU (again, under the informal leadership of the French) is preparing its own system for card payments — a kind of analogue of the Russian system. Moreover, the stated purpose of this operation, to which EU governments have already attracted two dozen leading European banks, is to get rid of the dominance of American companies Mastercard and Visa.Bankers leading banks in the European Union complain that the decision on the creation of a European card system and cashless payment system (working title: PEPSI — Pan European Payment System Initiative) is “not economic, but political.” You should pay attention to the fact that in the case of de-dollarization and elimination of card based on were a response to US sanctions and a sharp “postkrymsky” the deterioration of relations with Washington, as well as a response to the risks of off Russia from the dollar financial system as a whole. If the EU is now taking measures for internal consolidation, deals with the de-dollarization of energy imports and trying in an emergency procedure to create a PEPSI to eliminate their vulnerability in the financial infrastructure, this means that the European Union has already radically broke with the United States (and the criticism of Macron to NATO is only a symptom of this hostile new format of relations), or the leaders of France and Germany expect that the radical deterioration in relations with the United States waiting for them literally in the near future. And now for this immediate future, where Washington will be for the European Union problem and the enemy, the Europeans are trying to prepare in advance. Based on what we know about the nature of the American political elite, such actions of Him and his colleagues in the European Union will only lead to the fact that she will defiantly be punished. Regardless of the outcome of this attempt of the attitude of the line Brussels — it is unlikely that Washington would be better, but the rest of the world will benefit from this. Both Russia and China have a chance (but not guarantee) to negotiate with the European Union still exists, especially in the case of Russia even the macron said that it would be “a big mistake” not to look for us a common language.Ivan Danilov