The expulsion of the EU Ambassador Bart Ouvry from the Democratic Republic of Congo is a serious blow to the image of already weakened by Brexit block. In multi-polar world Congo will be not short of friends and those, willing to co-operate with one of the richest African nations. The EU is losing again its positions, due to its outdated foreign policy, inclined to give unsolicited advise and tutorials on democracy and human rights. The price to pay is high – in face of one diplomat, Congolese government turns its back on 28 European states for at least a decay to come.
The EU insistence on prolongation of sanctions on Presidential candidate, Interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who is the incumbent President’s chosen successor, shows a very poor analysis and judgement of the situation in Congo, especially in view of a broader trend of political longevity of African leaders. It is highly likely that Kabila‘s protégé will win the bid, and it is certain, that he will not forgive and forget the position of Brussels diplomacy.
“Africa’s future is also our future,” said the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said recently at high level Africa-EU Forum in Vienna. However, if the course of the EU foreign policy remains unchanged, and rigid, soon Europe will be excluded from African future without reverse, and Africa’ future will be shared with Chinese, Indians, and Arabs.
So far the EU politics of sanctions failed wherever it was applied conducted at costs of growth and jobs, leading to impoverishment of Europeans, whose despair erupted in Yellow Vests protests in France. But who will criticize French Minister of interior for an excessive use of force against the protectors?.. Who will apply sanctions against the Interior Minister?.. Quod licet iovi non licet bovi… (What is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to a bull – Latin proverb).
Congo’s most important export partners are: China (24% of total exports) followed by South Africa (22%) and the European Union (4%). Main imports are: foodstuffs, fuel, textiles and machinery, and leading partners: Angola (15%), France (13%) and Singapore (10%).
Anna van Densky OPINION The fumes of riots of Yellow Vests don’t distort the clarity of the picture – the working France could not bear any more the policy of successive governments pressing them as lemon to fund their ambitious European and international agenda. The plans of the President Macron to go global came in clash with local: the gasoline tax became the last straw that broke the back of many, especially “working poor“.
Following their ‘Jupiter’, or like French say it, ‘the elected King‘, French people had to continue to actively participate in footing the EU cohesion of Eastern Europe, flows of migrants and refugees, who have right to live in dignity, the aid to the other continents for their development, climate change, and many other noble causes in the world, sacrificing their own needs. “Americans First!” gave them some eyeopening ideas. Are French really responsible for all the grief in the world?..Don’t they deserve to benefit from the advantages of technological revolution?..
Doubtfully the EU aggressive foreign policy added a huge portion of combustible: the Enlargement shifting borders to the East came to its logical end in a Donbass conflict. The following war of sanctions with Russia had negative effects on French economy, although not direct, but long lasting, when the exports being replaced without reverse by the other countries like Turkey, Morocco, or Argentina. In spite of the shrinking agricultural exports, and related difficulties the President declared the increase of the 2019 defense budget by €1.7 billion – up five percent from the present year, the move made under pressure of the Pentagon hawks to meet NATO target military spending.
Detached from working France in his gilded office of the impératrice Josephine palace – Elysée – in his rigid role of an ‘elected King‘ Emmanuel Macron looks archaic, like a relic of another epoch, next to the leaders of the other democracies in Europe, framed in their actions by national parliaments. The modernization of the Fifth Republic, shifting powers from President to Parliament could restore the coherence of French society, while conservation of the archaic forms of governance will continue to provoke the archaic forms of answers – insurrections.
However the uprising of the Yellow Vests is just the first act. The real tectonic shift in politics will take place in upcoming elections to European parliament: the downfall of ‘Jupiter’.