Is the US in decline? Or has President Trump made America great again on the world stage? What will the new geopolitical order look like after COVID-19? And what is the place of the EU, China, India, Russia, Brazil and others in all this?

Debating Europe streamed an online debate on this topic on Thursday 28 May 2020.

Answering YOUR questions in our panel debate:

  • Steven Erlanger, Chief Diplomatic Correspondent for Europe for the New York Times
  • Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Greek MEP from the EPP Group, Vice-Chair of the Committee on International Trade
  • Shada Islam, Director of Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe
  • Lukas Andriukaitis, Associate Director at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab

You can watch the video above or check out the debate on our Facebook page!

IMAGE CREDIT: Public Domain

21 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    No. Right now the EU needs to become one of the world’s superpowers and be in the UN Security Council together with the British Commonwealth, the USA, Russia and China.

  2. avatar

    The US reminds me of the USSR in the late 1980s. At any rate, the EU needs to worry less about the US and more about Europe.

  3. avatar

    The EU is in no way ready to be called “superpower”
    It is incapable of agreeing action to combat existential threats to itself, let alone in the rest of the world. It is crippled by ongoing tensions, east/west…north/south….both financial & social.
    Its share of world trade has halved in last 25 years, and its aggregate gdp growth has been half that of the non eu g20, let alone asia/Pacific.
    Russia is a busted flush….a Saudi Arabia with trees…china, despite its meteoric growth in last 15 years is facing a demographic timebomb due to it’s one child policy, and likely ostracism following recent political moves.
    Like it or not, the USA remains the only real superpower for the foreseeable future.

  4. avatar

    Yes because oligarchy dominate the world nowadays

  5. avatar

    well if you do not consider super-markets as super power, then yes. In the other case there is some issues with the definition of super-market, but I would say that nothing really changed.

  6. avatar

    It looks like we are moving to a bipolar world with the U.S. in moderate decline (for the first time since WW2, really) and China rapidly rising.
    None of the other powers – Russia, India, EU, Brazil.. – are comparable however. So while many may wish for a multipolar world, a bipolar Sino-American world order looks probable.

  7. avatar

    Thanks for valuable panel debate. so many interesting and important pointers. Should EU be more concerned than appears the case about events in Libya and Syria just now.

  8. avatar
    EU Reform-Proactive

    “PwC research” projects the E7 (China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Mexico & Turkey) vs. G7 (US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, & Italy). In 2040 the E7 will be twice the size of the G7 economy! Africa may become an orbiting satellite. How best to position Europe?

    Does the EU have a Master-plan- besides enlargement, harmonization & penalties?

    Debates over projections are very complex and difficult without supporting data. Our 5 yearly ballot or opinions hardly matter!

    Why not consult the latest competent studies from reputable research institutions- while making daring projections? China vs. the US & the West.
    The links show some projected shifts:

    Big populations may not necessarily be winners but may experience internal frictions, corrupt & unstable governments, stagnation, low living standards & degradation of the environment. Bigger is not always better.
    It seems everyone on earth tries the same: to improve, sustain, and maintain their way of life- near regardless.

  9. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Online Debate: Are global superpowers a thing of the past?

    Global so called ‘superpowers’ are too full of all consuming corruption and not in the best interests of the nations they are said to represent. All is too big to function for the good of those they try to convince are being served.

    Just look at the mess we are presently in. Has it in anyway produced a productive step forward for ‘any nation’ to feel safe, financially secure or moving toward a better expectation for their peoples? No. The changes have promoted a situation where many of the countries, said to be high end movers and shakers, are facing civil war with its overwhelming mix of cultures and the mistrust of their political policies. Take a look at the USA and the UK. A lot of this is due directly to the incompetence of the UN. Where are all these unconnected agencies taking us? What is their goal? How have so few individuals ended up with so much? How have so many got away with fraud and misuse of funds in so many parts of these called ‘do gooding’ servers? And how has it taken so long to be addressed? Apart from the obvious filling of trousers, why have those at the top been unwilling to look at the chaos they are forcibly backing and have been for decades? How fiercely they presently try to deny or remove those putting themselves on the line to bring about change, as they smell acceptance in the halls of power for this need? I have to ask, what is going on and why are the imbeciles put in charge, not able to dismantle this misconception and create clarity?

    This thread has produced some honest thought. However, as another wrote, are any of you willing to open your eyes and have the courage to make the appropriate moves to adjust to the important corrections. Have the courage to remove incompetent thinkers. Not just make ridiculous slurs at individuals trying to expose reality.

    A mix of different cultures with different views on what is needed, with a morality of their preferences being totally opposed from the ground up, isn’t a good foundation for a world view. And toleration of the inept is not going to improve a thing on any level for any of us, either at the top or the bottom.

    So, global superpower is an act not fact. The further an ideal moves from the function of nature and a need of the human condition for survival, the more rapidly it falls from grace.

  10. avatar
    EU Reform-Proactive

    It was mentioned- this discussion may continue- thank you!

    EU taxpayers should not fund “Lord Chamberlain’s Men”- nor act as former PM Neville Chamberlain (“Mr. Appeasement”) did. Such an approach did not stop or prevent a past global enlargement schemer!

    How does one defend & safeguard against “aggressive & defensive” actions- as Steven mentioned? Offer the other cheek?

    I think Shada & Anna expressed excessive complacency by relying on sacrosanct “values” (which?) being accepted & respected on reciprocal terms. I wish to refer to the CDHRI/1990 vs. the UDHR/1948 treaties.

    Further, it is a historical fact that Tibet was- Hong Kong & Taiwan are next on China’s “harmonizing” list. A bit different from the EU version of “harmonizing”!

    Must the rest of the world standby with folded arms and trust China will enhance us all with a mix of pacifism and totalitarian values?

    Not a concern for the EU’s “Chamberlain’s thinking? Is that part of the EU’s foreign policy of “constructive abstention”?

    Why allow the sale of the EU’s “family silver”- without reciprocity? To buy strategic assets (port & high tech companies) is China’s stated aim. “Comparative advantage” in reverse!

    What may be the reality behind China’s so-called (Covid-19) “mask diplomacy”?

    • Sentimentalities- human compassion, political reciprocity- or image & influence building?

    • Or- because Xi and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a trade agreement in Rome on March 23, 2019 (non-binding? Why sign?) Mischievously transgressing the EU’s sole economic competency- without consequences?

    • Or- an attempt by China to show off its economic superiority & reliability to market their G5 network technology in the EU through to backdoor- never mind their faulty masks? Again- in contravention of the CoE Resolution 1815/2011? Are we destined to buy “Made in China” by the touch on a Huawei 5G smartphone and delivered on the One Belt One Road initiative. (BRI or OBOR) Tragic!

    This unexpected virus exposed everyone & everything (“Italy”- as a none-shining example) for what the EU has become:

    Paralyzed, politicalized, overconfident, complacent, slow, inflexible, under-resourced, underprepared, over-indebted & too dependent on China.

    In antiquity it was merchants like Marco Polo who opened the China trade route enriching Europe- today it is China’s “reciprocity”.

    Everyone knows- globalism (greed) shifted our local manufacturing base to cheap labor in China/Asia- while the EU spent lots of time building treaties & regulations. She tries to promote & sell values, human rights & political correctness- free of charge. Who are its buyers?

    Sorry, but I think the EU needs a serious wakeup call= reform on a broad front!

  11. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Online Debate: Are global superpowers a thing of the past?

    Look at what is taking place in that superpower named ‘leaders of the free world.’ What they are facing today is the result of their inability to face facts, rather than ignore reality and pretend ‘globalism’ is the answer to their future civilisation. Rather than the answer to a comfortable future, it clearly shows ‘globalism’ as the downfall of their economic future and cultural civility. They are in the throws of civil war and do not have a clue what to do about it.

    Mind you, a lot of it is being promoted by one political party against another, as the promoters realise unless they bring about this open warfare they will not win the next election. The man in the Washington Whitehouse is too popular with the majority and the only way to be rid of him is by using the race card. That man who leads what he sees as the black party, for his statement was, if you vote Republican you are not black, has to have this stance. He turned the murder of a black criminal into a crime against black citizens because of their race. Which has created the catalyst for civil war in his country.

    It has left the USA with a dilemma they should have faced 50 years ago, rather than pretend that an idea called ‘globalism’ was going to solve the problem in their streets. Then continued with the so called ‘globalism’ as a way to remove the working people of jobs to support themselves whilst giving those same jobs to opposing nations called, China, India and Africa. This project gave billionaires the footing they knew would make them ‘masters of the universe.’

    Today what should happen on the ground, is the removal of the clean up squad. As law and order has been put into the race class, the only answer can be, to remove ‘white’ policeman and town renovators from the future picture in those areas. Unhappy black people, who have been persuaded their plight is created by ‘white prejudice,’ must get compliance in this ideal. As, by accepting the clean up of the mess created by that thought, now carried out by all black controllers in troubled areas, will diffuse the catalyst. I know in great part this has been accomplished with black Mayors, and those at the top in those cities being all ethnic. Atlanta, for example, has few or no whites in their town hall. They were sacked decades ago in one swoop. That will remove the status that the white race creates their below par living conditions. Thereby encouraging disastrous criminal elements in the back yard, which leads to murder of their people. The responsibility of any actions will then firmly be placed on their own ability to accept law and order as their way of life. Or, not, depending on choice, as the way forward. Why would any community want the clean up of their neighbourhoods, after such devastation carried out, be by the enemy of their people? The oppressors then rid of, once and for all.

    Once this has settled in, the global superpowers will know their billionaires are indeed a thing of the past.

  12. avatar

    The USA needs a new war to sustain its economy. This war is going to happen either somewhere in the world or they will make a Civil war begining with the death of the African American George Floyd.

    Bear in mind that the USA does not have an official language!! English is the national language of the Americans, but it is not yet official in their constitution. The USA has tried several times to make English their official language, but they failed to pass the bill.

  13. avatar

    Why the dialogues have to center around China, US and power? If everyone can talk more about the interconnectness and interdependence of people and countries and the future of mankind and the sustainability of the earth…we can probably find out what are the common interest rather than thinking how to make the American great again and resist the rise of China… If we start discussion by framing our mind in old politics of the Cold War and we are submitting ourselves to American hegemony and believe that we can replicate the new world with old world politics by lip service on freedom, using ideologies to justify right or wrong. As we have now witnessed election politics all over the world, elections appear to be using populism to cheat votes to win political power by tearing nations, countries and the world apart, what is the meaning of “democracy”?

  14. avatar

    No. In fact, they are more relevant than ever.

  15. avatar

    Since the Status Quo there is no more independent superpower as any real major decision must be aligned globally to avoid a WW. Of course there are still things going on under the surface, but it would be stupid to think that they are not authorized by the “global committee”.

  16. avatar

    China will be a global superpower, but the meaning will probably not be the same as during the Cold War. The US will become like Russia I think… poor and backwards, but still relevant just because they have a lot of nuclear missiles. 😛 We’ll see. In the short term the US is at risk of devolving into a civil war. Europe needs to get itself together or it will fall apart as well. Listen to Macron.

  17. avatar

    Crises are challenges: in the Covid drama there is an opportunity to strengthen the UNO. 🧐

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