Volume 21 (2016) / Issue 3
The following article suggests that the weakening of the transatlantic bond was, and still is, inevitable, as the end of the Cold War reduced Europe’s reliance on the United States (US) for security. As a result the relationship has become more pragmatic and politics more selective at a time when the EU and the US need each other (not least because of the strong economic interdependence) maybe more than ever. Both sides differ more often than in the past (on issues such as the rise of China and a re-assertive Russia, the threat from Europe’s southern periphery or the systemic challenges posed by autocratic regimes regarding the future global governance structures) and for this reason have to forge strategic partnerships with many others as well. Against this background Europe’s unwillingness to allocate funds and unfold leadership is the most valuable indicator (and not the successful completion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) of how seriously it is taking the underlying strategic issues. It is this unwillingness that has hampered Europe’s geostrategic influence in its neighbourhood, the US value of security guarantees, and the future of the liberal order.
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