"This Is A Perfect Storm" - EU Leader Warns Of "Black Swans" Everywhere, Says 'Propaganda Is Our Battlefield'

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Oct 14, 2022 - 08:15 AM

"This is a perfect storm," exclaims European Commission Vice President Josep Borrell in his opening speech to EU Ambassadors this week.

Having noted previously his warnings to The Fed that it is "bringing us to a world recession," Borrell went considerably further in a surprisingly frank and plain-speaking address.

He began by warning that "the world we are facing is a world of radical uncertainty."

The speed and scope of change is exceptional. We should not try to deny it. We should not try to resist it. It would be a futile effort. We have to accept it and to adapt [to] it, prioritising flexibility and resilience.

But uncertainty is the rule. Events that one could imagine that they will never happen, they are happening one after the other.

At this pace, the black swan will be the majority. It will not be white swans – all of them will be black – because one after the other, things have happened that had a very low probability of happening, nevertheless they happened, and they had a strong impact and certainly they happened.

The EC VP then goes on to try and summarize the extent of the European crisis and how they got there, admitting that they were entirely dependent on China (trade), Russia (energy), and US (security)...

I think that we Europeans are facing a situation in which we suffer the consequences of a process that has been lasting for years in which we have decoupled the sources of our prosperity from the sources of our security. This is a sentence to provide the headline, and I am taking that from Olivier Schmitt, who has been developing this thesis – I think - quite well.  

Our prosperity has been based on cheap energy coming from Russia.

Russian gas – cheap and supposedly affordable, secure, and stable. It has been proved not [to be] the case.

And the access to the big China market, for exports and imports, for technological transfers, for investments, for having cheap goods.

I think that the Chinese workers with their low salaries have done much better and much more to contain inflation than all the Central Banks together.  

So, our prosperity was based on China and Russia – energy and market.

Clearly, today, we have to find new ways for energy from inside the European Union, as much as we can, because we should not change one dependency for another. The best energy is the one that you produce at home. That will produce a strong restructuring of our economy – that is for sure. People are not aware of that but the fact that Russia and China are no longer the ones that [they] were for our economic development will require a strong restructuring of our economy.  

The access to China is becoming more and more difficult. The adjustment will be tough, and this will create political problems.  

On the other hand, we delegated our security to the United States. While the cooperation with the Biden Administration is excellent, and the transatlantic relationship has never been as good as it is today – [including] our cooperation with the United States and my friend Tony [Anthony] Blinken [US Secretary of State]: we are in a fantastic relationship and cooperating a lot; who knows what will happen two years from now, or even in November?

What would have happened if, instead of [Joe] Biden, it would have been [Donald] Trump or someone like him in the White House? What would have been the answer of the United States to the war in Ukraine? What would have been our answer in a different situation?

But, he admits, that can no longer be the case...

These are some questions that we have to ask ourselves. And the answer for me is clear: we need to shoulder more responsibilities ourselves. We have to take a bigger part of our responsibility in securing security.

You - the United States - take care of our security.

You - China and Russia – provided the basis of our prosperity.

This is a world that is no longer there.

So, we have a difficult cocktail – internal and external – and the old recipes do not work anymore. We have mounting security challenges and our internal cohesion is under threat.

Finally, his solution to all this is simple: more propaganda...

Communication is our battlefield: we fight in communication.

We provide you with materials and I have the feeling that you do not transmit the message strongly enough. 

I need my delegations to step up on social media, on TV, in debates.

Retweet our messages, our [European] External Action Service materials. Certainly, my blog, which is the everyday “consigna”...

I need you to be much more engaged in this battle of narratives. It is not something secondary. It is not just winning the wars by sending tanks, missiles, and troops. It is a big battle: who is going to win the spirits and the souls of people?


Our fight is to try to explain that democracy, freedom, political freedom is not something that can be exchanged by economic prosperity or social cohesion. Both things have to go together.

Otherwise, our model will perish, will not be able to survive in this world.

So, the EU is planning to jawbone/propagandize its way out of dependence on China for its economic growth (internal cross-border trade?), Russia for cheap energy (by becoming more reliant on US?), and US for security (Macron's European army rejuvenated?).

As Borrell noted at the very start of his speech: this is a perfect storm indeed... and winter is coming.

Watch the full address below: