TRANS-ATLANTIC
     
 

Something occurring all the way across
the Atlantic. Most often, this refers to agriculture, the exchange of passengers, (maritime) cargo, information, or communication between North America and Europe and to the historic, cultural, political, economic and social relations.

There are a number of issues over which the United States and Europe generally disagree.


The early relationship between Europe and America was based on colonialism and settlement. All modern states in the Americas were founded by European peoples and are very different from the pre-Columbian civilizations that existed there before. Even after the United States (and later Canada) became independent, the main relationship between the two continents was one-way migration.

Politically the United States held aloof from European affairs, and Canada was subordinate to British foreign policy. During the First World War however both North America states found themselves fighting in Europe and engrossed in European politics. President Wilson's Fourteen Points helped to redraw the map of Europe. After the war the League of Nations was supposed to create a lasting link across the Atlantic but the United States refused to join. The United States also refused to become involved in the Second World War until attacked in the Pacific. Once involved, however, the US became pivotal to the war effort and therefore European politics. After the second war the United States and Canada both desired a premenent role in the defence of Europe, and European states wanted protection from the Soviet Union. The result was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which became the lynchpin of Transatlantic relations during the Cold War.


A concise overview of
United States foreign policy

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A poster promoting the
Marshall Plan.

Several European countries received significant aid from
the US after the WW-II.

The Cold War greatly affected the transatlantic relations of the time.

Poster Marshall Plan
 
A resolved issue is the issue of the U.S. in 2002 imposed steel tariffs to protect its steel industry. The European Union and other countries took up the issue with the WTO, which ruled that such tariffs breach its regulations. Subsequently, by December 2003, the tariffs had been lifted by the U.S. administration. Some of the of the issues over which the United States and Europe generally disagree are cultural, such as the U.S. use of death penalty, some are international issues such as the Middle East peace process, and many others are trade related.

The current U.S. policies are often described as being unilateral in nature, whereas the European Union and Canada often take a more multilateral approach, relying more on the United Nations and other international institutions to help solve issues. Of course, there are many other issues upon which they do agree, such as on cooperation in security and counterterrorism. Many organizations and institutions across Europe are constantly involved in order to resolve issues and differences. In the present era, the U.S. also aims try to get closer to the EU concerning financial regulation and in terms of harmonizing digital processes and procedures.

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High time for Europe to step up in defense of liberal values

‘Europe has to step up urgently and engage in the defense of liberal values in a world which is scared, confused and increasingly polarized, and most likely abandoned by the US with more isolationist policies on the horizon after Trump’s election.’ This was one of the stark messages which The Guardian policy editor for Brexit and former Washington Bureau chief Dan Roberts shared with his audience in the EBN Urgency debate in Nieuwspoort on Thursday December 15. The very animated debate set the tone for the crucial engagement with the great global transitions, which the EBN wishes to stimulate in the coming year. In the confusion after Brexit and the Italian referendum and in the leadup to crucial elections in several European member-states in 2017, the call for a vital rethink of Europe is growing louder by the day. Around the globe, we hear many voices urging a much more fundamental revisiting of the deeper causes of all the social unrest, uncertainty and malaise that also affect our continent. There are a wide variety of appeals to work much more energetically against isolationism and exclusion politics. In fact, the ‘Trump moment’ and ‘American retreat from the world’ according to some may also constitute a window of opportunity for the rest of the world to redraw its own positions and international relations, more independently of the American hegemon.

Dan Roberts gave a succinct analysis of the causes of Trump’s election and reflected on his recent transition back from the US to Europe. He commented on how Europe to outsiders, visitors and migrants still constituted a hugely attractive environment, for its organized communities, social safety nets, stable institutions and relative peace. But he emphasized that nothing should be taken for granted. Europe should free itself from its inward-looking anxiety, step up and relate more effectively to the changing world.

 
A new order is rising.

While with president Obama internationalism and muscular multilateralism occurred, the new president is working on a different arrangement and order and embraces the idea of the nation state and a transaction based approach. A concise overview of United States foreign policy (apparatus and different trends):

1787     CONSTITUTION. Founding Fathers, Trias politica. President chief architect and implementer of foreign policy
1787
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1890 CONTINENTAL EXPANSION. Monroe-doctrine, Manifest Destiny
1890
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1920 MAJOR POWER STATUS. Moral crusades, Cuba, The Philippines. First World War 'To make the world safe for democracy' (Woodrow Wilson)
1920
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1941 ISOLATIONISM
1941
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1945 INTERVENTIONISM
1947
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1989 COLD WAR, INTERNATIONALISM, BI-POLAR WORLD. CONTAINMENT-POLICY. Truman Doctrine
1989
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2000 New World Order. First Gulf War. Bush I, Clinton Enlargement Doctrine/United Nations. 1992 Wolfowitz Memorandum. 1997 Project for the New American Century
2001
  UNILATERALISM, NEO-ISOLATIONISM. Non-involvement, anti-missile shield
after 9 /11 INTERNATIONALISM. Bush-doctrine. War on terrorism/National Security Strategy 2002. Pragmatism, Democratic Congress 2006 (more moderate National Security Strategy, support for Sierra Leone Tribunal, and Middle East-conference november 2007)
2008 2017 NEW INTERNATIONALISM AND MUSCULAR MULTILATERALISM
2017     "TRUMP PARTY" (transaction based thinking and acting): ............................
 
On Friday 20 January, Donald Trump has been sworn in as 45th President of the United States of America.  While it is impossible to predict the precise shape of President Trump’s foreign policy, the candidate and President-elect Trump made several statements about his vision of the US’ role and engagement with the World:
  • he indicated his willingness to compromise with Russia over Syria and Ukraine and criticised the financial burden shouldered by the US to sustain NATO;
  • candidate Trump was also very much opposed to the signing of the Paris Agreement and openly sceptical of the reality of climate change;
  • finally, his success as a candidate seems to have been partly predicated on his strong criticism of trade deals, be it NAFTA or TPP. 

The Asser Institute organised a special event Friday, 27 January and discussed the foreign policy options available to the Trump Administration and to evaluate the potential consequences of President Trump’s positions for the international order at large. 


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What is the state of democracy today in the USA? Why do many Americans consider their political system ‘broke’? What are the consequences of this, now and in the future? What remains of Walt Whitman and Thomas Mann’s idea that literature and a liberal education are the soul of a true democracy? And when watching the news today, how should we understand the undercurrent of racism in American society; the religious fundamentalism; the massive amounts of money as part of the elections; the role of anti-politics ‘politicians’ in the election of the American president; the many broken dreams?!

"The current level of communication and perception is a result of technological development, innovation, globalization, demographic ontwikkengen and changing culture. Politics should serve economic gowth and accept the new normal.

Sidney Blumenthal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More in the future, and by practice of geopolitics and by geological reality, the retreat of the U.S. from Europe will certainly affect Europe's dependence on Russian oil and gas if other suppliers fail and if Europe will not gain access to new energy resources in MENA and Central Asia.

Opposite, in the U.S. an enhanced sense of energy independence arise by finding new oil and gas sources.

The US itself is facing several serious issues. To grow the economy for the long term and to create jobs and pay down deficit, innovation, taxes, nation-building at home, energy, education, and healthcare are on the agenda.

To accomplish these issues in the next four years, the White House committed to making the most open and participatory administration in history. That is taking questions and comments, inviting to join online events with White House officials, and giving a way to engage with government on the issues that matter the most and was launched 20 January 2013 the new organization OfA (Organization for Action). Belief that ordinary people have the power to change the country if working together to get it done—and if that belief will be at the core of the new organization as it unfolds.

The way it will be done is local. Members will grow their local chapters, bringing in new leaders and helping train a new generation of volunteers and organizers to help fight for the issues at stake. There'll be times when members pull together at the national level to get President Obama's back on passing major legislation, like reducing gun violence or immigration reform.

And all members will work to help transform Washington from the outside while strengthening our economy and creating jobs.

 
57th Inauguration 21st January 2013

30 September 2013 midnight, the United States government shut down to some extent and economy takes a hit. It will be because House Republicans let it happen. There's a bill sitting in the House that funds the government for a few more weeks. It doesn't demand the repeal or delay of the health care law, or deny women access to birth control, or include any other failed, partisan proposals. It funds the government. That's it. And if Republican leadership allowed a simple yes or no vote on this bill -- like the Senate has -- it would get enough support from members of both parties to pass.

Instead, the government that these Republicans were elected to fund will close down and that will hurt our economy. Americans across the country won't be allowed to show up for work. Paychecks could be delayed, meaning some folks will have to cut back on groceries or maybe even not pay a few bills. Businesses will have fewer customers. Veterans won't get services they rely on -- and it will put benefits for seniors at risk. Even though they've already voted over 40 times to defund or delay the health care law, this group of Republicans in Congress is so obsessed with the idea of sabotaging Obamacare that they're willing to take the economy hostage to do it.

Take a look at how this shutdown will affect millions of Americans -- and then make sure you share it so other folks know, too.

President Obama has said time and time again that he's willing to work with folks on both sides of the aisle to grow our economy and even improve the health care law. But using the threat of government shutdown or defaulting on the bills our country owes is reckless and irresponsible. In fact, shutting down the government won't stop Obamacare. The Health Insurance Marketplace will still open for business starting tomorrow, without delay. Washington needs to stop manufacturing crises and focus on the issues that matter: creating jobs and building a strong middle class. Taking our economy over the cliff just to score political points isn't fair to the millions of Americans who show up every day to work and do their jobs. It’s time for Congress to do its job.

 

ABOUT US ELECTION

With the inauguration of president Obama in January 2009 new internationalism and muscular multilateralism occurred; 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, fighting Al Qaida in Pakistan, global NATO, reform of the United Nations and the new Obama-doctrine, basically continuation of Bush-doctrine. A concise overview of United States foreign policy (apparatus and different trends):

Tuesday 9 September 2008, 2 meetings US Presidential Election. Nexus Institute organised the masterclass 'Inside the US Presidential Election' by Sidney Blumenthal and NGIZ lectured 'The battle between Obama and McCain: turning of the tide in American Foreign Policy?' It was a horse race, but a lead for McCain. 'America first' is a great wrench. Also some insight was given how power politics is used: a difference in approach between Europe (more sensual) and America (more on the conflict-debate). Furthermore, there are the propaganda making media. Obama is not speaking up to the issues. Focussing on economy could increase his chances. Blumenthals' central points: American politics, the question what will change during the reign of a democratic president and an analysis who has the best chances to win the election.

     

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ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVALS 2010, 2009 and 2008

After the Conversation: Global Philanthrophy. Calls for better systems.

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No more special relationships: Europe is wasting its "Obama Moment". Europe has the US president it wished for, but Barack Obama lacks the strong transatlantic partner he wants. As European Council on Foreign Relations analyst Nick Witney and Jeremy Shapiro from the Brookings Institution warn in ECFR's latest report, Towards a post-American Europe: A Power Audit of EU-US Relations', national governments in the EU must shake off illusions about the transatlantic relationship if they want to avoid irrelevance on the global stage.

With EU leaders heading to Washington for their transatlantic summit on 3 November, Shapiro and Witney caution EU member states: an unsentimental President Obama has already lost patience with a Europe lacking coherence and purpose.  In a post-American world, the United States knows it needs effective partners.  If Europe cannot step up, the US will look for other privileged partners to do business with.
Yet the report reveals that a large majority of EU member states still believe they enjoy a ‘special relationship' with the US and compete for access and favour as if the transatlantic relationship remained the dominant foreign policy paradigm in Washington.

ECFR's report from 2009, argues that:

  • Europeans are in denial about how the world is changing. They sense their increasing marginalisation yet cling to the outdated belief that they remain dependent on the US for their security. They make a fetish out of the transatlantic relationship, anxiously pursuing harmony for harmony's sake without questioning what it is good for.

    European governments' desires to gratify the US rob the EU of influence. A number of European nations - including the UK, the Netherlands and Portugal - like to think they have a ‘special relationship' with the US which works better for them than any collective approach. They deploy different strategies to ingratiate themselves with Washington in a competition for American favour. The result is a frustrated US and an uninfluential Europe: Europe has 30,000 troops in Afghanistan yet virtually no say in strategy.

  • The US needs strong partners in a world that it no longer dominates. It knows it can turn to China on the economy and Russia on nuclear disarmament. In comparison, Washington is disappointed with Europe and sees EU member states as infantile: responsibility shirking and attention seeking.

The US would prefer a more united EU, but expects so little that it cannot bring itself to greatly care. When the EU is hard-headed, as with trade negotiations, the US listens. When it is not, Europeans are asking to be divided and ruled. Institutional fixes are not the answer. The solution is not more summits, forums and dialogues. Europeans need to decide what they want when it comes to Afghanistan, Russia and the Middle East peace process and approach Obama with clear objectives. The ‘hobbled giant' that is Europe needs to understand that both sides of the Atlantic will stand to gain from such a cultural shift.

By many institutions, studies are conducted, lectures given and round table meetings held, not only to know how the US works and how to work with it, to order a wide agenda to secure a constructive role of the West in the future world, on stabilising Afghanistan and waging the war on terror to devise global solutions to the financial crisis and managing the rise or China and engaging India, and countering Iran to making NATO more flexible for global action, but also to remove barriers to trade and investments, to prevent default new barriers from emerging and to reduce regulatory compliance costs in order to complete the creation of the transatlantic market.

German Marshall Fund

Manhattan Institute

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

The Canon Spring 2010

Intercollegiate Review


Brussels Forum



Transatlantic Trends

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer: The Netherlands is a consensus country and an open society

CONGRESS TRANS-ATLANTIC RELATIONS

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.

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.

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.


TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS 2009 (EPIN)

The new US administration most likely will reach out to its European partners on many global and bilateral issues. President-elect Barack Obama will most likely demand more substantive and increased contributions from the European allies to a multitude of key projects:

from stabilising Afghanistan and waging the war on terror to devising global solutions to the financial crisis and managing the rise of China and engaging India, and from countering Iran to making NATO more flexible for global action. Based on surveys conducted in 15 member states and of the European Union as a whole, this paper explores what the EU and its individual member states expect from the United States in the post-Bush era. Individual case studies outline the concrete issues and fields of action that Europeans seek to address in the transatlantic format.

TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS in 2009: A CHANCE for a FRESH START?

The initial versions of nearly all contributions to the first part of this publication saw the light of day during the international conference “Transatlantic Relations 2009 – A Chance for a Fresh Start?” held in Prague in May 2009. The conference was organised by the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy within the framework of the Transatlantic Policy Forum project. The conference was organised in co-operation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Ministry of Foreign Aff airs of the Czech Republic and the American Centre in Prague. The organisers would like to thank all institutions involved in organising the conference for their generous support and smooth co-operation. The second part of this publication consists of policy papers, developed by leading EU and US experts in the framework of the Transatlantic Policy Forum project, focusing on the following issues: trade, energy and climate change, Democracy Promotion and EU Neighbourhood

Monday 25 May 2009 EUROPEUM organised a round table discussion due to the presentation of
the policy papers of the 'Transatlantic Policy Forum Project'. Topics: democracy, trade, energy security and climate change, EU-neighbourhood.
EUROPEUM prepared also essays and commentaries as part of an international conference held in Washington, DC on February 22nd - 24th, 2007, organised by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Weidenfeld Institute of Strategic Dialogue, and the Europaeum. The conference was on Does the ‘West’ still exist? - America and Europe moving towards 2020.

TRANSATLANTIC POLICY NETWORK

Tuesday 13-5-2008 a
t CEPS organised a meeting on the transatlantic economic relations: 'Innovation and Economic Leadership: Opportunities for Europe and the United States. April last year a new era for transatlantic economic integration was launched, TEC (Transatlantic Economic Council). Now there is the Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN) and a time schedule till 2015. Aim is to remove barriers between EU and US to trade and investments, to prevent new barriers from emerging and to reduce regulatory compliance costs in order to complete the creation of the transatlantic market and to achieve a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The EU and the US together account for 50% of the world’s GDP and nearly a third of world trade flows. A planned trade agreement between the two trading blocs has excited the political and business classes alike, on both sides of the Atlantic. According to reports, an EU-US (FTA) could deliver a 2% boost in GDP for both parties. ast year alone, bilateral trade in goods and services was valued at €700 billion, according to European Commission data.

In seeking to enhance the relationship between the EU and the US, the Transatlantic Economic Council was established in 2007, bringing together senior economic policy makers from the EU institutions and the US cabinet. Favourable rumblings from this powerful forum in June of 2012 have led spectators to declare it the opening gambit to a trade agreement likely to have broadly positive effects. Responding to the Council’s June report, US President Barack Obama assured a domestic and European audience “We are encouraged by the Report's analysis of the benefits of an ambitious and comprehensive market opening arrangement for agricultural and manufactured goods, services and investment, the identification of ways to promote compatible regulatory approaches, and tackle behind-the-border barriers, and possible approaches to intellectual property rights".

The European Commission believes that the main obstacle will likely centre on non-tariff barriers, “consisting mainly of customs procedures and behind the border regulatory restrictions. The non-tariff barriers come from diverging regulatory systems (standards definitions notably), but also other non-tariff measures, such as those related to certain aspects of security or consumer protection. Agreement is not going to be easy and there are very divergent interests between the US and Europe over, for example, agriculture, maritime transport, GMOs and cloned animals”, however one believes that “these difficulties can be overcome."

Kennedy memorial lecture on Foreign Affairs by U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown (2008, April 19) 'Calls for a new era of collaboration between the United States and European Union directed toward resolving the problems of poverty and inequality, terrorism, and climate change.

The long running EU beef import ban in the US and the reactionary tariffs imposed on US imports to the EU has long sustained frustration on both sides. The benefits on the table far outweigh the obstacles that will have to be overcome. British Prime Minister David Cameron, in his speech at Davos recently stated that the deal could add over 50 billion pounds to the EU economy, a sentiment echoed by the US Chamber of Commerce which stated that “eliminating transatlantic tariffs would boost U.S.-EU trade by more than $120 billion within five years. It would also generate GDP gains of $180 billion — a budget-neutral boost to the U.S. and EU economies".

Both the EU and the US are currently engaged in talks to form trade partnerships in Asia, with the US in talks to establish the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the EU looking to establish a trade agreement with Japan. Responding to critics who contend that these Asia-focused agreements are the priority for both the EU and the US, the European Commission argues that the EU-US relationship is stronger than ever, with total US investment in the EU three times higher than in Asia and EU investment in the US at about eight times the amount of EU investment in India and China together.

With trade agreements nearing conclusion with both Canada and Central America, the EU, will have to utilise its recent experience and appetite for trade to forge a powerful and confident pact with the leading superpower of our age. The successful conclusion of not just the EU–US deal, but all trade deals currently under negotiation could potentially create over two million jobs across the European Union.