October 25, 2004


Strains with EU remain whoever wins White House (Daniel Dombey, October 26 2004, Financial Times)

George W. Bush's admin-istration has left a mark of its own on transatlantic relations. On that many US and European officials agree.

The Iraq war, Donald Rumsfeld's provocative talk of "old" and "new" Europe and fights over US steel tariffs and subsidies for Europe's Airbus have all commanded headlines and strained the most successful alliance in history.

But, no matter who wins next week's US presidential election, on many important issues basic differences are likely to remain. Many US priorities concern traditional power politics, while the European Union often seems to be groping after a more rule-governed world.

US officials are pushing for Turkey to become a member of the EU while public opinion in Europe on this issue is more hesitant. At the same time Washington wants to persuade the EU not to lift its arms embargo on China. The two sides of the Atlantic are also at odds over the Kyoto protocol on climate change and the International Criminal Court.

Prof Timothy Garton Ash, author of a recent book on the transatlantic relationship, believes an administration headed by John Kerry, Democratic challenger, would make a big difference to relations with Europe, but would still steer clear of signing up to the international institutions dear to the EU.

Sure, many Americans wish the Europeans liked us better right now, but do you want to be the politician who goes and tells the people that the Europeans are going to govern us?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2004 11:40 PM

A "more rule-governed world" would be a good thing, IF all nations were mature and peaceful.

Since they're demonstrably not, some nation or alliance of nations has to step up and arbitrarily maintain order, or we'll face continuous global unrest and chaos.

The UN is unable to do it, and the EU unwilling, so it falls to the US.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 26, 2004 4:19 AM

We should be turning our back on 'Old Europe' and focusing on East Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. That is where the future is. Old Europe is little more than a cemetery with a few good restaurants.

Posted by: Bart at October 26, 2004 6:51 AM

Didn't most Americans or their ancestors come to America to get away from being governed by Europeans?

Posted by: Ken at October 26, 2004 8:33 PM
« 240: | Main | WE'RE ALL DEEPLY SADDENED...: »