With 256 million people vaccinated, i.e. 70% of adults, the European Union has surpassed all others and belied the criticisms that were unfairly levelled at it only a few months ago. This is due in particular to the dynamism of Thierry Breton, the Commissioner in charge of the industrialisation of vaccines, of which Europe has become the world's leading producer and for which it has already provided 138 poor countries with more than 200 million doses. Europe has been effective.
With more than 3,000 billion euros made available by all the European institutions, from the European Central Bank to the Commission, the European Council and the Parliament, the European recovery plan has been massive and on a par with other major political powers in the world. Above all, it has marked considerable developments within all these bodies. Europe has been on the ball.
With the abandonment of Afghanistan, the concern born of Donald Trump's impulses has become a certainty for many of America's European allies: they must think and protect their interests with their own means and, above all, with their very particular experience. This experience is older, deeper and therefore much more reasonable when it comes to war and peace, diplomacy and law. After all, if Europeans had been consulted and listened to on Iraq, Iran and Syria, American diplomacy might not have experienced such a succession of failures.
Europe is being driven to strengthen solidarity among its members, who are moreover in the process of developing a common strategy called "the compass". For the first time, Europe is thinking and talking strategy.
The European Union is undergoing its transformation faster than expected. Of course, there is still a lot to be done and it is still difficult to obtain unanimity among the Member States.
But we must also count on France, which will preside over the Council in the first half of 2022, to speed up the race towards greater efficiency. Emmanuel Macron, its President, advocated many of the recent developments.
Circumstances have favoured these French intuitions, which are now more widely shared. Let us wager that the small provincial responses, those of the frugal, the conservative and the egotistical who are opposed to it, will not long resist necessity.
Europe cannot remain the only continent that refuses to go into debt as a means of investment and that does not use its currency to promote growth, when the need for investment in technology and greening is greater than ever and when, by restricting its economy, it is lagging behind its major competitors in terms of growth.
The European Union has no choice but to assume and develop its strength, and to do so it must abandon many of its dogmas.
Its economic and budgetary policies, its diplomatic and military prohibitions, its strict legal rules and prudent political practices were perfectly calibrated for progressive construction in calm times.
Circumstances have changed abruptly, and we have entered a period of high winds. The health crisis has shown that the Union can adapt quickly.
But this time it will not be a question of simple adaptations. We are talking about major changes. The coming months will tell whether Europe will succeed in its revolution.