Issuu on Google+

EU and US Relations in the 21st Century Nick Witney Colleen Graffy Michael Jay Senior European Experts

iCES Occasional Paper 06 Institute of Contemporary European Studies


iCES Occasional Paper 06


---------------------------------------------------------------The work of the institute of contemporary european studies (iCES) and the online electronic publication of this volume can be found at

www.ebslondon.ac.uk/ices ----------------------------------------------------------------


Nick Witney Colleen Graffy Michael Jay Senior European Experts

EU and US Relations in the 21st Century

Institute of Contemporary European Studies

2011


First Published in 2011 by The Institute of Contemporary European Studies, (iCES) www.ebslondon.ac.uk/ices

iCES Occasional Paper 06 ©institute of contemporary european studies, Nick Witney, Colleen Graffy, Michael Jay, Senior European Experts 2011 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the permission of the publishers. ISSN 2040-6509 (Paper) ISSN 2040-6517 (Online) First Published in Great Britain 2011 by the Institute of Contemporary European Studies (iCES), Regent’s College, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NS


Contents

Foreword The Relationship between the EU and the USA: Sheriff and Marshall Nicholas Bowen

07

Discussion Papers Transatlantic Partnerships: EU-USA Nick Witney

15

An American Perspective Colleen Graffy

23

A View from the UK and the EU Michael Jay

31

Background Paper Is the Atlantic Getting Wider? The Relationship between the EU, its Member States and the United States Senior European Experts

37


Foreword The Relationship between the EU and the USA: Sheriff and Marshall Nicholas Bowen A few years ago, Fraser Cameron characterised the United States of America (USA) in its foreign policy after 1990 and in the first decade of the 2000s as possibly being a reluctant sheriff (Cameron 2005). This idea of a western cinematic image can perhaps be extended to the relations between states in a more general way and, if we were to pursue this ‘Wild West’ image, it is clear that the roles of the European Union (EU) and the USA could have a variety of other combinations: 1. two family gangs (like the Clantons and the Earps) – with strong leaders but divisions among the members of the gang 2. a federal marshall and a town sheriff – each has its own rights and powers to certain areas of jurisdiction 3. a sheriff’s posse and an Indian tribe – with one group madly chasing the other in a fierce rivalry Without getting too carried away with the imagery, it is important to acknowledge that the most appropriate of these combinations of roles has to be the one that matches whatever one believes the respective EU and US positions of power are, or should be, within the world. Given the changing world and its shifts towards alternative sources of power (hard and soft), such as China, Brazil (an embryonic but contested leader of Latin America), Russia and India, it is essential that the EU and the USA regard each other as being of equal standing in the world. There are arguments as to why this might cast them as the Clantons and the Earps, or even as the posse and the Indian tribe, but perhaps they should be most like the town sheriff and the federal marshall: each has its own rights and jurisdictions but they often need to combine forces and co-operate in order to bring a gang of outlaws to justice.


8

The Relationship between EU and The USA: Sheriff and Marshall

Nicholas Bowen

As the three panellists and main contributors to this volume have remarked, the relationship between the two powers is one that has, of course, evolved over time and will continue to do so as we move into the second decade of this century. Some of their phrases have a particular resonance: 1. If the EU does not figure in the USA’s accounts, it’s neither a liability nor an asset. 2. If the Europeans wish for something other than American leadership, they may find themselves entering a very different world. 3. The UK still sees itself as trying to act as the brakeman on the US bobsleigh. 4. This is a common struggle in which the Europeans and the Americans see themselves as being on the same side. The logical consequence of what all three contributors have noted is that the EU – and the member states of the EU – need to be clearer about its (and their) own interests. It is only by pursuing its own interests that Europe can be regarded as being on the same terms as the USA, and as other powers in the world. It is essential that there be an equality of relationship because recent EU-US policy history has been one that was excellently characterised by Zbigniew Brzezinski in 2009: “[f]or too many years now, the general pattern has been that the United States makes the decisions and expects the Europeans to share the burdens. For too many years, the Europeans have complained they are excluded from decision-making but have been perfectly willing to let the Americans assume the burdens of implementation.” (Brzezinski 2009) In the discussion that followed the panellists’s contributions, reference was made to the ‘mahout fantasy’ – that is, the EU (or just the UK) as the person (the diminutive rider) steering the elephant (the great beast/the USA) with just a light touch – but what Brzezinski’s and others’ analyses conclude is that the EU needs to be more of an elephant in its own right, in security and foreign policy terms as well as economic ones. The logical consequence of this history and any changed development towards a more even and shared foreign and security policy between the EU and the USA is that, “[i]f this new unity is to be meaningful, both sides have to be


iCES Occasional Paper 03

9

willing to share both in decisions and in the resulting burdens.” (Brzezinski 2009) Of course, in trying to argue for equality between the EU and the USA, it is difficult to ignore facts and figures related to GDP and military expenditure. Even with the changes that are taking place as a consequence of the world’s financial and economic crisis of 2007-2010, the gulf between the USA and the rest of the world (including the EU as a unit and its largest countries as independent, sovereign nations) remains immense. As cited by Dunne and Mulaj (2010), the USA has a ‘unique role in world politics. US pre-eminence in the current international system is an undisputable fact. America’s GDP roughly equals that of China, Japan, Germany, Russia, France and Britain combined, or alternatively, one quarter of global GDP. Moreover, the US spends more on defence than any other country in the world by a very long way – its defence expenditure in 2008 amounted to nearly half the global total.’ It is this massive scale of difference on fundamentals that makes it very difficult for the EU to rid itself of some kind of inferiority complex. For all the importance of shared values, as stressed by Nick Witney, Colleen Graffy and Michael Jay, the enduring difference in global reach continues to define the foreign and security dimensions of the relationship. The problems of reality are reinforced by those of perception, regardless of how much effort is expended by public diplomacy – whether from the EU and its states or from the USA. Rather like the appearance and reality of ‘variable geometry’ within the EU, it is evident that part of the dilemma within transatlantic relations is the future need for ‘variable geometry’ within NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organisation] itself (Noetzel & Schreer 2010), and within the general relations between the EU and the USA. To some extent, the foreign and security policy future of the EU and NATO are bound together, as well as the policy future of other institutions such as the OSCE [Organisation for Security Cooperation in Europe]. One of the consolations touched upon by the three panellists was the difference between being partners or allies, with the UK (and others) being regarded as allies, i.e. the more solid and reliable countries with which the USA can work. In order for the EU as a whole (and as an integrated union) to be seen as an ally, both the USA and the EU need to sharpen their interests on both sides of the Atlantic. They need to overcome their internal difficulties, to rely on the optimism and future orientation of the USA, to emphasise the transforming process of EU enlargement, and to


10

The Relationship between EU and The USA: Sheriff and Marshall

Nicholas Bowen

harness the drive of business towards policies for energy efficiency, energy security, climate change and other key politico-economic interests. From a UK perspective, it is interesting to look at Robin Niblett’s view of three years ago that “the days are now largely over when the UK can or should start out by trying to build an Anglo-US position on a foreign policy challenge before trying to tie in the European and transatlantic positions. The UK is now a central player in efforts to develop increasingly activist European foreign policies, whether these can be later coordinated effectively with the United States or not.” (Niblett 2007) Niblett points to several key factors: an American posture and behaviour characterised by greater defensiveness, the struggles and turmoils of the EU’s attempts to move forward, and changes in EuropeanAmerican relations across the Atlantic. While Niblett was mainly concerned to cover the issue of the UK’s foreign policy in response to changes in transatlantic relationships, part of his discussion reflects on the changed parameters for EU-US connections. On this aspect of his analysis, Niblett concludes that “a changing Europe will have important effects on each side’s perception of the strategic utility of the other.” (Niblett 2007) In making some concluding remarks on EU-US relations, I would stress the need to move from the current position of a world of asymmetric multipolarity, even between the USA and the EU, towards one of negotiated parity. In such a future state of relations, there would be distinctive areas of relative power and absolute jurisdiction. In fact, the relationship would be as close as we can imagine to that of a federal marshall (the USA) and a town sheriff (the EU). Dr Nicholas Bowen Acting Director, iCES January 2011


iCES Occasional Paper 03

11

Bibliography Brooks, D. (2005), ‘The age of scepticism,’ New York Times, 1 December, cited in Niblett (2007) Brzezinski, Z. (2009) ‘Major Foreign Policy Challenges for the next US President,’ International Affairs, vol. 85, no. 1, January Cameron, F. (2005) US Foreign Policy after the Cold War: Global hegemon or reluctant sheriff? 2nd edition. Routledge Cameron, F. (2007) An Introduction to EU Foreign Policy. New edition. Routledge Cottey, A. (2007) Security in the New Europe. Palgrave Macmillan Daalder, I.H. & Lindsay, J.M. (2005) America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy. Reprint edition. John Wiley & Sons Dunne, T. & Mulaj, K. (2010) ‘America after Iraq,’ International Affairs, vol. 86, no. 6, November Gordon, P. (2010) The United States and Europe: A New Era of Engagement [The C. Douglas Dillon Lecture on European-American Relations] Chatham House, 10 November Halper, S. & Clarke, J. (2004) America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order. Cambridge University Press Hill, C. & Smith, M. (2005) The International Relations of the European Union. 4th edition. Oxford University Press Hook, S. W. & Spanier, J. (2007) American Foreign Policy since World

War II. 17th edition. CQ Press Howorth, J. (2007) Security and Defence Policy in the European Union. Palgrave Macmillan Keukeleire, S. & MacNaughtan, J. (2008) The Foreign Policy of the

European Union. Palgrave Macmillan


12

The Relationship between EU and The USA: Sheriff and Marshall

Nicholas Bowen

Lauren, P.G., Craig, G.A. & George, A.L. (2007) Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Challenges of Our Time. 4th edition. Oxford University Press [especially chapter 6: The Evolving International System] McGuire, S. & Smith, M. (2008) The European Union and the United States: Competition and Convergence in the Global Arena. Palgrave Macmillan Niblett, R. (2007) ‘Choosing between America and Europe: a new context for British foreign policy,’ International Affairs, vol. 83, no. 4, July Noetzel, T. & Schreer, B. (2009) ‘Does a multi-tier NATO matter? The Atlantic alliance and the process of strategic change,’ International Affairs, vol. 85, no. 2, March Shapiro, J. & Witney, N. (2009) Towards a Post-American Europe: A Power Audit of EU-US Relations. European Council on Foreign Relations [ecfr.eu] Smith, K.E. (2008) European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World. 2nd edition. Polity Press


Nick Witney Senior Policy Fellow Nick Witney is Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He is notable for his long career at the FCO and the MOD, including as Director General of International Security Policy where he was responsible for NATO and EU policy as well as missile defence. He then went to Brussels to work with Javier Solana in 2004 and served as first Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency. He has written authoritatively on the EU and on European security and defence policy.


iCES Occasional Paper 06

15

Transatlantic Partnerships: EU-USA Nick Witney It is a great pleasure to be here and I guess that I am present on the strength of the report on transatlantic relations (Shapiro & Witney 2009) which my think tank, the European Council on Foreign Relations, published about a year ago. It was co-authored with Jeremy Shapiro who at that point was with the Brookings Institution and shortly afterwards went into the State Department where he now works as the senior policy advisor to Philip Gordon. So I would like to say that, if what we said a year ago about US attitudes towards Europe wasn't right then, it is certainly right now, at least in the State Department. I want to run over briefly the argument made in that paper, because it was only 12 months ago and I do not think it has been invalidated; in fact, it has been reinforced by subsequent events. The basic thesis of the report at that time was that dramatic global power shifts were under way: a situation in which America was rapidly moving from its brief spell as hyper-power to the rather different position of being primus inter pares (‘the first among equals’). Certainly, it remains the most powerful nation on earth but is less able to dictate to the rest of the world. Our view was that Americans understood this and were adapting accordingly but that Europeans were in denial about what was going on. We clearly see the rather intelligent way in which Americans understood that they need to establish networks of strategic partnerships around the world, to find people to help them to do the things they want to do. Hence the ‘reset’ with Russia, and the G20. A couple of days ago the Indians found themselves being informed that they, together with the Americans, would define the 21st century. I don't think Europeans have really absorbed this sort of change in world affairs at all. There is just a vague discomfort at the sense of America drifting off: looking towards the Pacific, being less ‘Atlanticist.’ Fundamentally, on this side of the Atlantic, we remain deeply psychologically attached to the way the world worked in the 20th century. We enjoyed a great deal, under which we acknowledged and followed American leadership and, in exchange, we got for ourselves a junior role in the partnership – the West – which ran the world. I think we are finding it tremendously difficult to accept that, at last, that deal is no longer on offer


16

Transatlantic Partnerships: EU-USA

Nick Witney

for various reasons. The most important reason is that the West – indeed to the extent that this is a meaningful political construct any more – doesn't run the world any longer. A further key reason is that we no longer need American protection. Actually, we at this end of the Eurasian land mass are safer than we have ever been at any time in recorded history. This gives us the chance to stand up a little if that is we want to do, but we are a bit reluctant to take this action. Indeed the Americans, by which I mean President Obama, expressed it beautifully when he first came to Europe for his first NATO summit two years ago. He said that Americans don’t want to be the patrons of Europe, they want to be the partners of Europe. ‘Grow up please Europeans – make yourselves useful to us and get over these habits of constant deference to us that you have demonstrated.’ From the Obama point of view, the European response to that appeal, particularly on Guantanamo and Afghanistan, was certainly seen through American eyes to be pretty disappointing. So you are left, I suggest, with the situation in which Europe, seen from Washington is not a liability – there is no particular security problem here, nothing to worry about very much – but it is also not much of an asset. The Americans are disappointed on that score. If you are neither a liability nor an asset, you frankly do not figure very much in the accounts. I think this is roughly where we are. This view of a certain indifference to us is, of course, the thing that we find most difficult to take. Rather naughtily, someone in the State Department observed a few weeks ago: ‘the real problem of managing Europe is managing egos’. If, as Europeans, we present ourselves to the Americans as being divided, the Americans will happily divide us. But the irony is that, over the last four or five years, initially in the later days of President George W. Bush and subsequently increasingly clearly with Obama, the Americans would have a preference for Europeans pulling together in the hope that this would be most effective. Now, we do not necessarily want that message. The British, of course, are particularly bad at rejecting it. We like our self-appointed role as the American brakeman on the bobsleigh of European integration. We enjoy being more ‘Catholic than the Pope’ in this regard. But the Brits are not alone; Europeans as a whole feel that any sort of consolidated European position vis-á-vis America is somehow indecent, a bit like ganging up – not the way we should behave. We much prefer to conduct transatlantic relations through NATO under American


iCES Occasional Paper 06

17

leadership or bilaterally. In the report we published a year ago, we had some fun with all the ‘special relationships’ that so many Europeans think they have with Americans, the inside track in Washington. The view of the Germans is that they understand fully that the Brits have this idea of special relationship, built on rather old-fashioned ideas of nuclear cooperation and so on, but ‘we Germans have the real economic and civil society links with Americans, and you know, it is OUR voice that gets listened to in Washington’. The French have this illusion about their role in the American Revolution with Lafayette; ‘we are the naughty child, but when we work with the Americans they love us.’ And so it goes across the European landscape. It is all rather childish – we even said, infantile. It amounts to a European refusal to accept proper responsibility for looking after ourselves and taking responsibility for our own position in the world. At the same time, this is mixed with the rather attention-seeking behaviour which plainly Obama has had enough of – all the summitry and European leaders demanding photo opps [photo opportunities]. Indeed, we characterised the European approach to transatlantic relations as essentially fetishism, by which we meant the veneration of something in and of itself for its own sake, a constant concern and taking the temperature of the transatlantic relationship without ever really giving thought to what we want to use that relationship for, what we want to get out of it. I think it is interesting that the most successful piece of transatlantic European diplomacy in the past year has been, although I hate to say it, the European Parliament's refusal to accept the new deal on disclosure of financial data under the SWIFT [Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications] system which all the European leaders had signed up to. It was essentially an American link to controlling terrorist finance. The EU parliament said, ‘no we don’t like this, it is too intrusive, it is asymmetric’, and they threw it out. That certainly had an impact on Washington! The Vice-President and the Secretary of State suddenly realised that the EU parliament was there and began taking notice. Sometimes we should think more about being awkward rather than being helpful. That was the sort of thesis advanced in our report (Shapiro & Witney 2009). I don't think that the events of the last 12 months have particularly invalidated it. Obama’s no-show at the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall; the Copenhagen Conference (on Climate Change) with the shocking sight of an American president doing deals with the Chinese without reference to Europeans; the acrimonious cancellation of the


18

Transatlantic Partnerships: EU-USA

Nick Witney

scheduled (or possibly not) visit of Obama to Madrid for a US-EU summit; a small but very symbolic thing, a rather technical thing: America’s decision to abolish the Joint Forces Command, the command which sat in Norfolk, Virginia and alongside which NATO had erected its Allied Command Transformation. And without reference to NATO, the Joint Forces Command has gone, leaving half of the NATO command structure on the wrong side of the Atlantic headed up by a French four-star general with nobody to talk to. I think this was a careless action by the Pentagon, but it is indicative. Of course, the latest thing, the latest cat thrown amongst the European pigeons, has been the IMF [International Monetary Fund] voting rights issue, in which Obama has engineered a dynamic move that has forced the Europeans, not before time, to give up two seats on the IMF. So, the Atlantic is getting wider. Some people will say that this judgement is putting too much weight onto those governmental things which are the froth on the surface of a real relationship that belongs to the people. The important thing, they argue, is the huge economic investment, trade, commercial relations, and connections of people. On the other hand, I think you need to be careful about putting too much weight on the economic and cultural links. It was only a hundred years ago that everyone was saying that, with such economic and cultural links around Europe, war was simply no longer possible in Europe and then came 1914. I am not suggesting that we are going to fight across the Atlantic, but I am suggesting that the business of governments and geostrategy still matters more than it is perhaps fashionable to acknowledge, and geo-strategically we are in different places: we Americans and we Europeans. And remember, America is looking to China. I must give you a little lovely little quote from the Washington Post, or rather from Ben Rhodes, who is the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications. This is about a month old: 'we want to be unsubtle about this – if you look at the focus of the US in the world, when we took office we felt it was lopsided; frankly, Asia is where the action is’. Of course he is right, and we think that in Europe too. Look at the obeisance paid by President Sarkozy last week to the ‘New Emperor of the Middle Kingdom’, and now, of course, David Cameron is out there, making the competitive British counter-offer for a special relationship with China. China matters enormously to all of us. I think it matters particularly and profoundly though to America that they want to stay in the Western Pacific and that the Chinese want them out. If there is to be a war between major powers, or if there is a risk of war, or rather a risk of war that needs


iCES Occasional Paper 06

19

management between major powers in the next half century, it is in the Taiwan straits, the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea. That is fundamental for American foreign policy; we Europeans can merely rejoice in the fact that it is on the far side of the world. Geography matters. Where geography is less kind to Europeans is that, whether we like it or not, we have to rub along with Islam. They are there on our borders, and as part of our society. We are Islamic to a significant extent and we have to wrestle with these incompatibilities and frictions whereas America has the exclusion option. The trauma of 9/11 [11 September 2001] makes it very difficult for Americans to sort out the difference between Islam and radical terrorism, and of course, there is the power of the Israel lobby. The American view of the Middle East is, in the judgement of most if not all Europeans, lopsided in favour of Israel. I cite this as another significant area where, frankly, the geo-strategic interests of the United States and those of Europe diverge. There are other issues, such as climate change. President Obama is very nice on the issue but basically America wants to go on emitting. We in Europe see climate change as the existential threat. Americans think (and I keep on saying these grand things about Americans – I hope I will be slapped down and corrected in a minute) the existential threat to them is terrorism. We Europeans just don't see terrorism in those terms. We, on our different sides of the Atlantic, are diverging geostrategically: and it is high time that we on the European side accepted that we are, like it or not, in the same European boat. We will sink or swim together. For the moment we are steadily sinking. We need to begin to conduct transatlantic relationships more in terms not of NATO, not of bilateral relations, but of the European Union talking to the United States. That is pretty difficult because the EU does not yet have anything much to say. Let us hope that, in the next two or three years, the Lisbon [Treaty] arrangements will gradually help the EU to work out what it wants in the world and arrive at joint policies. Then the EU will be in a much better position to conduct a transatlantic relationship that will be, at the end of the day, for sensible and enduring reasons, a closer relationship than that between any other two poles that you could name in the multi-polar world. But we won't get this re-booted, re-based relationship until we accept that we as Europeans need to be clearer about our own interests, define them better, stand up for them better and accept that that is the way both to


20

Transatlantic Partnerships: EU-USA

Nick Witney

serve our interests and to give the Americans the partner they want in today’s world.


Colleen Graffy Associate Professor of Law Colleen Graffy is Associate Professor of Law and Director of Global Programs at Pepperdine University. She has academic qualifications and experience on both sides of the Atlantic and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy for Europe and Eurasia in the US State Department. She has been at the forefront of communications of US public diplomacy to the wider world, and especially to a younger audience.


iCES Occasional Paper 06

23

An American Perspective Colleen Graffy First, let me commend the Institute of Contemporary European Studies and the Senior European Experts for their very thoughtful and thorough paper “Is the Atlantic Getting Wider? The Relationship between the EU, its Member States and the United States.” It succinctly lays down the background of the relationship between the US and the EU. It describes some of the competing theories of where the US role is in the world today and very constructively sets out a vision for a new EU policy framework to rebuild the relationship. However, by labelling the last section: “Rebuilding the Transatlantic Relationship: A Strategy for the EU,” it does rather suggest that the answer to the question – from the authors’ point of view – is that the Atlantic is indeed getting wider. There are, of course, good arguments as to why that might be so. Nick Witney has laid out some of those, and the paper has laid out others. For example, President Obama not attending the US/EU summit in Spain, or the ill-timed message to Warsaw about the US’s new missile defence policy on the 70th anniversary of the invasion in Poland, or, causing much consternation in some quarters: the ‘re-set button’ with Russia. I can add some others from the perspective of the US. For example, I noticed that the paper describes trade as an area where we are working well, but many American companies feel that, in addition to the normal challenges of trying to do business in Europe – that is, the red tape of each individual nation – they also have the challenge of cutting through EU regulations in order to do business. So, from an American perspective, whilst there is an understanding that the EU is still in the process of trying to resolve some of these bureaucratic issues in forming an internal market and the movement of goods, persons and services, it does create impediments for investment when there are two layers of regulations to manoeuvre through. So too in trying to resolve immigration issues: the American government will work bilaterally with other countries on immigration issues and then be criticised by the EU for not working through the EU. However, at the moment, the EU does not have the capacity to assist on some of these immigration issues that only a nation can resolve in its sovereign national capacity. There is a view that there is protection of EU business and to a certain extent one understands that,


24

An American Perspective

Colleen Graffy

but with the preferences being given for the EU over the US, the Americans are thinking: ‘how do we do business within this market?’ Having added to the position that the Atlantic may be getting wider let me now add to the argument of why it is not. To begin, I want to communicate the view from within the United States of the importance of, first of all, Britain, but also the EU. The United States was a very keen early supporter of the creation of a European community of industry and commerce out of the destruction and the ashes of the Second World War and we all understand why. But there also came a point, many years later, when some thought that this might not be such a good development: the EU would be competition to the United States and it would be better to have a divided, weak Europe than to have a united, strong EU. That perspective was very short-lived; the perception from the United States is that it makes sense to have a united, strong European Union. This vision makes sense because we share common values, and the US needs a strong partner with common values in a world with such enormous global problems. If anything, the frustration is that the EU has been too internalfocussed and too concentrated on slowly building the European Union at the expense of engaging more widely. America is impatiently waiting for the EU to be able to be there with the United States to help resolve global issues. Nick [Witney] was describing the American network of strategic partnerships and poking a bit of fun at the many special relationships with our allies. But there is a difference between a partner and an ally. We can be a partner with Pakistan, we can be a partner with China, we can be a partner with any country on a variety of issues but we can’t be an ally with every country. I think we should not forget the formation of our relationship with Britain and with EU countries and the importance of the values we share – they are not shared globally. It is not infantile to look for reassurance in an allied relationship but it is unfortunate that steady assurances have been somehow lacking. Let me respond to three areas where Nick Witney sees areas of divergence: geo-strategy, Islam and climate change. As for the diverging geo-strategic issues, I see the United States wanting to work with Europe on Iran, on the Middle East, on Afghanistan, and on the global economy. America's attention on the Taiwan straits, the South China Sea and Yellow Sea reflects concern for freedom of the seas as well as for conflicting territorial claims by nations in that region. The US


iCES Occasional Paper 06

25

is involved because it is a flash-point area that has huge potential for greater conflagration for our allies and the world. With regard to Islam, although Nick [Witney] is correct that Islam is not on our border as it is in Europe, it is part of our society. The United States has a great interest in Islam particularly after the traumatic event of 9/11. President Bush worked very hard to ensure that Americans were aware of the differences between Islam and radical terrorism; that is why he visited a mosque just days after 9/11, appointed the first US envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held the first ever White House Iftar dinner (now a regular feature on the social calendar throughout government departments in Washington, DC and US embassies worldwide) and put the first Koran into the White House Library. In fact, Islam is part of America – with over 1,200 mosques – and integration issues are very much on the radar screen in the US. With regard to climate change: the United States cares about the environment. The idea that America loves to pollute, is the world’s greatest emitter of greenhouse gases and doesn't mind, just isn't true. The United States was part of the ozone depletion debate and dealing with chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) before the United Nations’ treaty on the protection of the ozone layer. America recognised that, first of all, there was scientific proof that CFCs were contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer (though the evidence was lacking initially), but secondly that a level economic playing field could be negotiated that allowed businesses to switch from CFCs to other products that would not cause damage. So too with climate change, the fact that America is not on board with Kyoto does not mean that America doesn’t care about climate change – it means it doesn’t care for a treaty that does not take a science-based approach and provide a level economic playing field. President Bush is erroneously quoted as not “believing in climate change.” Yet, if you actually read his Rose Garden Speech (11 June 2001), he clearly states that temperatures are rising, that greenhouse gases have increased substantially since the beginning of the industrial revolution and that the National Academy of Sciences indicates that the increase is due in large part to human activity. He said that, although scientific uncertainties remain as to how fast change will occur or what impact our actions in redressing it will have, we should take steps now to address the factors that contribute to climate change. The reference to scientific uncertainties was not with regard to whether climate change was


26

An American Perspective

Colleen Graffy

happening but as to what actions needed to be taken and by when to achieve what result. The US position was and is results-driven and not just for purposes of feeling good about signing a treaty. The US view is that results will not be achieved unless China and India are a part of any agreement. Europe did not share that same concern. So the fact that Obama worked directly with China in order to achieve their inclusion makes sense. Further actions that suggest the Atlantic relationship is still strong include: the arrival of Patriot missiles in Poland; the Baltic exercise; the contingency plans against external attack (that hadn’t happened before), and the implementation of the US-Georgia charter on strategic partnership. I have read Phil Gordon’s [Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, US State Department] speech (Gordon 2010) and it repeats the same talking points that we had under the Bush administration: the US continues to work as a partner with Europe on internal issues to ensure that Europe is whole, free and at peace and as a partner externally to help solve global problems. But whether the Atlantic is or is not getting wider doesn’t really matter because the perception is that it is getting wider and that the relationship between the US and the EU is in decline. My brief at the State Department was in public diplomacy and the importance of perceptions in foreign policy so I can’t help but think that our discussion should really be: why is there the perception that our relations are in decline and, if we don’t think that is good, what are we going to do about it? It can’t just be that we are drifting apart because President Obama gave a lousy present to the UK Prime Minister or didn't show up to a party, but the narrative is that ‘the US is just not that into you’ and that is not a good narrative to have. In my view there are three reasons why this negative narrative of decline in US- EU relations is happening: The first is that there has been anti-Americanism since the founding of the United States. As Ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson found it necessary to bring an American moose to Europe to disprove the perception that plants, animals and humans in the New World were smaller and inferior to those in the Old World. This was thought true because, well, the New World itself was viewed as inferior! Not much has


iCES Occasional Paper 06

27

changed: I see that when I go to various countries, and observe their media. In Germany, I remember there were basically three themes about America: ‘Americans are fat, Americans are stupid, and Americans are warmongers’. The media might change the headline and story but the rotation among these three themes remained the same. It would be inappropriate, of course, for a political leader to say to a free press: ‘don't do that’. But somewhere there needs to be leadership saying ‘to continually bash the United States is not going to be conducive to our relationship with the United States’. Not, mind you, for what it might do to the feelings of the American people, but for what it does to the perceptions of the European people about America. Why would they want to be in an alliance with a country so negatively portrayed? The second reason for the negativity vis-á-vis the relationship with the US comes down to politics: a Republican administration just does not receive the same amount of love as a Democrat administration. I remember when I was a student in Heidelberg, Germany and President Reagan was in office. The popular view was that Reagan was a B-rate actor (omitting, of course, that he was Governor of California), that he was stupid, read cue cards, was like his Spitting Image puppet, and a warmonger. It wasn’t till many years later that he was acknowledged as a great communicator and singularly effective in bringing an end to the Cold War. Similarly, with President Bush the view was that he had never travelled abroad, didn’t own a passport, had never read a book, and wasn’t very smart, all of which are not true – but that was/is the perception. My experience in Washington, DC included examples of leaders coming to the US to meet Bush with a negative view beforehand but departing with the view that: ‘this is a man we can deal with, he says what he is going to do and then he does it, he doesn’t say one thing in private and say or do another thing in public.’ They would comment that Bush was really smart, didn’t have notes or aides yet knew their issue thoroughly. However, their publics’ view was very negative – so negative that it was not in their best interest to communicate anything positive about Bush to shift that perception. Why should they spend their political capital to do that? It is not good for our relations if the American public can never elect a Republican president without a negative, knee-jerk reaction from left-ofcentre Europe. The US-bashing that takes place does not remain limited


28

An American Perspective

Colleen Graffy

to anti-Republican of course: it becomes anti-US, which makes it very hard to recover even when there is a Democrat in power. This brings me to the third reason for the popular view that the Atlantic is getting wider, which is that the Obama Administration has made some missteps as discussed earlier with regard to the relationship and this, combined with the residual US-bashing during the Bush administration, is having an impact. Despite coming into office with tremendous approval ratings overseas, the positive view of Obama is slowly dissipating. We have almost the opposite of the situation I described with Bush; leaders go in to a meeting high on President Obama and often leave slightly disappointed – but they still want that ‘photo opp’ because their people love him. Many of the missteps have to do with optics and poor communications, which should be rectifiable, and one can only hope that corrections will be made before it is too late. In conclusion, I believe we need a joint strategy for rebuilding the public perception of why the transatlantic relationship is important. It would have three strands. The first would be to encourage leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to articulate the uniqueness of our shared values, the importance of our relationship and the vital need for our alliance in resolving global issues. The second would be for citizens, think-tanks, journalists, and organizations to create a positive counter-weight to the steady drum-beat of negativity about the US in the media which is slowly turning the people of Europe against America. The third would be to find ways of creating and fostering bridges for successive generations of Americans and Europeans. The warmest expressions of fondness for each other’s country almost always stemmed from youthful study or travel abroad experiences. The Bologna Process may be replacing American universities with European destinations so it will take extra efforts to recreate the sort of experiences that laid the foundation for our heretofore mutual understanding and affection. I see a bit of schadenfreude in the constant bell- ringing announcing the demise of the US as a superpower and world leader. There is great clamour, particularly in Europe, to declare that we are in a ‘post-American’ world, and that ‘it’s over’ for the US. Be careful what you wish for – if you don’t have America in a leadership role and you condition publics not to want America as a partner and ally, then you will find yourself in a different


iCES Occasional Paper 06

29

world. One only needs to look at the challenges we have ahead to realise that that would not be the best world in which to live.


Lord Jay Cross bencher in the House of Lords. Lord [Michael] Jay is a cross bencher in the House of Lords. In addition to his junior postings at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he was Director General for European and Economic Affairs, Ambassador to France and then Permanent Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs [Head of the Diplomatic Service] from 2002 to 2006. Since his retirement from the diplomatic service, he has served as non-executive director of several companies, including EDF, and he is chairman of Merlin.


iCES Occasional Paper 06

31

A View from the UK and the EU Michael Jay One of the disadvantages of speaking third is that the insights one had the previous night which one thought were rather original turn out not to be so original after all when you listen to the first two speakers! I thought I would start with a little bit of history of the transatlantic relationship which struck me when thinking about it over the weekend. I start with the Alanbrooke diaries, which some of you may have read: ‘At a Chiefs of Staff meeting on 17 May 1943: another very disappointing day with a long week with Combined Chiefs of Staff from 10.30 onwards again to discuss global strategy that led us nowhere. The trouble is that the American mind likes proceeding from the general to the particular, and with the problem we have to solve now, we cannot evolve any form of general doctrine to be carefully examined in particular.’ Next, moving on little bit to Suez in 1956, where the British and French hatched a plot with the Israelis to get rid of President Nasser; this failed because the Americans refused to support it. The third example is Vietnam – I remember well marching through the streets of London, it was the only form of social entertainment at London University – it was in the late 1960s where, again, a war was being fought by the Americans, a war that needed support from the allies but Harold Wilson’s Britain stayed firmly on the sidelines. The fourth example, which I remember from my time in the Foreign Office, is the now largely forgotten invasion of Grenada by the USA in 1983: the invasion of a former British colony, of which the Queen was Head of State, without Mrs Thatcher, Prime Minister at the time, being told in advance. The fifth is, of course, the Iraq war. One tends to think now that the Iraq war was Britain on the same side as the United States, and everybody else on the other side. One forgets that the EU was divided down the middle at the time which led President Chirac to make the famous remark that the new member states had passed up a splendid example to keep silent.


32

A View from the UK and the EU

Michael Jay

Then, and this has already been mentioned, the climate change summit in Copenhagen at the end of last year. I wasn't there but I had been doing quite a lot of work, including in Washington and Beijing and elsewhere on climate change. The final deal was agreed, I think, by the US, China, Brazil and India, without the Europeans being in the room at all. I still find this an extraordinary episode, and I can’t help feeling that – no doubt you will all tell me that I am wrong – had Tony Blair been the EU special representative, he would have just gone into the room and said, ‘hey you guys, here I am, let's talk about this.’ At least, the EU would have been there. That was an extraordinary episode when the Europeans were not in the room at all at the end of a really important international conference. Finally, we have the US staying away from the Madrid summit. I mention all of that because it illustrates to me the fact that UK-US, EU-US relations over the last 10, 20, 30, 40 years have come and gone. At times, the Atlantic has seemed very narrow; at times, it has seemed a huge gulf; at times, it has been quite calm; and, at times, it has been particularly stormy. There is no mention in all the things I have discussed as to a permanent, stable relationship; it has been punctured from time to time. I think it is true to say that the relationship was stronger at the time when there was a common threat from Soviet imperialism. There was a real need that was encapsulated in NATO, however, rather than in the European Union. There was a very strong transatlantic relationship which was clearly needed but, as times have changed, so the nature of the relationship has changed. It seems to me that this will continue to be the case. As others have really said, the times are changing now, and global politics are changing remarkably. Therefore, it seems to me inevitable that relationships between the EU and the US will need to change too. It is worth looking again at a tiny bit of history. It is worth reflecting on what the EU has achieved over the last 30 years or so: the construction of an economic bloc after the war, guaranteeing peace or helping to guarantee peace in Western Europe, was enormously important. We must not forget that, and it was also enormously important to the United States: the combination of the EU and NATO, both keeping the threat of Soviet adventurism at bay. Crucially important, too, I think in showing the Soviet satellites that there was a viable alternative to communism as a form of government if they could escape from it.


iCES Occasional Paper 06

33

Therefore, both the EU and NATO accelerated the collapse of communism. I would argue that they certainly did so. Then, the EU enlargement ensured that the very difficult transformation happened peacefully. Again, we tend to forget quite what an extraordinary achievement that was in the 1990s. I don’t think we should ignore either that, if you look over the last 30 years or so, you see from both the US and the EU, a very strong support for free market capitalism. I think this has been an important force for good in the world. It has not been without its tension and, of course, there have been trade tensions between the EU and the US. But I don't think they have really got in the way of the strongest advocacy of both free markets and free market capitalism. I also think this is still relevant today. Or, take strong joint EU and US opposition to terrorism: I was in France as Ambassador at the time of 9/11 and Le Monde had an editorial 'Nous sommes tous Américains'. There was a very strong sense that this was our struggle too: this was a common struggle, and we were in it together. Going on in the same vein, as has been mentioned, I think there is still now a residual concern, and rightly so, about a possibly resurgent Russia. If Russia were to become resurgent, that would have implications for the EU and for the US. That would lead to a degree of commonality as is also the case with the common threat in the Middle East, which Nick [Witney] mentioned, in particular Iran. I think one of the successes over the last few years has been the way in which the EU and the US have kept together really remarkably over lessening of tensions so as to adopt a common approach to an increasing nuclear threat from Iran. That's all by way of background: how we got to where we are now. But I think that, if we look at the world today, it is very different from 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. When I sit in a room with Michael Butler [Sir Michael

Butler – Chairman, Senior European Experts Group; UK Permanent Representative to the EC, 1979-85] and David Hannay [Lord Hannay, UK Permanent Representative to the EC, 1985-90 and UK Permanent Representative to the UN, 1990-95] in front of me, I feel as if I am sitting an exam which I am almost most certain to fail – but anyway, it is good to have you both here. But the global context really is changing. China is increasingly powerful and a potential threat to the US, though their economies are interestingly intertwined. I find that this relationship of intertwined, interdependent economies and yet perceived threats as one of the most really fascinating issues for geo-politics over the next 10 to 15


34

A View from the UK and the EU

Michael Jay

years. I do not know how it is going to pan out, but one can totally understand that, sitting in Washington, this is where the threat and, if you like, the opportunity is. You can also see why the US wants to have a close alliance, or closer alliance, with India in order to set itself in a way against China. For the British it is slightly odd to see a special relationship between India and the USA. Isn't that what we are here for? Well, it was, but the answer is not any longer and we need to recognise that. To the south, Brazil is becoming hugely important as a global player, and this hasn't been mentioned yet. In fact, it is seldom mentioned here in Britain but I think it is enormously important. So you can understand, if you are sitting in Washington, that you are not looking much across the Atlantic: you are looking at China and India, and you are looking south to Brazil because that's where the opportunities, the threats, and the challenges lie. The trouble for us in Europe is that all this is happening when the EU is far from a monolithic bloc with a growing defence capacity, though it has economic strength, Back in the 1980s and 1990s, many Europeans thought wrongly that it was already a strong integrated bloc, and I think, equally wrongly, they now think it should become one. There is that kind of image of the EU still in people's mind which isn’t actually a reflection of the EU today. The EU is “a union of 27 very different sovereign member states” with some others keen to join. It is a free trade area, and pretty nearly a single market with free movement of people and capital. All that is so obvious but it’s no small achievement. It also includes a monetary union which is now under real stress and I can say, with the wonderful benefit of hindsight, how right Gordon Brown was to ensure that we kept out of the monetary union. But ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable for the German Finance Minister to say, as Wolfgang Schäuble said recently and I quote the FT [Financial Times] so it must be true: 'that should a Eurozone member ultimately find itself unable to consolidate its budgets or restore its competitiveness, this country should as a last resort exit the monetary union rather than remain being a member of the EU’. We were all brought up to believe that the economic union was absolutely irreversible, but here a German Finance Minister is envisaging the break-up of economic and monetary union. I think that, on the EU front, the future of the monetary union is absolutely crucial to the economic and political stability of the European Union. Preserving that has


iCES Occasional Paper 06

35

to be an absolute priority task for the EU. If they get this wrong, all they have achieved over the last 30 or 40 years risks going wrong. That is not in our interest nor in the USA’s interest, it seems to me, so that is a vital first task. The EU does have foreign policy influence, as I have mentioned over Iran. It has limited defence capability but it has an important economic aid programme: that last bit in particular is worth stressing. But the limited defence capacity, and the foreign policy influence, only really work because of the growing acceptance in the EU of 27 that some member states can go and do things on their own, and that the others will agree with it. That too was anathema some 10-15 years ago, but it is now pretty much accepted. I haven't read a huge amount of opposition to the UKFrench defence treaties announced the other day. I think that is an excellent thing that the UK and France should be doing that. Set against the dream of a federal union with its own monetary policy and defence capability, the EU today may seem rather a disappointment but, set against the chaos of the post-war era, it is a huge achievement. The EU over the next year or two will and must focus on its internal structure; it must focus in particular on economic and monetary union but it must not do so at the expense of its external policy. Iran is a very good example of its external influence but the Copenhagen summit was a nadir. Changes in global politics – the rise of China, China versus India, the rise of Brazil and so on – are inevitable. They mean that the EU will feature less in US thinking than has been the case in the past. I don't think that should be a great worry to us. It is great that the US is thinking about the problems it has elsewhere. Even as far the US is concerned, the EU can be a stable economic and monetary system with a developing foreign policy: it seems to me that is an extremely good balance of relationships. We shouldn’t be worrying all the time that the EU is what it is. Although it falls short of what some people thought it might have been, it is actually rather important and I think we should welcome that, and let the US get on with its issues in China and elsewhere. In other words, I think the Atlantic has always been pretty wide, at times it has been stormy, and at times a bit narrower. I think it is now calmer than it has been for quite a while: a bit foggy perhaps, but the storms are elsewhere. If the storms are elsewhere, and the US is dealing with those storms elsewhere, let us do what is right for us. We need to


36

A View from the UK and the EU

Michael Jay

accept that the relationship with the US is important but it is not a kind of standard against which we should judge the future of the EU. I think that things look pretty good. I have always been an optimist because it’s too depressing to be a pessimist. I think the EU is doing pretty well: Europe’s relationship with Obama is a good relationship and so I am feeling positive about things, especially here at iCES and EBS London.


Senior European Experts The Senior European Experts group was set up 11 years ago to provide high quality briefing papers on the European Union to opinion-formers within the UK. The Senior European Experts group consists of five former UK Ambassadors to the EU, former senior officials in the EU Institutions and others who have worked in a senior position in or with EU Institutions. Members of the Senior European Experts group:

Mr Graham Avery Sir Colin Budd Sir Michael Butler [Chairman] Lord Butler of Brockwell Sir Brian Crowe Sir David Elliott Sir Michael Franklin Lord Hannay of Chiswick Lord Jay of Ewelme Lord Kerr Sir Michael Palliser Sir Emyr Jones Parry Sir Stephen Wall Mr Michael Welsh Lord Williamson Mr Nicholas Kent

The Senior European Experts group has no party political affiliation. As an independent group, it makes its Briefing Notes available to the Institute of Contemporary European Studies (www.ebslondon.ac.uk/ices), the European Movement, the All-Party EU Parliamentary Group and to others interested in European Affairs.


iCES Occasional Paper 06

37

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider? The Relationship between the EU, its Member States and the United States Senior European Experts “If we're honest... we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart and forgotten our shared destiny”, Senator Barack Obama, Berlin, 24 July 2008

Introduction The Institute for Contemporary European Studies and the Senior European Experts group decided that now was the right time to look at the EU-US relationship as we approach the mid-point in President Obama’s term of office. Is there a drifting apart of the EU and the US? If so, why, and why has the Obama administration – initially so welcomed in Europe – not restored the relationship following the difficult presidency of George W Bush? In recent years there has been a sense in Europe that the close relationship between the European democracies and the United States since 1945 has become fractured. Concerns about the fragility of the relationship were increased by the sharp divisions over the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Optimism that this situation would change with the election of President Obama was only partially abated when it began to appear that the new administration was certainly not hostile but - perhaps worse indifferent. The unhappy outcome of the Copenhagen climate change talks in December 2009, and the recent loss of the cap and trade legislation in Congress, confirmed many European’s worst fears about the direction of US foreign policy. Europe – they felt - would be sidelined as it was in those talks, as the US placed greater importance on its relationship with the developing countries of Brazil, India and China. The threat of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact in Europe served as a powerful unifying factor during the Cold War. The threat was to the USA as well as to European countries and was so large that it acted as an overwhelming incentive to transatlantic co-operation between the Western democracies, and to the establishment of NATO. Europe was a key focus of the United States’ foreign policy from 1947 to the 1990s as a result of


38

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

that threat. Given that the threat is no longer, it is not surprising that US interest and focus has moved elsewhere. Although the US was inclined in 1945 to return to its former stance of non-participation in Europe, the deterioration in relations with the USSR and the scale of the economic and social crisis in Europe led to a change of heart by the Truman administration. America’s generosity with the Marshall Plan was part of its response to the new situation and helped to create a new dynamic in the relationship. The US supported moves towards greater European integration from the 1940s onwards as a way of strengthening Europe against Communism and the Soviet threat. There were transatlantic disagreements during the Cold War and sometimes those differences of view were significant – as over the construction of a gas pipeline from the USSR to Western Europe in the 1980s. It would be wrong to characterise the relationship between the US and Western Europe during the Cold War years as a perfect one because it was not. There was seldom a time, for example, when the US and the EU did not have a dispute over some trade issue or other but the need for Western unity always overcame transatlantic disagreements. Many Europeans want the US to return to what Robert Harvey has called the “enlightened, altruistic and simultaneously self-interested foreign policy that characterised the nearly half-century between 1941 and 1 1989”. Yet many Americans would ask why they should do so and question whether those in Europe who suggest that the “blame” lies on the US side for the apparent deterioration in relations, are accurately reflecting the recent history of the relationship. After all, when Obama entered the White House, Europe’s response to three issues that concerned his administration was well short of what was needed. The sniping from Europeans over the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre – which many of them had called for – and the refusal to accept a share of the inmates; the failure to provide additional unencumbered combat troops for Afghanistan; and the failure to agree on a common approach to Russia, all represented a missed opportunity to improve EU-US relations. Yet the EU and the US still have so much in common. Each is the other’s essential partner in trade and investment as well as on all sorts of issues and in many multilateral institutions. The relationship is often stronger than it outwardly appears. To begin with, there are the deep 2 economic ties. Each is the largest investor in the other. Millions of jobs in the US depend on EU investment and the same applies in the EU in


iCES Occasional Paper 06

39

reverse. Cultural ties and historical ties between the EU and the USA are profound as well. After all, the United States was created from parts of North America once ruled by the British, French and Spanish. English is the mother tongue of over 80 per cent of US citizens but Spanish is the second most spoken language there.3 Many other European nationalities emigrated to the US, including large numbers of Germans, Greeks, Irish people, Poles and Swedes. This background paper accepts that the relationship between the United States and the EU has changed since the end of the Cold War and that it makes no sense to hanker after a return to the status quo ante. It analyses the reasons why this change has taken place, looks at some of the theories that seek to explain this, and suggests a new EU policy framework in order to rebuild the relationship to mutual benefit.

1990 and After: The End of the EU-US Relationship? The notion that the EU-US relationship might wither altogether may seem over dramatic today but the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the end of Communism in Europe that it signified, was a hugely de-stabilising factor in transatlantic relations. 4 There was a fundamental change in the world order as the USSR dissolved into many of its constituent parts (the Warsaw Pact dissolved also) and the hitherto extreme security threat to Western Europe faded away. Freedom for the countries of central and East European became possible. Although NATO survived, it was in a reduced form militarily, and from the US perspective, it was politically no longer the key transatlantic forum that it had been. There were hopes that the end of Communism in Europe and the new security situation would lead to what was described as “a new world order� in which the international community would settle its disputes through the United Nations. These hopes were dashed after the break-up of Yugoslavia and UN peacekeeping disasters in Somalia and Rwanda 5 and a period of uncertainty followed. Tensions in the EU-transatlantic relationship developed over how to handle the civil war in the former Yugoslavia and over the question of enlargement of the EU. The civil war in Yugoslavia tested the resolve of Europeans and in the eyes of many, it was found wanting. The US pressure for EU enlargement was not always welcome but it was consistent with postwar US policy, which had long supported greater European integration. The terrible events of September 11 2001 for a time brought the Member States of the EU and the USA closer together. But the profoundly


40

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

different world view of the administration of President George W Bush from that of many EU nations quickly led to disagreements. The beginnings of this difference of view could be seen in the days after 9/11, when some senior figures within the Bush administration were reluctant to accept NATO invoking Article 5 of its Treaty (an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all) in response to the attacks.6 Although NATO in fact did invoke Article 5 – and did so unanimously – the reluctance of some in the Bush administration to accept the idea was indicative of a new unilateralism which ran in parallel with the administration’s coalition building over Afghanistan. The strong support that the EU (and European nations in NATO) gave the USA after 9/11 continued with later deployments in Afghanistan under the auspices of NATO and the UNapproved International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) but the US declined some European offers of assistance, preferring to run its own operations in Afghanistan whilst the armed forces of EU Member States generally served in ISAF. But by the time of the President’s January 2002 State of the Union address, marked differences in policy were emerging. Bush’s combative speech, in which he described Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an “axis of evil” and promised that where allies did not act against terrorists on their own soil, “America will”, provoked criticism in many countries. The New York Times noted that Britain was “among the few voices praising Mr Bush” and quoted Professor François Heisbourg, as Director of the French ‘Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique’, as saying: ''We tend to see September 11 in parenthesis, an aberration that is now behind us. But the Bush speech makes clear that is not the case for the U.S. For Americans, Sept. 11 marks a strategic change in the landscape. And that will be very jarring for many people here to hear”.7 The unity largely achieved over Afghanistan was followed by divisions over Iraq. There were many reasons for the difference in view displayed so publicly in 2002-03, these included varying interpretations of the causes behind the 9/11 attacks but also different approaches to security. To many Europeans, the US action in Iraq was not motivated by a concern about WMD but by other factors. Europeans were (and are) less willing to use force, believing that diplomacy and other non-military options should be used first. This greater emphasis on “soft power” set many EU Member States apart from the US at that time. The disinclination to use military force partly reflected the fact that the post-Cold War defence cuts had been more far-reaching in Europe than US, not least because they began from a lower base. Although the US cut its defence spending by 21 per cent between 1986 and 1994 and the non-US NATO countries reduced


iCES Occasional Paper 06

41

theirs by the smaller figure of 8.2 per cent, the US was still spending a greater percentage of its GDP on defence than its European allies.8 Many in the Bush administration saw Europeans as weak and unwilling to fight and some rather clumsy US attempts to divide Europeans into different camps (“old Europe” and “new Europe”) in the spring of 2003 did not help to improve an already tense atmosphere. Europeans could point to the sometimes confusing messages from Washington about what they were expected to do to improve their contribution to European security. Neo-conservatives had a tendency to call for greater contributions to security by the EU countries but simultaneously to object to any development of the EU’s limited involvement in military operations. At the same time, the EU was preoccupied with internal issues, notably the long-running debate about EU structural change to deal with anticipated enlargement. Although the divisions between some European countries and the Bush administration were real and caused significant damage to relationships, there was a shift of gear in the second term of George W Bush’s administration. He proved more willing to embrace multilateralist solutions as the situation in Iraq deteriorated after the invasion and some of those on both sides of the Atlantic who had fuelled the divisions left the stage. EU-US tensions remained, partly because there were still disagreements amongst Europeans, but the atmosphere improved. The enlargement of the EU in 2004 to include 10 new members was the major preoccupation of the EU whilst being a welcome development to the US. Trade and other disagreements continued – notably over steel exports to the US - but were on the whole contained. The election of President Obama in 2008 led to a surge in optimism in US and around the world that the US would be a more willing and a more co-operative partner. This partly stemmed from a speech given in Berlin by the-then Senator Obama during the campaign. In it, Obama had emphasised the ties between Europe and the United States – so evident in the history of Berlin – and the challenges the world faced today. His declaration that, “no one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone”, was a ringing rejection of the unilateralism 9 of the Bush era and an endorsement of the European approach. But he also reiterated the importance of Europeans and Americans doing more:


42

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

“In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more – not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity”.10 Whilst that statement chimed with the opinions of many European political leaders, “doing more” did not necessarily appeal as much as the sentiment about partnership and co-operation. Once the election was won, whilst the European public gave Obama an enthusiastic welcome, their political leaders were caught off-guard by the hard-headed approach of his administration. A series of policy changes initiated by Obama caused concern within the EU. The first of these was the “reset” of relations with Russia. President Obama had been anxious to end the hostile climate in US-Russia relations, not least because of his ambition to achieve an arms reduction treaty that would see a further fall in the number of nuclear weapons maintained by the two countries. Russian willingness to go along with this and the new beginning that Secretary of State Clinton worked for with the Russian Foreign Minister was a concern to EU Member States, who were divided over how to handle Russia (and still are). Several EU countries also had significant concerns about Russian intentions towards them. Estonia had just had a major argument with Russia over the removal of a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn in 2007 and subsequent cyber attacks, the latter 11 believed by many to have been Russian organised. Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania all had disputes with Russia too, not least over the sitting of a proposed US missile defence system in central and Eastern Europe, which they had supported against furious Russian objections. The decision of President Obama to then withdraw that missile defence scheme may have removed one cause of tension in Eastern Europe, and enabled an improvement in US-Russian relations, but it was unnerving to several CEE countries, several of whose leaders had supported the missile defence scheme in defiance of public opinion in their own countries. Announcing it on the seventieth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 did not help to reassure EU Members that the US understood their often ambivalent feelings about Russia. Although long delayed, the President’s decision to go ahead with a troop surge in Afghanistan put NATO members in the EU on the spot: the US wanted European NATO members to also increase their troop numbers in Afghanistan and to remove operating restrictions that had


iCES Occasional Paper 06

43

often limited their deployment to less dangerous areas. This proposal had been foreshadowed in Obama’s Berlin speech: “…my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops”. Later in the same speech he was even more direct in his message to the EU: “In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad”. Yet despite having had more than a year’s warning, several of the key European members of NATO failed to respond adequately to the President’s call for more troops and greater burden-sharing in Afghanistan (although several countries did increase troop numbers, including Italy, Poland and the UK as had France and Germany). Much the same happened over the President’s proposals for closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. Obama said he wanted to close it but needed help in finding countries for some of its inmates to go to, as they could not be sent back to their countries of origin. Whilst EU Member States were keen to seen the Guantánamo Bay facility close, most of them baulked at taking its former inmates, especially when the US Congress said that none could be transferred to the US mainland. While Obama’s pledge to close the detention facility in a year was overambitious, it was unreasonable for those who had called for its closure to then decline to help in the process of doing so. The policy changes and missed opportunities of the first 18 months of the Obama Presidency led to a spate of soul-searching about the EU-US relationship in Europe. Obama was apparently frustrated that his call for clarity and a unity of purpose amongst EU Member States had not been responded to effectively and EU Member States complained that the President was indifferent to their concerns. For some Europeans, the claim that the President had withdrawn from the long-planned EU-US Summit in Spain in May 2010 (the White House said he had never promised to attend) – which was then postponed – was indicative of his disinterest. There was wounded pride too as EU officials claimed that they 12 had only learnt of the President’s withdrawal from the US media. The sense that US no longer regarded Europe, and particularly the EU, as that important and was looking elsewhere to build new partnerships,


44

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

was heightened by the way Europeans found themselves marginalised at the Copenhagen climate change talks in December 2009. The EU was understandably proud of its agenda-setting commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions – a field in which it unquestionably led the world - but found despite this that its influence over the outcome of the talks was relatively small. President Obama had focused his efforts on getting agreement from the Chinese, Indian, Brazilian and South African governments. Yet it was not only the EU Member States that felt marginalised in this process – Russia also had little say in the final outcome and the there was a much wider sense of frustration about the way the UN process worked. The leading group of industrialised, developing countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China (sometimes known as the BASIC group) – had been meeting before the Copenhagen Summit to agree a common approach to the talks and were strongly 13 opposed to the position taken at the Summit by the European countries. Obama had no choice but to work with these countries if anything was to be salvaged from the talks. The relationship between the United States and the European Union has changed over the years since the end of the Cold War; this change has been substantial and it raises important questions which the EU must address. Why the relationship changed and what that means for the EU is not easy to explain. A number of theories have been advanced and it is worth considering some of these.

Understanding the Changed Relationship: Three Analyses A multipolar world analysis Polarity in international relations is a way of describing the distribution of power. It is a very old theoretical approach, having its origins in the writings of the Ancient Greek historian Thucydides which became a common method of analysis during the Cold War, particularly in the United States.14 The proponents of the multipolar world theory, argue that in the current, i.e. post-Cold War, world distribution of power in international relations is not concentrated in the hands of one nation (unipolar), or of two (bipolar) but is shared amongst a number of major states (multipolar). The end of the Cold War and the rapid economic rise of the largest developing countries (India, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico) saw a paradigm shift; the bipolar division of the world (i.e. USA and USSR) came to an end. Russia, the largest of the successor states to the USSR, did not have an economy capable of sustaining the former military power of


iCES Occasional Paper 06

45

the Soviet Union and its surrounding circle of states for the most part embraced capitalism and democracy and abandoned the military structures that had enhanced the USSR’s power. Those who advocate a multipolar analysis say that since the end of that bipolar world and the rapid passing of the US’ unipolar moment (1990-2005), power in international relations has fragmented and dispersed, creating a multipolar world. The United States, they suggest, needs to recognise that the EU is now the world’s largest single market – bigger than the US in fact and with potential to grow its economy further given the lower levels of wealth in the ex-Communist states that joined in 2004. The fact that this theory was for a time most frequently advanced by French politicians – notably, at time of Iraq war, President Chirac – undermined its credibility in the eyes of some critics. They saw it as a cry of protest from those who could not accept that their days of power were over. Such dismissive talk may have had popular appeal in the US for a time but it ignored global realities. The growth of the economic power of Brazil, India and China is likely be accompanied by a growth in their global influence too. The European single market, and the fact that two EU Member States are members of the UN Security Council permanent five, matters as well. In this more diffuse power structure in international relations, supporters of the multipolar theory see transatlantic relations as having changed markedly since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 but reject the idea that the US can afford to ignore the EU. The US is the only superpower Proponents of this analysis agree that the end of the Cold War saw a paradigm power shift in international relations but they argue that the end of the bipolar world has brought one in which the US is now the world’s only superpower. The world has become unipolar as a result and Europeans have to accept this reality and work with the US on its own terms, supporters of this analysis say. This doctrine became dominant in the US Republican Party under President George W Bush and reflected the influence of “neoconservative” thinking about US foreign policy. The argument was that the US possessed unique power and should use this to spread freedom and democracy throughout the world; it had been articulated since 1991 by Paul Wolfowitz, who served as Deputy Secretary of Defense in Bush’s


46

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

administration. The 2002 US National Security Strategy set out this approach in very clear terms: “The United States possesses unprecedented – and perhaps unequalled – strength and influence in the world…The great strength of this nation must be used to promote a balance of power that favors freedom”. 15 As the 2002 Strategy document showed, the influence of this analysis was considerable in the United States after 9/11. Despite the Bush Security Strategy also referring to the importance of working with other partners, including multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, in reality the advocates of this approach believed that America, as the predominant power, had a moral duty as well as a right to use her power. As commentators have pointed out, the notion of American exceptionalism is not new and stems - in part - from the influence of religion on American politics and society which encourages the tendency to see foreign affairs in moralistic terms. Buzan talks of the American need, “to pose both support for and opposition to war in crusading and Manichean terms. The US needs to see its enemies as evil”.16 The unipolar argument became, in the late 1990s, mixed with the liberalism, moralism and other factors which encouraged the US to see its role in the world as being unique and essential in the defence of freedom. The failures in the occupation of Iraq seriously undermined the advocates of the unipolar argument in Washington (despite the successes of the later troop surge in improving security). In the second Bush term there was a return to the kind of foreign policy EU Member States found easier to work with – a greater emphasis on partnership and multilateral action. And the Obama administration’s own security doctrine explicitly emphasises this approach taking a partly multipolar line. But although the status of the neo-conservatives has declined, and the argument has become discredited, the US remains the world’s only military superpower and it will remain so for many years (although that doesn’t necessarily enable the US to act unilaterally in practice). Despite significant cuts after the end of the Cold War, the US continues to spend nearly four times as much annually on defence as the world’s next biggest spender (China) 17 and more than double in GDP terms.


iCES Occasional Paper 06

47

The US understands it is no longer globally dominant Some commentators argue that the US accepts that it is no longer globally dominant and has embarked on a strategy to maintain major influence by building new partnerships. This way, the analysis runs, the US will continue to be the essential partner in much of the world. In a recent study of the EU-US relationship, Nick Witney and Jeremy Shapiro endorse this thesis and criticise EU Member States for their approach to the United States.18 “We are now entering a post-American world” they claim and the US has, “understood it, and is working to replace its briefly held global dominance with a network of partnerships that will ensure that it remains the ‘indispensable nation’”.19 US Government agencies have shown that they accept that the position of the US in the world has fundamentally changed. A 2008 report by the US National Intelligence Council argued that the, “international system - as constructed following the second World War– will be almost unrecognizable by 2025 owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalizing economy, an historic transfer of relative wealth and economic power from West to East, and the growing influence of nonstate actors”. 20 It went on to say that by 2025, “the US will find itself one of a number of important actors on the world stage, albeit still the most powerful one…At the same time the multiplicity of influential actors and the distrust of vast power mean less room for the US to call the shots without the support of strong partnerships”.21 This new realism about the position of the US in the world is a contemporary development of the historical balance-of-power view of US foreign and security policy. Former US deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott, sees the unilateralism of President George W Bush as “something of an aberration” because previous presidents had taken a more multilateral approach – as does President Obama.22 This theory recognises the realities of the post-Cold War world but is part of a policy continuum going back to 1945. The unipolar arguments of the neoconservatives have been rejected and replaced by a hard-headed analysis of the power balance in the world. In this scenario, what matters


48

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

is that the EU makes itself the indispensable partner of the US, so that Washington not merely feels obliged to consult Brussels but to listen to what the EU has to say. The danger of accepting this theory is that it ignores the extent to which it is a political elite analysis that is not necessarily shared by the wider American polity. For all its pessimistic analysis of the US’s situation in 2025, the National Security Council still believes the US will remain the world’s only military superpower and the world’s largest economy. Its analysis also suggests (and it may be right) that domestic factors within the emerging powers (China and India in particular) may limit their international influence in practice. Discussion All these analyses have strengths and weaknesses and none, on its own, stands up to rigorous examination. The reality is that there are elements of truth in all three; they are strands within a single argument that help to explain the changed situation in EU-US relations since the end of the Cold War. The weakness of the multipolar argument is that it ignores the fact that neither China nor Russia is the equivalent of USSR in power terms, or indeed of the US. The EU is nowhere near a superpower in security terms – its Member States have the wrong equipment, forces and strategy for that role - and it won’t be in the foreseeable future. But then the EU is not a country with a single foreign policy but a close community of states and so is not comparable to the USA or USSR. What is true is that global power is more dispersed than it was during the Cold War era of a bipolar world but it is also true that some “poles” have more power than others. The unipolar argument was a myopic view, driven by ideology rather than evidence, which was ultimately destroyed by the painful reality of US failure in Iraq. Despite its undoubted military pre-eminence, the US was not able to win on its own in Iraq and had to reach out to other states (and the United Nations) for support. There were a variety of reasons for some European leaders going along with the neo-conservative arguments in the period 2001-5; they included the feeling that they were under an obligation to respond after the attacks of September 11 2001. It maybe that they also believed that, by going along with the policies of the Bush administration, they could act as a restraining influence on American policy.


iCES Occasional Paper 06

49

Although US political and military power is considerable, it is undermined by weaknesses in the US economy. It is surely significant that the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, when asked what threat to the United States concerned him most, replied that it was the national debt. The US national debt is, on present trends, likely to overtake the country’s GDP in 15 year’s time. Admiral Mullen also expressed concern about the size of China’s holdings of US dollars. 23 The US now spends 44 per cent of the entire world’s defence spending and its defence budget is eight times that of Russia; it is hard to see how that margin can be maintained given that defence cuts will be necessary in order to tackle the national debt problem. 24 The US could be further weakened if the current recession is prolonged and if it fails to tackle its deficit in the longer term. As the section above on the acceptance of the US loss of global dominance made clear, there is a danger of seeing the multilateralism of the Obama administration (and of the presidencies of George HW Bush and Bill Clinton too) as being representative of US opinion as a whole. In reality, the picture is more complex with domestic US factors driving foreign policy positions in a way Europeans are less used to. The realist/pragmatist approach to foreign policy of Obama is not shared by all US politicians, nor will it overcome the partisanship that has often seen the ratification of treaties delayed by the Senate or rejected altogether, but it does represent a real opportunity for the EU to improve its relationship with the US. Whilst some US politicians have abandoned the unipolar argument altogether, others have developed a different approach based around neo-isolationism. Many of those in the current Tea Party movement share that agenda (for example, in July 2010 several Congressmen affiliated to the Tea Party caucus tabled a resolution endorsing the right of Israel to attack Iran if there is no peaceful resolution of the nuclear weapons issue “in reasonable time”) but it is too early to see whether it will have long-term 25 influence on US policy-making. Many more US politicians are wary of China, despite the attempts to form a better relationship with it, and see Asia-Pacific security issues as a greater priority than European ones. The growth of Chinese naval power, for example, is already of concern to the US and has been the subject of discussions with its allies in the region. 26 The recent public argument between China and the US over the competing territorial claims of several countries, including China and Vietnam, to islands in the South China Sea are a reminder of the deeply held differences of view between the US and China. 27


50

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

The end of the Cold War was a moment of change in the global system. The bipolar world based around two opposing alliances led by the US and Russia came to an end. This political and security earthquake disturbed relationships established over sixty years and the aftershocks are still being felt. At first it was not clear what the consequences would be for the transatlantic relationship; Witney and Shapiro are surely right to argue that part of the difficulty for the EU today in dealing with the US is that some EU Member States still hanker after a foreign and security relationship with the United States that reflects Cold War certainties. This outdated view of the transatlantic relationship reflects a confused approach, too often characterised by deference and muddle. The basis of the current position of the US in foreign and security policy is clear: • the US is the world’s largest economy and the world’s largest military power; • it may be overtaken as the world’s largest economy in the next 30 years but that is hard to predict; • the existential threat to US (and Western European) security posed by the USSR is no more and consequently the US no longer sees Europe as central to its security; • the rise of new economic powers in the world, notably Brazil, China and India, has led to a rethink in US policy and a greater focus on building relationships with these developing nations; • the US will continue to lay great stress on these new relationships, not least because of its concerns about AsiaPacific security; • the US political elite generally recognise the limitations on US power but public opinion in the US does not always do so and the after-effects of the attacks of September 11 2001, because they were on US soil, will remain a major factor influencing US foreign policy; • US support for greater European integration will continue and the US will particularly support Turkey joining the EU;


iCES Occasional Paper 06

51

• the US will judge the value of the transatlantic relationship, including its relationship with the EU, in terms of the value that can be derived from it. Sentimental references to past glories are not a substitute for real policy delivery. Europeans need to stop agonising over the transatlantic relationship and accept reality – the US will spend a lot of time on other relationships, notably that with China. As Sir Colin Budd has said, “That in no way rules out a high priority for Europe: a Pacific President and a Transatlantic President are plainly not mutually exclusive”. 28 Why should the US care about the EU? The truth is that Washington is very unlikely to get a bigger welcome for a foreign policy proposal in Beijing or Moscow than it gets in Brussels. Europeans are the only really reliable ally likely to take the same line as the US on key issues. In the United Nations, for example, the US needs EU support on many issues and will continue to do so. New relationships are important for the US, such as with China, but they are not an alternative to strong ties with the EU. In addition, the economic ties between the EU and the US will remain very strong. Rebuilding the Transatlantic Relationship: A Strategy for the EU In devising a new strategy for rebuilding the transatlantic relationship, three important factors that affect the EU’s ability to be an effective partner to the US need to be understood. Firstly, arguments about the EU-US relationship tend to ignore the importance of economic and trade issues and play up the security and foreign policy issues. It is important to remember that the EU is more integrated when dealing with economic issues such as trade and the single market than in foreign and security policy. This helps to account for the contrast (noted by Witney and Shapiro) between the robust relationship that the EU has with the United States on economic issues with its weaker and far less effective relationship on foreign policy and security matters. Secondly, the EU is not structured to be a “superpower” in the conventional sense – and there is no agreement amongst Member States about adopting such a posture. There are real differences over the projection of power. To try to turn a body devised initially to promote economic integration into a defensive alliance would raise fundamental


52

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

questions about the role of EU. The EU’s “soft power” is greater than its military power, despite attempts at reconfiguring the latter, and this is likely to remain the case. There are also major practical issues for EU diplomacy – for example, the lack of opportunity to agree policy in private because of the open nature of EU structures is a problem. Thirdly, the EU is not country where a single government can respond swiftly to the concerns and proposals of the United States. The intergovernmental nature of the EU, with 27 Member States all having domestic and other concerns to take into account, means that the organisation lacks the capacity to respond swiftly to initiatives from the US side. Getting a strategy agreed by all 27 Member States is difficult enough; implementation of the strategy can be equally difficult. The EU should adopt three principles in its relationship with the United States: 1. the relationship with US should be complementary in some areas and distinctively different in others – for example, work in harmony with US to tackle failed states and the threat of terrorism (especially where EU’s soft power can add value to partnership) but pursue the EU’s own agenda in areas such as trade and climate change where we have a distinctive position from that of the USA; 2. it should accept that the US will pursue its own national interest but the EU does not have to agree with it; 3. that it must show that it is a valuable partner in order to gain any influence with the US – there is no entitlement for the European voice to be heard loudest in Washington. The difficulties of applying these principles in practice can be seen in the wide range of issues of mutual concern to the EU and the US: Iran, Afghanistan, nuclear non-proliferation, the division of Cyprus, Turkey and further enlargement, EDSP and Turkey as large military power within NATO and the Middle East peace process. At present, there is unity between the EU and US positions on Iran and on Afghanistan but the US position on the Middle East peace process has been a cause of difficult arguments between the EU and the US. This latter issue is an example of where the EU should support the US when it agrees with the US position but not be afraid to disagree when the EU thinks the US is either disinterested or wrong. After all, the EU’s decision at Venice in 1980 to recognise the Palestinians right to self-government, the PLO’s role in representing them,


iCES Occasional Paper 06

53

and the need for a two-state solution, was a radical and controversial step at the time but it was influential and in time, recognised to be right. The above list covers issues of foreign and security policy but the divisions between areas of policy are narrowing all the time. Energy and trade policy are inextricably bound up in foreign affairs and security issues; increasingly, climate change is part of the mix too. In all these areas, it is vital that the EU has a robust but friendly relationship with the US. If the EU wants to remain influential in the world it has got to develop a coherent set of relationships with the major powers in the world covering the key international issues – foreign policy, defence, security, trade and energy. Political leaders have got to lead and that means being prepared to move beyond sterile and negative debates about national sovereignty. They must educate their electors about the dangers of Europe’s voice no longer being heard if we do not work together. The EU Member States need to act together and deliver. The institutional debates of the past are now over; the European External Action Service is being created and no better opportunity exists for reinvigorating the EU’s endeavours in the field of foreign affairs and defence. It is sometimes too easy to be pessimistic about the EU-US relationship. The frustrations of Europeans engendered by events at the Copenhagen climate change talks last year were understandable but they were part of a wider trend for the postwar established structures and patterns of relationship, with their domination by Western countries, to be challenged. After all, the G7, a creation of the 1970s which brought together the leading Western industrialised countries, has in practice been superseded in two years by the G20, a grouping that developed because of the global financial crisis. The world has changed and is changing; established structures and relationships have to change too. Robert Cooper has recently warned of the dangers of excessive pessimism; although the EU has a long way to go, it now has the machinery (and at least some of the personnel) to forge a common foreign 29 and security policy. That did not exist at the time of the civil war in Yugoslavia – so often cited as an example of EU foreign policy failure – and through the CFSP and EDSP mechanism, the EU has deployed troops into dangerous areas to help prevent further bloodshed. Progress has been more modest than many would like but it would be wrong to deny that much has been achieved that enhances the EU’s effectiveness in foreign affairs and which makes it all the more useful to the United States.


54

Is the Atlantic Getting Wider ?

Senior European Experts

Despite the apparent disappointments of his first year – a consequence in part of excessive expectations at home and abroad – the opportunity presented by the Obama presidency to the EU remains. As Strobe Talbott has put it: “It is hard to imagine an American president more committed than the present incumbent in the Oval Office to the need for effective global governance.”30 It is up to the political leaders of the EU to demonstrate that they have the political will to make use of this opportunity. Notes 1. In Global Disorder, Robert Harvey, Constable, 2003, p.xvi. 2. See: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2008/may/tradoc_138823.pdf 3. US Census 2000. See: http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t20.html, 4. This period in European history was discussed in greater depth in the Senior European Experts paper, Twenty Years on: The EU since the Fall of the Berlin Wall, iCES Occasional Paper 2, Institute of Contemporary European Studies, at http://www.ebslondon.ac.uk/ICES/research/publications/ices_occasional_papers/ ices_occasional_paper_02.aspx 5. The hopes and fears of this period are discussed in, New World Disorder - The UN after the Cold War, David Hannay, I B Tauris, 2008. 6. This incident is described in, ‘All Dressed Up and No Place to Go: Why NATO Should be on the Front Lines in the War on Terror,’ Rebecca Johnson & Micah Zenko, Parameters: US Army War College Quarterly, Winter 2002-3, pp.48-63, 7. ‘A Nation Challenged: The Allies’, New York Times, Suzanne Daley, 31.01.02. 8. Data collected by the US Arms Control & Disarmament Agency and others; see memo by the Project on Defense Alternatives: http://www.comw.org/pda/bmemo10.htm#1 9. ‘A World that Stands As One’, transcript of the speech given in Berlin on Barack Obama’s website: http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/berlinvideo/ 10. Ibid. 11. ‘Russia accused of unleashing cyberwar to disable Estonia’, The Guardian, 17.05.07. 12. ‘Europe Feels Snubbed by Obama,’ New York Times, 02.02.10: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/world/europe/03europe.html 13. See ‘Back to the BASIC: climate change and global governance,’ by Janine Schall-Emden, for a discussion of the roles of the leading developing countries at Copenhagen: http://www.euroalter.com/2009/back-to-the-basic-climate-changeglobal-governance-and-emerging-powers/ 14. The United States & the Great Powers: World Politics in the Twenty-First century, Barry Buzan, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004, p.33.


iCES Occasional Paper 06

55

15. The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, September 2002, p.1. 16. Buzan, op cit, p.158. 17. Figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, http://www.sipri.org/ 18. Towards a Post-American Europe: A Power Audit of EU-US Relations, Nick Witney & Jeremy Shapiro, European Council on Foreign Relations, 2009. 19. Ibid, p.19. 20. Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, National Intelligence Council, Washington DC, 2008, http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_2025_project.html 21. Ibid, p.xi. 22. The Honorable Strobe Talbott, Ditchley Foundation Annual Lecture, ‘Obama, America and the World: A Promise at Risk’, July 2010, http://www.ditchley.co.uk/page/369/annual-lecture-xlvi.htm 23. Quoted in Talbott, ibid. 24. Figures from Centre for Arms Control & Non-proliferation, May 2010, http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/US_vs_Global/ 25. Text of resolution: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/100726_HRes1553. pdf 26. The Commander US Pacific Command made clear these concerns on a visit to the Philippines in August 2010,http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/ns_asia/201008-18/337460861179.html 27. Several US allies, including the Philippines, have claims over these territories; see,http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-50656220100805 28. Sir Colin Budd, ‘US-EU Relations after Lisbon: Reviving Transatlantic Cooperation,’ essay in LSE collection entitled Obama Nation? US Foreign Policy One Year On: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/SR003.aspx 29. Is Europe doomed to fail as a power? Charles Grant, with a response by Robert Cooper, Centre for European Reform, July 2009, http://www.cer.org.uk/pdf/essay_905.pdf 30. Talbott op cit.


iCES Publications


Learning from the Financial Crisis: Global Imbalances and Lessons for Europe iCES Occasional Paper 01 Sir John Gieve In this volume Sir John Gieve examines the depth and extent of the global economic downturn from the summer of 2007 and reflects on key lessons to be learned from the crisis. He highlights in particular the need for closer international coordination of macroeconomic policy, for better ground rules for cross-border financial crises, for the strengthening of banks’ resilience and for improvements in the sphere of macro-prudential tools. Overall the paper provides a striking record of a major player’s understanding of the global financial crisis as it continued to unravel in November 2008, with a brief postscript written six months later. Sir John Gieve was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from January 2006 to February 2009. In addition to his membership of the Monetary Policy Committee, he had specific responsibility for the Bank of England’s Financial Stability work and was a member of the FSA. Institute of Contemporary European Studies ISSN: 2040-6509 (Print) ISSN: 2040-6517 (Online)


Twenty Years On: The EU Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall iCES Occasional Paper 02 Leon Brittan, David Hannay, Jan Zielonka Senior Experts group In this volume jointly produced with the Senior Experts group, Leon Brittan, David Hannay and Jan Zielonka review the achievements of the EU on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, assessing the impact of the enlargement process, the establishment of the euro and the Single Market, EU foreign policy initiatives and the perceived gap between the political class and European citizens. Their views are supplemented by an extensive background paper on 20 years of EU developments produced by the Senior Experts. Lord Brittan was European Commissioner for Competition 19891992 and Vice President of the European Commission 1995-1999. Lord Hannay was UK Permanent Representative to the European Communities 1985-1990 and the UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations 1990-1995. Professor Jan Zielonka is Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and author of Europe as Empire: The Nature of the Enlarged European Union. Institute of Contemporary European Studies ISSN: 2040-6509 (Print) ISSN: 2040-6517 (Online)


Jobs, Innovation and Growth iCES Occasional Paper 03 John Monks, John Cridland, Sylvia Walby, Sarah Lambert In this volume John Monks, John Cridland, Sylvia Walby and Sarah Lambert review the prospects for jobs, innovation and growth in the context of a continuing global financial and economic crisis. An increasing emphasis on innovative and flexible solutions to the challenges emerging in a global market place is the backdrop to a critical assessment of growth possibilities from a variety of perspectives: trade unions, employers, gender and equality, the European Commission. John Monks is General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and previously General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). John Cridland is Deputy-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Vice Chair of the National Learning and Skills Council. Professor Sylvia Walby is UNESCO Chair in Gender Research and author of Globalisation and Inequalities: Complexity and Contested Modernities (Sage, 2009). Sarah Lambert is Head of the European Commission Representation in the UK. Institute of Contemporary European Studies ISSN: 2040-6509 (Print) ISSN: 2040-6517 (Online) European Commission Representation in the UK


Where Will the EU’s Final Frontiers Lie? iCES Occasional Paper 04 Graham Avery, Sir Michael Butler, Nicholas Kent, Senior European Experts In this volume produced with the Senior European Experts group, Graham Avery, Sir Michael Butler and Nicholas Kent assess the potential geographical limits of the European Union, focusing on the intergovernmental, supranational, cultural, ethnic, social, political and economic issues that accompany EU enlargement policy. Their views are supplemented by a background paper on the EU’s final frontiers produced by the Senior European Experts. Graham Avery is Senior Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, Senior Adviser at the European Policy Centre, Brussels, and Honorary Director-General of the European Commission. He coauthored The Enlargement of the European Union (1998) and contributed to The Future of Europe: Enlargement and Integration (2004) and to The European Union: How Does It Work? (2008). Sir Michael Butler was British Permanent Representative to the European Communities, 1979-85, and is chairman of the Senior European Experts. Nicholas Kent is a writer and consultant specialising in education policy and in European Union affairs. He is secretary to the Senior European Experts.

Institute of Contemporary European Studies ISSN: 2040-6509 (Print) ISSN: 2040-6517 (Online)


Climate Change Post Copenhagen iCES Occasional Paper 05 Jonathon Porrit, Ian Katz, Malini Mehra, Peter Luff In this volume Jonathon Porritt, Ian Katz, Malini Mehra and Peter Luff review the prospects for climate change action in the aftermath of the Copenhagen conference focusing on the credibility of scientific evidence, investment in a low carbon economy, increased incremental actions on the ground, the emerging role of civil society, the impact globally of climate relations between India and China and the potential role of the European Union in climate politics. Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, formerly Director of Friends of the Earth and Co-Chair of the Green Party is a writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. Ian Katz is Deputy Editor of the Guardian, currently overseeing the paper’s plans for the environment. Malini Mehra is the Founder & CEO of the Centre for Social Markets, a non-profit organisation that has pioneered work on sustainability and corporate responsibility in India. Peter Luff is Chairman of the European Movement UK and Chief Executive Officer of Action for a Global Climate Community.

Institute of Contemporary European Studies ISSN: 2040-6509 (Print) ISSN: 2040-6517 (Online)


Contemporary Europe iCES Annual Review 08/09 Edited by Michael Scriven The challenges confronting Europe today are wide-ranging: financial and economic crisis, global warming and climate change, energy supply, defence, security, enlargement, migration. The overall purpose of the Institute of Contemporary European Studies (iCES) is to engage actively in this debate on the development of Europe as it unfolds in the 21st century.

Contemporary Europe, the iCES Annual Review, brings together a series of essays on the financial, economic, social, political and commercial situation of Europe in 2008-2009. Written by experts from a variety of professional fields and disciplinary backgrounds, they highlight the major issues affecting the daily lives of European citizens. Edited by Michael Scriven, Director of iCES and Professor of European Studies, the volume offers specialist analysis in the following areas: * * * *

Financial and Economic Crisis in Europe European Elections and Institutions Energy and Sustainability in Europe Europe and Transatlantic Relations

Editor and Contributors: Michael Scriven (Ed), Wolfgang Munchau, Martyn Bond, Daniel Guéguen, John Drew, Arve Thorvik, Martina Bianchini, Pyramyth Liu, Philip Lawrence, Tim Cowen, Arnaud Pinon, Pascale Joannin, Michael Butler, Bruno Neil, Lorenzo Bermejo Muñoz, Àngels Trias i Valls, Alan Sandry, Veronica Barassi.

Institute of Contemporary European Studies ISSN: 2040-6487 (Print) ISSN: 2040-6495 (Online)


iCES Occasional Paper 06

EU and US Relations in the 21st Century Nick Witney, Colleen Graffy, Michael Jay, Senior European Experts The Institute of Contemporary European Studies (iCES) Occasional Paper Series features the ideas of key opinion formers in contemporary European affairs. In this volume, the Senior European Experts group provide a paper that formed the background to a panel discussion in November 2010. The volume focuses on trans-Atlantic relations between the European Union and the USA. Nick Witney is Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, having served previously as the first Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency. He has written authoritatively on the EU and on European security and defence policy. Colleen Graffy is Associate Professor of Law and Director of Global Programs at Pepperdine University and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy for Europe and Eurasia in the US State Department during George W. Bush’s presidency. Michael Jay is a non-executive director of several companies, including EDF, and is chairman of Merlin. Before retiring from the diplomatic service and entering the House of Lords, he was Director General for European and Economic Affairs, Ambassador to France and Head of the Diplomatic Service.

Institute of Contemporary European Studies ISSN: 2040-6509 (Print) ISSN: 2040-6517 (Online)


EU and US Relations in the 21st Century