Since the 1990’s, the United States and the European Union have took a transatlantic relationship that was forged during the Cold War to contain Soviet power, and transformed it into a partnership focused on consolidating democracy in central and eastern Europe. Today this relationship and its key institutions must again be overhauled to meet a new set of economic, political & social challenges. In order to identify where this relationship is heading, one must first address the issue of “who or what is Europe.”
As of 2007, Europe can be identified as a continent rich in culture, which flows from a collection of nation states. Indeed, Europe’s relationship with itself is changing too as it challenges the basis of democracy by ceding sovereignty from its traditional states towards an integrated Europe governed by the European Union. This is a critical junction the EU is facing as it debates such issues as Turkey’s membership into the club and a constitution for the 27 EU states. As T.R. Reid suggests a “geopolitical earthquake is taking place in Europe.”
Furthermore, through the EU, Europe has discovered that its intense desire to stand tall again can be achieved. It has found this success through the use of multilateralism which has been an effective instrument of peace and economically by the introduction of a single monetary currency, the Euro. Although the EU will never compete with the US in terms of military power, its vision as a driving force in global political and economic affairs is being realized.
While Europe slowly begins to find who or what it is, the continent must also assess its relationship with its closest ally, the United States of America. Since the Iraq war in 2003, the EU-US alliance has been damaged by the unilateralist foreign policy of the Bush administration. The belief that the US is a hyper-power out of control has led to increased views of Anti-Americanism as a European lingua franca.
Essentially, I feel the catalyst...