At the recently concluded Munich Security Conference, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his demands for a renewed discussion regarding a possible ‘reset’ in relations with Russia. This is in line with a historical pattern in which Paris has often sought to employ Europe’s combined weight to counterbalance American influence. Most recently, this took the form of visions for a ‘Greater Europe’ from Lisbon to Vladivostok, conceived after the Berlin Wall’s collapse as a potential third ‘pillar’ of the international order, in addition to Washington and Beijing.
The latest Munich Security Conference hosted a great deal of talk about Europe as a greater strategic player. But for now, as it embarks on a new decade, most of this remains just talk.