EU foreign policy chief: “The era of Western dominance has definitively ended”

The new multipolar world order

Published 7 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
African Union leaders and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

The European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell, says that Western dominance is “definitely over” and that tensions between the EU and the Global South have been exacerbated by EU countries’ behaviour and responses to the wars in Ukraine and Gaza.

– Many in the ‘Global South’ accuse us of ‘double standards’, he warns.

At the Munich security conference, EU security chief Josep Borrell highlighted four issues that he believes will be the main geopolitical focus for EU countries in the near future. Three of these were continued and increased support for Ukraine, an end to Israel’s invasion of Gaza and the need for EU countries to strengthen their defence and increase arms production.

The fourth question, however, was about the ‘Global South’ – an umbrella term that usually refers to all of Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and parts of Oceania, as well as Asia, excluding Israel, Japan and South Korea – and how they perceive the West’s actions and reactions to the wars in Ukraine and Gaza as hypocritical and characterised by double standards.

– If the current global geopolitical tensions continue to evolve in the direction of ‘the West against the Rest’, Europe’s future risks to be bleak. The era of Western dominance has indeed definitively ended. While this has been theoretically understood, we have not always drawn all practical conclusions from this new reality, he proclaims.

“We must fight back”

– The combination of the war of aggression against Ukraine and the war in Gaza has significantly increased this risk, as we have recently seen in the Sahel and elsewhere in Africa. Many in the “Global South” accuse us of “double standards”.

Mr Borrell went on to say that Russia has managed to exploit the situation and the discontent in the South with the West – and that the issue must be given a very high priority.

We need to push back on this narrative but also to address this issue not only with words: in the coming months, we must make a massive effort to win back the trust of our partners, he declared.

The Western world’s unanimous condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the supply of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of arms to the country – while many EU countries chose to defend Israel’s far more deadly invasion and bombardment of Gaza – has been met with great scepticism and surprise in many non-European countries, and has been seen as proof that support for Ukraine is all about geopolitical interests, not the protection of international law or the lives of civilians.

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