TRANS-ATLANTIC RELATIONS
     
Trans-Atlantic relations and globalisation
The congress 27-01-2010 about Trans-Atlantic relations aimed to achieve unity of views about the common trans-Atlantic agenda for the EU and the US. Only a wide agenda can secure a constructive role of the West in the future world of changing thematic and geographical centres of gravity.

When we speak about Trans-Atlantic relations, meant is the alliance between North-America and Europe. The two solid players are the US and the European Union. However, we have to think that both allies are not equal. For the European Union it will be a great challenge to close rows and to come to the front in harmony. The European Union is and will remain an alliance of 27 separate member states and the US are one country with one government. However, this does not mean that since president Obama took office, expectations are became less for a renew and broadening of the trans-Atlantic alliance.

It will become a heavy task to keep what western world cares for. For rising powers have other views about basis principles such as freedom, democracy and human rights than western countries. They look at responsible sovereignty in another way. But this powers demands nevertheless a bigger role and it is logic they will get that. After all, we need these rising powers in order to solve problems of today.

Programme:

- Keynote Jaap de Hoop Scheffer,
- The security agenda within and outside the NATO,
- World trade and economic cooperation,
- Trans-Atlantic relations and globalisation and
- closing speech by Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs
.

The EU is not yet the geopolitical factor of importance it could be. The EU should show a coherent unity to be taken serious by US and China, but also by rising players such as India, Brazil and Russia. The EU have to invest in relations with countries which are on the rise.

The security agenda inside and outside the NATO
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer: The Netherlands is a consensus country and an open society

 

The US is a strategic partner, but is not automatism or trans-Atlantic reflex. We share a philosophy of life: 'the continued expansion of our moral imagination; an insistence that there is something irreducible that we all share" freedom, democracy, justice and with respect to human rights.

We do our best to further world wide economic growth, security and justice, open markets and free trade. It demands that EU member states commits themselves to a stronger common action. We have the Lisbon Treaty: now we have to take care that it is going to work.
That indeed the president of the European Council and the HR of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy can be the face of the EU in the world and that they indeed can speak with one voice. That the now forming EEAS will become a success. That asks the member-states to manage themselves to range amoung the coordinated EU.
If we want to impress Moscow or Peking, than we have to maintain a common policy and in the near future with a chair in the security council of the UN.

The way to Washington will lead more and more via Brussels.

Related items: 'Obama's Year One: Contra' by Robert Kagan (World Affairs, a journal of ideas and debate Jan/Feb 2010) and Secretary Clinton's keynote address at the Atlantic Council (Nov 8, 2009).