Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals…


Although the G7 summit is drawing near (starting 8 June 2018), it does not generate an overwhelming interest in terms of crowdsourced signals. Yet, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for Europe to “Step Up in `World Being Reorganized’“, while the “EU College of Commissioners decided on Wednesday to adopt a tit-for-tat duties strategy” to answer the U.S. tariffs imposed on steel and aluminium, as some wonder if we could not be heading towards a G6 (see Economic diplomacy brief).

Could these, including the lack of interest, be indeed strong signals that the world is obviously being reorganised and that older institutions such as the G7 are increasingly becoming obsolete? In such an emerging new world, the place of Europe and the EU remains a critical uncertainty.

As for the “tit for tat” answer to American tariffs, the 6 June 2018 official EU press release states that

“The EU will therefore exercise its rights immediately on US products valued at up to €2.8 billion of trade. The remaining rebalancing on trade valued at €3.6 billion will take place at a later stage – in three years’ time or after a positive finding in WTO dispute settlement if that should come sooner.”

Thus, the EU – and consequently Europe – answers on 43,75% of the blow it received from the U.S…. well, not sure this is a very strong answer that may be taken as retaliation, not sure it can be preemptive of another blow.

Meanwhile, so far, it would seem that Chancellor Merkel “called for joint action on security and migration”. Considering deep divisions on migration, while NATO and willingness to pay for security and defence may continue standing in the way of a true European defence, the road ahead could be long.

Thus, behind the uncertainty regarding the place of Europe in the world and thus its power, we could have two fundamental questions that Europeans need to ponder – and solve – sooner rather than later:  is there the will power and is there the capabilities to rise to the challenge? At the end of the day, could Europe be also fighting not to be forgotten or being made obsolete ?

For other weak (and strong) signals, read below our latest complimentary Weekly horizon scanning…

Each section of the scan focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; AI, technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events interact across boundaries.

Read the 7 June 2018 scan

As polarisation rises, not only internationally but also domestically within many countries, weak signals are not only “direct”, describing facts, but also, increasingly, “indirect”, i.e. perspectives on reality providing more indications about the positioning of actors, the rising tension(s) and uncertainty, than about facts. The Weekly also aims at monitoring this rising tension to evaluate the possibility for future overt crises, and the underlying corresponding dynamics.

The Weekly is the complimentary scan of The Red (Team) Analysis Society. It focuses on political and geopolitical uncertainty, on national and international security issues.

The information collected (crowdsourced) does not mean endorsement but points to new, emerging, escalating or stabilising problems and issues.

If you wish to consult the scan after the end of the week period, use the “archives” directly on The Weekly.

Featured image: Antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two companion galaxies to our own Milky Way galaxy, can be seen as bright smudges in the night sky, in the centre of the photograph. This photograph was produced by European Southern Observatory (ESO), ESO/C. Malin [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Published by Dr Helene Lavoix (MSc PhD Lond)

Dr Helene Lavoix, PhD Lond (International Relations), is the President/CEO of The Red Team Analysis Society. She is specialised in strategic foresight and warning for international relations, national and international security issues. Her current focus is on the war in Ukraine, international order and the rise of China, the overstepping of planetary boundaries and international relations, the methodology of SF&W, radicalisation as well as new tech and security.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.