Elections that change the world order
In 2024, several major powers have held or are holding fate- or even world order-changing elections: Russia, India and the United States.
Elections that change the world order

Elections that change the world order

Photo: iStock
31/05/2024 10:33

Levente Horváth, Ph.D.,
Director of the Eurasia Center,
Editor-in-Chief of Eurasia

In 2024, several major powers have held or are holding fate- or even world order-changing elections: Russia, India and the United States. The EU elections in June may also have a major impact on the tense international situation, as it is not clear whether the EU will continue its ideological bloc formation or seek co-operation.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was launched in 1996 and has since developed into a Eurasian platform for co-operation. Fifty-three partners are involved, accounting for 65 per cent of world GDP, 60 per cent of population, 68 per cent of world trade and 75 per cent of world tourism, but Asia's share of this cooperation is growing as Asian countries become economically stronger.
Levente Horváth
Over the past 30 years, the European and Asian economies, including China, have become intertwined, but in recent years, amid changes in the world order, the EU has increasingly adopted an ideological approach to international relations with Asian countries, rather than pursuing the EU's own interests and the national interests of its member states. EU leaders are increasingly (ideologically) criticising Asian competitors, which is not conducive to economic cooperation and thus the economic development of EU member states. In particular, they harshly criticise China, the largest Asian partner, while being lenient towards other countries on the same issues. This shows that it is not China they fear, but the loss of their status in the Western-dominated world order.

However, the member states are individually developing ever closer economic co-operation with Asian countries, taking into account their national interests: China is Germany's largest economic partner and France is one of the largest trading partners of Asian countries alongside Germany. If Europe continues its policy of de-risking against China - along the lines of the US decoupling - and lectures and criticises other Asian countries, it will be difficult for the EU to boost its currently weakening economy without strong economic partners.

The European elections will have a major impact on the EU's Asia policy. The most important question is whether the EU should approach the Asian powers in the next five years - a key period of global change - on an ideological basis, i.e. with a Western mindset, or whether the EU should treat the Asian countries with their different histories, cultures, mentalities and social structures as equals and seek peaceful co-operation while taking their own interests into account. Historical patterns show that bloc formation weakens the position of great powers, while peaceful co-operation tends to strengthen them.

So in June, we will not only vote on the political composition of the European Parliament, but also on the role of the EU in the new Eurasian era.

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