If the Europeans could vote on November 4 for the next President of the United States, the result would no doubt: they would overwhelmingly their votes to Barack Obama.
After eight years of a Republican presidency Bush, considered by many Europeans as disastrous, Europe received a "Obamamania" that leaves little room for the Republican candidate John McCain and his his Sarah Palin in their hope for a change in the White House.
This phenomenon is even more striking that it is of course the Germany and the France, the two countries of "the axis of the critique against Bush" on the war in Iraq, but also in countries which, like Britain, have supported the Americans in their Middle Eastern adventure. All the opinion polls in Europe go in this direction.
Without taking part, French President Nicolas Sarkozy would have even had this expression reported by "Le Figaro" after meeting of July with the Democratic candidate, Obama, this is my boyfriend ". Remains that Europeans do not vote and that their desires are not necessarily those of the US electorate. Very many Europeans had they not hoped a victory for John Kerry, largely beaten in 2004 by outgoing President Bush or even believe in that of Al Gore in 2000 on the same Bush
Whatever the name of the President, Republican or Democrat, who will arrive at the White House on January 20, 2009, Europeans expect much of him. Too likely. Kori Schake, former member of the national Security Council during the first term of George w. Bush, even raised the possibility of a new crisis in transatlantic relations: that of "unmet expectations" (1).
The Europeans hope everything simply a shift from radical American foreign policy, the definition of the role and place in the world that the United States must take in particular. As the war of Iraq had two consequences, have developed very strained transatlantic relations as it was drawn after the cold war, and to show that America could not, by only its armed force, impose its will and export its conception of democracy.
President Sarkozy, who has never hidden his strong pro-American sympathies, recognized himself in his speech in 2007 the ambassadors. The Iraq crisis has shown that "the unilateral use of force leads to failure", he said.
In doing so, America has lost in the eyes of the world superpower status after the fall of the Berlin wall. The United States "are more fully" the superpower in the eyes of the former Minister for Foreign Affairs Hubert Védrine as he had described in the years 1997-1998. This also does not mean that they have lost their status of "greatest power of all time" (2).
In other words, for Europeans, the United States, even if they remain in their eyes "indispensable power", cannot, and especially should not happen in Europe and the rest of the world, from China, the India, the Russia, the Brazil, or even South Africa, in the world of the 21st century.
The Europeans hope is to see America return to the path of multilateralism through organisations such as the United Nations or fit into the major international agreements of the past years, such as the Protocol of Kyoto or even that of Rome, creating the International Criminal Court...
The need for a new America is much stronger that the 2009 World is no longer that of 2001, the year of the beginning of the first term of George W.. Bush. America is no longer, since September 2001, the sanctuary "invulnerable" against an attack from the outside, but also the global financial crisis has created a need for a genuine Refoundation of the organizations born from the ashes of the second world war and called into question, always in the eyes of the majority of Europeans, the us of uncontrolled capitalism model. This is the meaning of the proposal to President Bush by the President of the European Union, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, to organize a series of summits. The first, a g-8 (3) expanded to other countries (China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia) over the European Union, held on 15 November in Washington after the US elections to associate themselves with the US President "elected".
Beyond the financial crisis, the Europeans still have other wishes. It is still in the Middle East that they rely on a new America with a new President. An America that renouerait with the predecessors of George w. Bush's efforts to achieve a revival of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as did George Bush father after the war the Gulf, or even Bill Clinton to the last days of his second term.
Seen from Europe, Barack Obama and Joe Biden embody best this aspiration as the duo John McCain-Sarah Palin. At least for a large majority.
But Europeans can delude themselves. The democratic duo won the elections, or is beaten by his Republican rival, America is not necessarily that of multilateralism and diplomacy paramount force if its national interests are at stake. Because the heavy trends that made America since the 1980s will disappear from one day to the next day with the new US President, and it regardless of its name. What might change if Obama comes to power it is instead an America more protectionist than if McCain wins.
Paradoxically, for a shift of American policy as the wish today Europeans, should Europe, economic and commercial power changes and expands a true political personality to become a serious partner of the United States, between China, the Russia and other emerging powers. Otherwise, Washington will continue to repeat the famous sentence of Kissinger: "Europe, what phone number"