Europe must reposition itself to stand up to the challenges posed by its three big global rivals, China, Russia and the US, Angela Merkel has said before her final European election as German chancellor.
Facing challenges that range from Russian interference in elections to China’s economic clout and the US’s monopoly over digital services, Europe needs to get better at putting up a united front, Merkel said in a wide-ranging interview shared with the Guardian.
“There is no doubt that Europe needs to reposition itself in a changed world,” Merkel said in a conversation in her office in Berlin. “The old certainties of the post-war order no longer apply.”
She added: “They [China, Russia and the US] are forcing us, time and again, to find common positions. That is often difficult given our different interests. But we do get this done – think, for example, of our policy regarding the conflict in Ukraine.
“Our policies on Africa, too, now follow a common strategy, which a few years ago would have been unthinkable. So we keep putting one foot in front of the other. However, our political power is not yet commensurate with our economic strength.”