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The Future of Transatlantic Relations. Dr Fraser Cameron Director of Studies European Policy Centre, Brussels. EU and US- Friends or Rivals?. What Common Values and Interests? Venus v Mars

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the future of transatlantic relations

The Future of Transatlantic Relations

Dr Fraser Cameron

Director of Studies

European Policy Centre, Brussels

eu and us friends or rivals
EU and US- Friends or Rivals?
  • What Common Values and Interests?
  • Venus v Mars
  • US foreign policy (emphasis on terrorism, pre-emptive strikes, military, unilateral – “the international anarchist”)
  • Systemic or temporary change ? Would Gore have been different? Dean?
1949 1989
1949-1989
  • Cold War glue held alliance together
  • Suez, France/NATO, Ostpolitik, Pershings, ‘chicken wars’
  • German – European unification
  • 9 Nov 1989 : 11 September 2001
1990s
1990s
  • Bush Sr respected in Europe – Clinton unknown (but later loved in Europe)
  • Balkans – Land mines – UN finances
  • Role of Congress after 1994 (Gingrich) – impeachment
  • Somalia - Kosovo
eu us structures
EU-US Structures
  • 1990 Transatlantic Declaration
  • 1995 New Transatlantic Agenda (global and regional cooperation)
  • Annual summits, ministerials, Senior officials (SLG), Task Force, CFSP, JHA
george w bush
George W Bush
  • Little support in Europe ‘The toxic Texan’
  • Disputes over Kyoto, ICC, arms control, Middle East, UN, rogue states
  • Key advisers (Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell) little experience of today’s Europe
  • Congressional ignorance
impact of 9 11
Impact of 9/11
  • Initially much sympathy in Europe “We are all Americans now” Le Monde
  • Measured response – overthrow of Taliban welcomed (but no NATO role)
  • And no return to multilateralism – “you are with us or against us”
  • Axis of evil ; doctrine of pre-emptive strikes
impact of iraq
Impact of Iraq
  • Unfinished business after first Gulf War
  • Top of ‘neocons’ agenda (Wolfowitz), seized opportunity after 9/11 : Saddam-Osama bin Laden -WMD-terrorism
  • Rumsfeld ‘old v new Europe’
  • Consequences – shift back to UN?
trade relations
Trade relations
  • $ one billion a day in goods and services
  • More EU investment in Texas than US investment in Japan
  • US investment in Netherlands double US investment in Mexico
  • The two giants of the WTO
  • But disputes on GMOs, tax regimes, steel, agriculture, competition policy, etc
common values
Common Values
  • Democracy, rule of law, free markets, but
  • Different social and economic models
  • Religion – huge differences ; plus death penalty, violence, health care, abortion
  • Growing public perceptions of these differences
common interests
Common Interests
  • Promoting democracy and free trade
  • Combating terrorism and WMD
  • Regional stability (Balkans, Middle East, North Korea, Africa, etc)
  • But UN? Multilateral approach? Arms control? Role of military?
public opinion
Public Opinion
  • Latest polls (GMF) show rapidly declining support throughout Europe for US foreign policy
  • Public agreement on main threats but disagree on use of military (84-50) in general and on Iran in particular (73-44)
  • Most Americans support active overseas role – only 15% favour isolationism
  • Most Europeans (and Americans) favour stronger EU foreign and security policy role – but support drops from 70% to 50% if this would mean more spending on defence
the future
The Future
  • Pax Americana? Balance of Power? Benevolent hegemon?
  • Impact of Iraq on US attitudes towards UN, nation building, role of military, allies
  • US and Europe : support united Europe or divide and rule?
  • Balkans – much agreement but ICC, SFOR, unfinished business (Kosovo), Stability Pact, Turkey
a new partnership
A New Partnership
  • Need to talk to and not past each other. ‘More Powell and less Rumsfeld’. Better summits. Involve EP and Congress more.
  • Shared threat assessments ; joint action eg Iran, N Korea, Middle East
  • WTO/Cancun – shared responsibility
  • New economic agenda – Open Skies, financial services, regulatory frameworks
  • EU has to get its act together on CFSP and improve military capabilities (Solana paper)
  • US has to recognise EU as best partner
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