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.
Browse the Constitution Annotated
First Amendment  Fundamental Freedoms

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Pilgrim Fathers | dashboard | THE DE-ENLIGHTENING OF AMERICA: THE ONSET OF SYSTEMIC NATIONAL DYSPHORIA | Music & The White House | A Credible Grand Strategy: the Urgent Need to set Priorities | USA in turmoil | the Supreme Court | A concise overview of United States foreign policy | the White House | Aspen Ideas Festival | DEMOCRACY TODAY IN THE USA | ECONOMY | the Atlantic Festival | transatlantic relations


In American colonial history, the Pilgrim Fathers, settlers of  Plymouth, Massachusetts, were the first permanent colony in New England (1620). They left Scrooby for Leiden and Leiden for Plymouth.
The American Revolutionary War fought by the Thirteen Colonies against the British Empire was the first successful war of independence by a non-European entity against a European power in modern history. Americans had developed an ideology of "republicanism", asserting that government rested on the will of the people as expressed in their local legislatures. They demanded their "rights as Englishmen" and "no taxation without representation". The British insisted on administering the empire through Parliament, and the conflict escalated into war.

In 1774, the First Continental Congress passed the Continental Association, which mandated a colony-wide boycott of British goods. The Second Continental Congress, an assembly representing the United Colonies, unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 (annually celebrated as Independence Day). In 1781, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union established a decentralized government that operated until 1789.

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. The Netherlands was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States of America. In 1782, John Adams, the second president of the United States, was received by the States-General in The Hague as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. On that same day, John Adams bought a house in The Hague, which became the first American Embassy in the world. The bonds that connect the American and Dutch peoples, is commemorated in various ways and at various levels. The Dutch-American Friendship Day, which officially started on April 19, 1982 at the initiative of Ronald Reagan and is celebrated every year, is one of them.

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

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


White House government

deficit reduction table

New York, one of Bellows’ energetic depictions of a crude, crammed New York  in the early 20th century and a report on the circumstances that were gained by Hurricane Sandy. The New Republic tackles politics, culture, and big ideas from an unbiased and thought-provoking perspective WIFWIF Poster Marshall Plan what is the trillion dollar coin? And what is the sequester? Democrats
dealing with the Colossus

(R. Cooper, 2008)

City activities 1, Thomas Hart Benton
Aspen Ideas Festival

for Europe

The Age of Innovation
Towards a post-American Europe (ECFR) US meet Europe
Delegation of the European Union to the United States
Stars and Stripes exists to provide independent news and information, and maintains news bureaus in Europe, Pacific and the Middle East  Have Transatlantic differences narrowed?
website Congress
The United States, Capitool and Congress
The Atlantic
News White House
Does the West still exist, America and Europe moving towards 2020
Barack Obama:
the man and the challenge

(Zeki Ergas)
congress member's voting record US Department of State NEWSMAX


"Most Americans seem aware that things are not going well for our country, for our families and for
our children and the younger generations. We
don't know what has gone wrong with the culture, the economy and our politics. We have lost self-confidence in ourselves and trust in others; we complain and point fingers; our social capital has been depleted."

As a first step in seeking solutions, a lot of publicly available data was compiled which demonstrates the scope of the problem. What was found, is included in "The De-Enlightening of America: The Onset of Systemic National Dysphoria", the latest special issue of Pegasus. Suggested is that the developments illustrated by the data was systemic dysphoria among Americans.

March 21, 2024, there was a Zoom round table for those concerned – in the U.S. and around the world. Discussed were the data and its implications. As a civilization state, the United States of America was framed in ethics and law by an enlightened Calvinism, often referred to as the Scottish Enlightenment. The founding documents – a declaration of independence and a written constitution – reflect a commitment to the common sense political theory of John Locke on public office as a public trust, married to the moral sense and wealth-creating insights of Adam Smith. Since 1990, the country has entered a new era. The American people, led by a narcissistic elite rejecting the wisdom of the Scottish Enlightenment, have been deconstructing that original and most beneficial enlightened vision of social justice to replace it with cultural and social decline that has encouraged political degradation.

Societies lack benchmarks and appear incapable to find an exit out of the discontents. People lost directions, have become theatrical personalities, float, and become susceptible to wrong influences. How to encounter? Questions raise as who we are, where are we come from, and where are we going.

A main role for bookclubs and libraries, and education by teaching about epistemology, the antology of "The American Idea" (2006), from 'The Atlantic', the quest for identity, and by raising awareness about the importance of the duty what it is to have rights.

During the meeting, Socrates' method how to discuss and Aristotle' scientific method (e.g. on epistemology) were brought to the table for highlighting virtues.

  Music & The White House
Current discontent in the US has roots in history. Michael Varekamp with his band and America expert Willem Post responded to the current presidential election battle and American history with music and short stories and points of contention from then and now.


A Credible Grand Strategy: The Urgent Need to Set Priorities
The era of U.S. global dominance is over. The ends and means of U.S. foreign policy are not aligned; recalibration must start with setting priorities. The United States alone cannot maintain peace and security in every corner of the globe; it should share responsibility with others.

Given the United States’ limited resources, policymakers should recognize that the core goals of U.S. foreign policy – preserving Americans’ security, prosperity, and freedom – do not rely on sustaining overwhelming U.S. military power in all places, and at all times. Different circumstances, including new constraints on U.S. power, cry out for new approaches.

Specifically, the United States should rebalance its foreign-policy toolkit by elevating diplomacy, trade, and cultural exchanges, and by deemphasizing the use of force and coercion. In a world of many capable actors, U.S. policymakers should work with allies and partners to redistribute defense burdens and costs, focus on reducing the risk of conflict, eliminate barriers to commerce, and restore the United States’ reputation as a magnet for the world’s talent (Report 25 January 2024, Stimson Center),

A Credible Grand Strategy:
The Urgent Need to Set Priorities



Capitol-riot 2021-01-06, Police intervene as supporters of
President Donald Trump breach security and enter the Capitol on Wednesday
(Mostafa BassimAnadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Truth About Trump's Mob
Jeffrey D. Sachs,  January 8, 2021,  Project Syndicate 

NEW YORK – The storming of the US Capitol on January 6 is easily misunderstood. Shaken by the ordeal, members of Congress have issued statements explaining that America is a nation of laws, not mobs. The implication is that the disruption incited by President Donald Trump is something new. It is not. The United States has a long history of mob violence stoked by white politicians in the service of rich white Americans. What was unusual this time is that the white mob turned on the white politicians, rather than the people of color who are usually the victims.

Of course, the circumstance of this rioting is crucial. The aim was to intimidate Congress into stopping the peaceful transition of power. This is sedition, and in stoking it, Trump has committed a capital offense.

In the past, such mob violence has been aimed at more traditional targets of white hate: African-Americans trying to vote or desegregate buses, housing, lunch counters, and schools; Native Americans trying to protect their hunting lands and natural resources; Mexican farmworkers demanding occupational safety; the Chinese immigrant laborers who previously built the railways and worked the mines. These groups were the targets of mob violence stoked by Americans from President Andrew Jackson and the frontiersman Kit Carson in the nineteenth century to Alabama Governor George Wallace in the twentieth.

Viewed in this historical light, the mob of righteously indignant "good old boys" who stormed the Capitol had a familiar appearance. As Trump put it in his speech fomenting the riot, they were out to "save" America. "Let the weak [politicians] get out. This is a time for strength," he declared, deploying familiar riffs. "They also want to indoctrinate your children in school by teaching them things that aren't so. They want to indoctrinate your children. It's all part of the comprehensive assault on our democracy." 

Throughout American history, most mob violence has come not as a spasmodic explosion of protest from below, but rather as structural violence from above, instigated by white politicians preying on the fears, hatreds, and ignorance of the white underclass. As the historian Heather Cox Richardson documents in her brilliant new book, How the South Won the Civil War, this variety of mob violence has been a critical part of upper-class white America's defense of a hierarchical society for more than 150 years. 

America's culture of white mob violence goes hand in hand with its gun culture. The hundreds of millions of privately owned firearms in the US disproportionately belong to whites; and as the historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz points out powerfully in Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, "gun rights" have long been invoked by vigilante white mobs to suppress blacks and Native Americans.

Stoking mob violence against people of color is typically how rich whites channel poor whites' grievances away from themselves. Far from being a specifically Trumpian tactic, it is the oldest trick in the American political playbook. Want to pass a regressive tax cut for the rich? Just tell economically struggling whites that blacks, Muslims, and immigrants are coming to impose socialism.  

Trump has done precisely this throughout his presidency, warning that without him in office, Americans will "have to learn to speak Chinese." At his rallies, he routinely champions the Second Amendment and rails against nonwhites, telling congresswomen of color to "go back" to the "totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." He has urged his followers to manhandle opposition demonstrators, and to throw them out – not just from his rallies, but from the country itself. He has praised white supremacists as "very fine people." After his Confederate-flag-waving mob stormed the Capitol, he said, "We love you, you're very special.  

The Republican Party fully backed Trump and his politics of incitement right up until the afternoon of January 6, when the mob swarmed the Capitol. But Republican leaders' fealty to Trump has not been driven merely by his hold on the party's base. Trump represents the essence of the American right. His assigned role has always been clear: to stack the judiciary, cut taxes for corporations and the rich, and push back against demands for social spending and environmental regulation, all while inciting the baying mob to fight "socialism."

January 6 went awry because the white mob turned on the white politicians themselves. This was unacceptable, but not unpredictable. Trump has repeatedly told his followers that they are losing America; and the Republicans' loss of Georgia's two Senate seats to an African-American and a Jew doubtless added to the rage.

Trump may have been unusually crude in his race-baiting, but his approach has been perfectly in keeping with that of the Republican Party at least since the party's "Southern strategy" in the 1968 election, in the wake of that decade's civil-rights legislation. Until last year, Trump was getting the job done for his party's plutocrat donors, bosses, and business allies. The 2020 election was his to lose – and lose it he did. But the reason was not that he was too racist toward people of color; it was that he was overwhelmingly malevolent and incompetent in the face of a killer pandemic.

In the grand sweep of history, America is indeed turning the corner on its past of racism and white mob violence. Barack Obama was elected to the presidency twice, and when Trump won in 2016, he received fewer votes than his opponent. Between Kamala Harris's election as vice president and Georgia's Senate elections this week, there is strong evidence to show that America is gradually shifting away from white oligarchic rule. By 2045, non-Hispanic whites will constitute only around half of the population, down from around 83% in 1970. After that, America will become a "majority-minority" country, with non-Hispanic whites accounting for around 44% of the population by 2060.

For good reason, younger Americans are more cognizant of racism than previous generations were. The Trumpian virulence on display at the Capitol may have been dismaying. But it should be seen as a desperate, pathetic last gasp. Fortunately, the America of racist white rule is receding, if still far too slowly, into history.
The US end of May, 2020 (after less than three years the Charlottesville rally):

Violence has erupted in cities across the US on the sixth night of protests sparked by the death in police custody of African-American George Floyd. Curfews have been imposed in nearly 40 cities, but people have largely ignored them, leading to tense stand-offs. There are unconfirmed rumors of five deaths because of the rioting and clashes. Riot police clashed with protesters in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, firing tear gas and pepper bullets to try to disperse the crowds. Police vehicles were set on fire and shops were looted in several cities. The National Guard - the US reserve military force for domestic emergencies - said on Sunday that 5,000 of its personnel had been activated in 15 states and Washington, DC, where crowds once again gathered near the White House, this time lighting fires and throwing stones at riot officers. “State and local law enforcement agencies remain responsible for security,” the National Guard added. It has emerged that in Friday night's unrest, President Donald Trump was briefly taken by the secret service into an underground bunker at the White House, for his safety. The US is witnessing the most widespread racial turbulence and civil unrest since the violent backlash to the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, says the BBC's Nick Bryant. More than 75 cities have seen protests, with streets only days ago deserted because of coronavirus, thronged with demonstrators marching shoulder to shoulder. The Floyd case has reignited anger over police killings of black Americans. For many, the outrage also reflects years of frustration over socio-economic inequality and segregation, not least in Minneapolis itself, where George Floyd died. There were many instances of police vehicles being vandalized and set alight on Sunday. Riot officers continued to respond with tear gas and flash grenades. In Philadelphia, local TV stations showed people smashing police cars and looting at least one store. Mr Trump tweeted: “law & Order in Philadelphia NOW!”, They are looting stores. Call in our great National Guard.“ Looting was also reported in Santa Monica, California. In Minneapolis, a lorry driver was arrested after reportedly breaching a road barrier before speeding towards a crowd of protesters marching along a major motorway. Footage posted on social media showed dozens of people surrounding the vehicle and pulling the driver out from behind the wheel after it came to a stop. The driver was later taken to hospital with minor injuries. There were no immediate reports of other casualties. Minnesota's Governor Tim Walz said the motive of the driver was unclear, adding: ”To not have tragedy and many deaths is simply an amazing thing.“ In Denver, thousands of people protested peacefully in Colorado State Capitol by lying face down with their hands behind their backs and chanting: ”I can't breathe” - a reference to the circumstances of Mr Floyd's death. Large-scale protests also took place in Atlanta, Boston, Miami and Oklahoma City. There were also several reported incidents of riot police responding disproportionately to the demonstrators. In Atlanta, Georgia, two officers were sacked on Sunday for using excessive force - including firing a taser - on two young college students.

Hundreds of people have been arrested since the protests began a week ago.

on the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

PEGASUS, Nov 2020, Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism

National Guard marches through a quiet residential neighborhood in Minneapolis, screaming at citizens to get inside. Soldiers stop to point their guns at residents on their balcony. They yell “LIGHT THEM UP” as they fire riot control rounds at them.












A white ex-policeman has been charged with murdering Mr Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin, 44, is due to appear in court later on Monday. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement.

For three years, Donald Trump presided over a nation of relative peace and prosperity. The crises he faced were largely of his own making, and he confronted them by rallying his supporters and condemning his opponents. Now Trump faces a situation ill-suited to a playbook of division. The US economy has been hobbled by a deadly pandemic. George Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has spread racial unrest across the nation. The public is uncertain and afraid - and increasingly angry. These are circumstances that would test the abilities of even the most skilful leaders. This president, however, risks becoming lost at sea. His public calls for unity and healing have been undermined by a penchant for Twitter name-calling and bellicosity. Message discipline, a valuable attribute at this moment, is not his forte.

The economic and social devastation of the pandemic has created a political landscape of dry brush ignited by the lightning strike of Floyd's death. The president may not be able to contain the wildfire, even if he isn't feeding the flames.



The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest federal court of the United States. Established pursuant to Article Three of the United States Constitution in 1789, it has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and state court cases involving issues of federal law plus original jurisdiction over a small range of cases.

In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is generally the final interpreter of federal law including the United States Constitution, but it may act only within the context of a case, in which it has jurisdiction. The Court does not have power to decide political questions, and its enforcement arm is in the executive rather than judicial branch of government.

The art of justice

Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, lectured 23 September 2017 at the NEXUS Institute. According to Justice Breyer, justice, like architecture and music, is a cultural form. : "Law is a lively human affair, with a solid foundation that evolves at the same time and adapts to its social and cultural environment. However, the rule of law is under severe pressure worldwide and it is therefore more important than ever to defend justice with force." Furthermore, Nexus writes: "The rule of law is one of the pillars of democracy. But worldwide, many authoritarian leaders rely on the "popular wil" to judge the judiciary or suspect its independence. Where the voice of the people is above the law and the rule of law is undermined, the end of democracy begins. Therefore, it is more important than ever to defend justice with force. "
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  A concise overview of
United States foreign policy
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
1787-1890 CONTINENTAL EXPANSION. Monroe-doctrine, Manifest Destiny
1890-1920 MAJOR POWER STATUS. Moral crusades, Cuba, The Philippines. First World War 'To make the world safe for democracy' (Woodrow Wilson)
1989-2000 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)
2017-2021 "TRUMP PARTY" (transaction based thinking and acting): ............................
America is back, ready to lead the world, once again sit at the head of the table, ready to confront our adversaries, ready to stand up for our values; with a call for inclusive internationalism
The four main objectives of U.S. foreign policy are the protection of the United States and its citizens and allies, the assurance of continuing access to international resources and markets, the preservation of a balance of power in the world, and the protection of human rights and democracy.

In The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy, Michael Mandelbaum offers a new framework for understanding the evolution of the foreign policy of the United States. He divides that evolution into four distinct periods, with each defined by the consistent increase in American power relative to other countries. His history of the four periods features engaging accounts of the major events and important personalities in the foreign policy of each era. Throughout, Mandelbaum highlights fundamental continuities in the goals of American foreign policy and in the way that policy was adopted and implemented. He portrays the United States, in its ascent, first as a weak power, from 1765 to 1865, then as a great power between 1865 and 1945, next as a superpower in the years 1945 to 1990, and finally as the world's sole hyperpower, from 1990 to 2015.

He also presents three features of American foreign policy that are found in every era: first, the goal of disseminating the political ideas Americans have embraced from the first; second, the use of economic instruments in pursuit of the country's foreign policy goals; and third, a process for formulating policy and implementing decisions shaped by considerable popular influence. American foreign policy, as he puts it, has been unusually ideological, unusually economic, and unusually democratic: The Four Ages of American Foreign Policy: Weak Power, Great Power, Superpower, Hyperpower


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. 

Since the advent of the new US administration policy priorities seem to have diverged. The European side continues to emphasize the importance of cooperation and a rules-based global system. Tensions have emerged as the two sides seem far apart in terms of the need to combat climate change or to defend fundamental rights accross the globe. Moreover, Europe perceives China much less as a geopolitical competitor, and more as an important market. But the one area where the US and the EU seem in direct conflict is trade. A truce has been established, but will it last?

CEPSIdeasLab 2019 "Will it be possible to find compromises in other areas as well, to re-establish the long standing transatlantic partnership?" ->


The White House  
The White House has been the scene of many events in the history of the USA. Here the President holds meetings that decide national and international policy, sign s new legislation, and carries out the many duties of the office. Here too, the President and First Family entertain guests and live their private lives, as every President, except George Washington, has done. The White House stands for the power and statesmanship of the chief executive.
See the East Wing entrance, the Library, the East Room where John F. Kennedy's body lay at rest, the Green and Blue Room, the Cross and Entrance Hall, the Red Room and the State Dining Room



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.

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.

57th Inauguration 21st January 2013

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.


The Aspen Ideas Festival  

The Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Some 350 presenters,
200 sessions, and 3,000 attendees comprise the annual Festival, launched in 2005, on the Aspen Institute's campus in Aspen, Colorado

ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVALS 2010, 2009 and 2008

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


Transatlantic relations  
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 Modern Age Intercollegiate Review

Brussels Forum

Transatlantic Trends

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


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.


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.


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.


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.



"I could fill Volumes with Descriptions of Temples and Palaces, Paintings, Sculptures, Tapestry, Porcelaine, &c. &c. &c. — if I could have time. But I could not do this without neglecting my duty. The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts.

I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematics and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine." (John Adams in a letter May 12, 1780 posted from Paris to his wife Abigail)