The GMF Paris Office organized a breakfast-debate at the Hôtel Bristol in Paris, with a prestigious panel of corporate representatives (Axa, Sodexo, Vinci, Capgemini, Areva, Nestlé Waters, Thales, NYSE) to engage a transatlantic dialogue around GMF’s Global Swing States report. After a detailed presentation of the results of the study by Daniel Kliman, Emmanuel Macron, the French President’s Deputy Secretary General and Marshall Memorial Fellow and Eric Chaney, AXA Chief Economist shared their reactions, provided a prospective analysis and raised a few questions. The discussion was chaired by Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, Director of GMF Paris Office.
Both Macron and Chaney recognized the pertinence of the concept of “global swing states” applied to Turkey, Indonesia, India and Brazil and the importance of engaging them in shaping the future world order and building regional alliances and partnerships, but cautioned that this engagement should not be focused on balancing China. While Macron described the world as “multipolarizing”, Chaney stated that the “anchor of the post-WWII world order, i.e. the US dollar, was drifting” and ceased to be sustainable, while China was growing fast and could not be contained.
Macron was also concerned that the potential impact of the American opportunistic approach in rebuilding regional alliances with global swing states could weaken global institutions, by rendering multilateralism less efficient, especially on trade issues. He also emphasized the importance of development as a key way to expand the influence and role of the global swing states.
Both Macron and Chaney questioned the sustainability of the concept of global swing state: when does a country enter and leave this category? Macron added South Africa to the list and suggested its inclusion in the future working groups. Chaney suggested Mexico and South Africa as “junior global swing states”. Turkey was isolated from the list as a particular case as Macron considered that the report’s recommendations will take more time to be applied in this country than in the other three and underlined the need to reopen dialogue.
The discussion that followed the three presentations dealt with the Turkish question, the report’s choice of the four countries and the criteria used to make that selection – a few mentioning South Korea as a state that “had already swung” – and how future works about the GSS could include more Europe and recommendations for a European strategy vis-à-vis these swing states.