While a multitude of powers are currently trying to consolidate their positions in the space between Morocco and Ukraine, that is, the area that connects (or separates, depending on your point of view) the European continent with the rest of the world, the states of Europe are strangely absent from this game. Only the old colonial power France has a stronger position.
As world trade is likely to be increasingly concentrated on the Eurasian continent in the future, this is a dangerous development for Europe, as it means that all trade routes from the continent to the east will be controlled by foreign powers. However, in view of the worsening climate change, a new option could emerge.
The so-called Northeast Passage, i.e. the route in the northern polar sea parallel to the Russian coast, may soon also be used commercially. This would not only create an alternative to the Suez-Malacca route, it would even be a considerable shortening. The first winner, of course, would be Russia itself. It would be a strange irony of history that the very power that has always sought the sea and never found it, that has waged a multitude of wars and conflicts to gain access to the great oceans, should see one emerging off its own coast.
This could also be a great opportunity for the European continent, should it be able to improve its relationship with Russia in the future and, who knows, talk again of a Europe “from Lisbon to Vladivostok”.