To what extent have changing relations with the USA affected the development and nature of the European Union?

Authors Avatar

Aqeel Hussain – P03171280

Alison Statham – POLI 1003 – Contemporary European Issues

To what extent have changing relations with the USA affected the development and nature of the European Union?

In order to answer this particular question, we must look at how the relationship was between USA and the European Union before all the changes started to occur with both parties.

The EU-US relations is a major issue in the world’s history. The ‘Transatlantic Relationship’ between Europe and America, is one of key importance to the economy today. During almost 40 years, the transatlantic relations were aimed confronting the many challenges posed by the Soviet Union and its allies. Based on shared values, common interest and historical experiences, transatlantic relations still remains a dynamic process. However it is one not immune to corrosion. What has been granted by 50 years of serious political and economical association between the two sides of the Atlantic may however fall into danger. The complexity of various issues has shown the differences between the two sides.

There are numerous examples of ‘these differences’ thus, before the terrible attacks on The World Trade Centre on September 11th, the Europeans mainly preoccupied themselves with their own domestic affairs. The mood, in the United States also appeared preoccupied but also triumphant. Triumphant in a sense, that across the political sector, the feeling was that the US were a country “enjoying a pre-eminence unrivalled by even the greatest empires of the past” in which global American leadership was seen as questionable. 

Yet after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, Washington left very little room for the European Union (Alliances) to prove any immediate usefulness. In a sense the Alliance were there to make sure the US didn’t run out of machinery, soldiers, assets etc. In a sense the terrorist attacks played a catalyst role because in the aftermath, it exposed a hidden side to the Transatlantic relationship; for most security and defence problems erupting outside its geographic perimeters, the Alliance has now an even limited appeal to the US.

Join now!

It was a clear perception by the Americans of the difficulties for the Europeans to efficiently participate with the US on a large-scale operation after a decade of drawing their respective defence budget.

Looking at this, the US would not think that the European Union would be much help and from looking at recent events it would suggest that the European Union are not as appealing to the US are they were in the past.

Even though the EU-US relations had gone quiet because of all the political and military ‘bravado’, the international economy was still in full swing ...

This is a preview of the whole essay