Sanjaya Baru, da poco nominato direttore del Geo-economics and Strategy Programme dell'IISS evidenzia, in questo breve commento, come la Germania stia emergendo dall'attuale crisi come vera e propria potenza geo-economica internazionale, importartrice dai Paesi limitrofi ed esportatricee su scala globale. Un strategia di sviluppo, nota Baru, con rilevanti conseguenze sull'attuale gestione della crisi in Europa.
"Today Germany is to Europe what China has become to East and South-east Asia. Both China and Germany are at once exporting as well as importing powers. They export to the world but import largely from their neighbours. This is the geoeconomic foundation of their power in a globally integrated world.
The only difference, and an important one, is that China has been increasingly unabashed in asserting its military power. Germany continues to shy away from doing so, given the burden of memory that still haunts the so-called “axis” powers of the last century (…).
Germany has consciously opted to project its power only within its own hinterland, as it did in the Balkans, ensuring that it emerges as the unquestioned leader of continental Europe. Beyond its own neighbourhood Germany remains a reluctant military power, but an aggressive economic power (…).
What has helped Germany march ahead of its European neighbours is its ability to retain its share of world trade, shifting quickly to emerging markets, especially China. By exporting to the emerging markets, while importing from its neighbours, Germany has mimicked China’s strategy of exporting to the developed economies while importing from its neighbours. This, in brief, is the geo-economics of German geopolitics today.
“Business has exerted significant influence on key elements of German foreign policy,” says Hans Kundnani in a fascinating essay titled “Germany as a Geo-economic Power”. According to Mr Kundnani, “Energy companies like E.ON Ruhrgas have influenced policy towards Russia; auto makers such as BMW have influenced policy towards China; and manufacturers of technology and machinery such as Siemens have influenced policy towards Iran… The concept of geo-economics now seems particularly helpful as a way of describing the foreign policy of Germany, which has become more willing to impose its economic preferences on others within the European Union in the context of a discourse of zero-sum competition between the fiscally responsible and the fiscally irresponsible” (The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2011).
Thus, rather than accept a reflationary fiscal policy in the euro zone as the price of growth and employment generation, export-sensitive Germany insisted on austerity throughout the euro zone, undermining growth in the “periphery” and even threatening European unity, to ensure that it remains globally competitive. This mirrors China’s “beggar-thy-neighbour” strategy of the 1990s within Asia of retaining its export competitiveness at the cost of its neighbours."