July - December 2008

Concern Over Russian ‘Test’ As Czechs Take over EU Presidency
29 December 2008 – Ahto Lobjakas, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
Following the impressive French Presidency of the EU, the Czech Republic takes over membership of the 27-member bloc on January 1. In Brussels, officials of the incoming leadership have expressed their belief that their presidency will be “tested” in some way by Russia . While the issues Georgia and energy security are high on the list of possible tensions, Russia could choose to marginalize Prague by expanding bilateral ties with larger EU countries. Nicholas Sarkozy’s continued involvement in European affairs could challenge Czech leadership, as could Prague ’s previous decision to host part of a US missile shield which Russia opposes. Further security concerns, “neighborhood” issues, and a euro-skeptical president will also provide more challenges for the Czechs to overcome in their six-month leadership.
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Brussels urges US to move ahead in visa-waiver programme
29 December 2008 – Ivan Camilleri, Times of Malta
As of December 30, 2008, Maltese citizens no longer require a visa to visit the United States. The European Commission welcomed the announcement and encouraged the US to admit to the visa-waiver program the remaining five member states – Greece, Poland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania. Such a move is expected in coming weeks.
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Editorials – US-Ukraine Charter
28 December 2008 – VOANews.com
Citing Ukraine ’s essential role in Europe , Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the United States has signed a charter on strategic partnership and security with the Eastern European nation. The new agreement focuses on defense, security, economics and trade, energy security, democracy, and cultural exchanges. Ukraine, which is pursuing NATO membership, is the only non-member participating in all of the Alliance ’s missions. The US will work with Ukraine to create a business climate that supports trade and investment and to rehabilitate and modernize the gas transit infrastructure in Ukraine . Increased transparency and independence of Ukraine ’s judiciary as well as cultural and social exchanges are also part of the new plan.
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Brown sees new U.S. alliance
28 December 2008 – Jodie Ginsberg, Reuters UK
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will call for a “coalition for change” with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama in his New Year address. Citing the economy, climate change, and security as the primary challenges facing the world in the upcoming year, Brown promises to work with the United States in overcoming these challenges. This will push the US-UK alliance beyond its traditional military focus. Building on the transatlantic partnership, Brown also advocates the creation of a global coalition for change.
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What Santa can bring Eastern Europe
27 December 2008 – Economist.com
Almost two decades after fall of communism in Eastern Europe , the countries that were once behind the Iron Curtain have little to show internationally for their efforts towards reform and embrace of Western ideas and values. Should the Lisbon treaty be ratified in the coming year, there will be several jobs, both existing and new, that will come open in the Euro-Atlantic framework: presidents of the EU Commission and the EU Council, EU foreign minister, NATO secretary-general, and president of the European Parliament. Only the last, arguable least important of these jobs is likely to be filled by an Eastern European. To avoid alienating these newer EU and NATO member states, the NATO top job should go to an Eastern leader with expertise in defense policy who is a strong believer in Atlanticism. Radek Sikorski , Poland ’s foreign minister, or Sasha Vondra, the deputy prime minister of the Czech Republic , emerges as the best possibilities. Sikorski’s previous time as defense minister make him the stronger candidate.
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Georgia, US to sign strategic accord Jan 4
25 December 2009 - AFP
Reportedly, the United States is poised to sign a ‘bilateral charter’ with the Republic of Georgia on 4 January 2009. According to a statement from the US State Department, the charter is intended to "help Georgia advance security, democratic, and market economic reforms to strengthen Georgia , bolster our partnership, and deepen Georgia 's Euro-Atlantic integration." This agreement is expected to be very similar to the charter signed by the US and Ukraine on 19 December 2008 . The planned strategic partnership has enjoyed widespread support in Georgia ; however, critics warn that Russia is likely to view this diplomatic agreement with distrust.
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European Countries May Take Detainees
23 December 2008 – The Washington Post – Peter Finn
A number of European countries have begun to discuss the possibility of accepting US prisoners currently detained in Guantanamo Bay , Cuba . The proposed agreement would be intended for those prisoners who could not easily be returned to their country of origin. Consideration of this arrangement has been viewed as a step in the collective effort to begin to dismantle the controversial US-detention facility. “At least half a dozen countries are considering resettlement, with only Germany and Portugal acknowledging it publicly thus far.” Although a number of legal and logistic road blocks remain in the process to close the Guantanamo facility, this agreement may prove to be a significant step in the process.
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EU and US must ‘turn goodwill into action’
22 December 2008 – Financial Times - Tony Barber
Although many Europeans are eagerly awaiting the anticipated improvement in the US-EU relations expected during the next US administration, experts acknowledge the need for functional initiatives to accompany these positive sentiments. Kristen Silverberg, the US ambassador to the European Union, cited “NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, the global financial crisis, and US-European economic relations as three areas where common action would be necessary to build on the European goodwill evident since Mr. Obama’s election victory.”
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US, Ukraine , Sign Partnership Charter
19 December 2008 – The State Department – Media Note
On Friday, the US and Ukraine signed a ‘Charter of Strategic Partnership’ reinforcing a joint commitment to cooperation in “defense, energy, trade and other areas.” In addition the Charter provides a framework for the establishment of a US diplomatic mission in Ukraine ’s Crimean region, where ethnically-Russian Ukrainians make up the majority of the population. Although seemingly diminutive, this agreement appears to be a significant indication “to Moscow of U.S.-Ukraine solidarity.” In reference to the Charter, a US State Department spokesman identified the accord as a step in the process of “ Ukraine 's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.”
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Kings for a day, the Czech EU-Presidency
17 December 2008 – The Prague Post Online - Benjamin Tallis
The international community will likely continue to face uncertainty as the Czech Republic ascends to the EU Presidency starting in the New Year. In an attempt to address the multiplicity of challenges facing the EU as well as the rest of the world, the Czech leaders have begun to shape their strategy. In terms of EU foreign policy, “the Czech Republic has identified three areas of focus: trans-Atlantic relations, the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe . As good Euro-Atlantic citizens, it is not surprising that the Czechs have chosen to focus on cooperation between the EU and NATO.” The Czech position as a member of both the EU and NATO offers the nation an idyllic position from which to confront and reconcile both political and strategic tensions associated with these organizations.
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The Commission of European Communities names US Europe’s most important partner
16 December 2008 - The Commission of European Communities – Official Communication
On 16 December, the Commission of European Communities released an official Communication to the European Parliament regarding ‘the external dimensions of the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs.’ The Commission opined that market openness is critical for economic strength across the globe. Limiting trade barriers is especially vital to the European Union as the 27 member alliance represents the ‘largest trading block in the world.’ The report identifies EU-US regulatory convergence and co-operation as fundamental pillars of any financial recovery strategy. The Communication goes on to recognize the US as “the most important partner for the EU.” Released less than a week after the third meeting of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), the Commission of European Communities’ report cited the TEC as, "a high-level political body giving political impetus to initiatives aimed at creating a barrier-free transatlantic market and supporting a range of sectoral regulatory dialogues.” The Commission emphasized the importance of the Transatlantic Economic Council through recognition of recent TEC accomplishments such as, “significant administrative simplification for the pharmaceuticals industry and equivalence of accounting standards.”
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And Now For a World Government
08 December 2008 – Financial Times – Gideon Rachman
In a recent piece by, Chief foreign affairs commentator for the British-based publication the Financial Times, Gideon Rachman proposes the preliminary steps toward a “world government. Admitting the challenges associated with a project of this magnitude, Rachman also points to the EU as both inspiration and a potential mold for this supranational undertaking. Asserting that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature, the author makes the case that comprehensive, international governmental cooperation should be viewed as an obvious step to confronting the global challenges of the 21st century. Finally, Rachman identifies the current trend towards mass-international cooperation on global issues such as climate change, economic turmoil, the rise of terrorism, as just the opportunity required for the ‘world government initiative’ to gain momentum.
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Re-Wiring the US-EU Relationship
December 2008 - The European Council on Foreign Relations - Daniel Korski, Ulrike Guérot and Mark Leonard
In a recent memo aimed at functional recommendations for the strengthening of the US-EU partnership, authors Korski, Guérot, and Leonard provide both organizational and institutional suggestions to be reviewed by the Euro-Atlantic community. Published by the European Council on Foreign Relations, this piece encourages a variety of policy revisions including but not limited to the establishment of: ‘back-to-back EU and NATO summits,’ a US-EU Conflict Prevention Task Force, with a permanent secretariat housed in Brussels, a NATO/EU School for Conflict, Post-Conflict and Stabilization to provide training for deploying personnel, and a recurrent policy in which the President of the United States be invited once a year to the European Council. As described by the authors, the primary goal of this initiative is support for the construction of a solid framework for transatlantic discussion that will allow all nations involved the opportunity to take full advantage of the current shift toward increased US-EU cooperation.
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Czechs unveil priorities for their turn at the EU presidency
1 December 2008 - euobserver.com - Valentina Pop
In a speech to the British Chamber of Commerce, Czech Ambassador to the European Union Milena Vicenova outlined the goals of the Czech presidency of the European Union, set to begin on January 1. Prague will focus on the three 'E's: economy and efficiency, energy, and external relations. Under the motto of " Europe without barriers," the ambassador expressed the Czech government's desire not "to return to protectionism and excessive state regulation" in the context of the current financial crisis. Regarding external relations, Ms. Vicenova spoke of accelerating the enlargement process towards the western Balkans, of the Eastern Partnership of transatlantic relations as core element, and the Canada-EU free trade agreement.
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Rice to visit Europe for clinching transatlantic ties
24 November 2008 - news.xinhuanet.com
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will begin a six day tour of Europe on November 30th, which is expected to be her final official visit to the continent. According to spokesman Sean McCormack, Rice will travel to Britain, Belgium, Italy, Finland and Denmark. She is expected to meet with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in London before traveling to Brussels to participate in the annual formal meeting of NATO foreign ministers. In Addition, Secretary of State Rice is expected to meet with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Foreign Minister Franco Frattini in Rome, then travel to Helsinki to participate in the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) ministerial. The trip “is expected to strengthen the relationship between the United States and its transatlantic allies.”
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Irish vote may reverse Lisbon treaty veto
18 November 2008 – France 24
After its voters rejected the European Union's Lisbon Treaty in June, Ireland announced that new polls show hope for passage in a second referendum. Now the Irish government is seeking guarantees from other EU member states on a number of issues, notably retaining its commissioner. Voters in Ireland have expressed concern over the potential loss of a commissioner as well as protecting national laws against abortion, retaining military neutrality, and maintaining low corporation taxes. Ireland was the only EU member to seek approval of the Lisbon Treaty through popular referendum.
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Italian PM Berlusconi Defends G8 in Face of Rising G20
16 November 2008 – easybourse.com
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi insisted the G8 remains relevant despite the rise of the Group of 20. With Italy poised to take over the rotating presidency of the G8 on January 1, the politics behind Berlusconi's statements were evident. He defended the Group of Eight, which includes the US , Canada , Japan , the UK , France , Germany , Russia , and Italy , saying, "Certain problem must be discussed by countries that have full-fledged democracies." La Stampa, a conservative Italian daily, warned that by being "too present in the traditional" G8 Europe "risks having little weight in the new G20."
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Crisis Brings Some Clarity to EU Policymaking
14 November 2008 – The Council on Foreign Relations - James M. Goldgeier and Charles A. Kupchan
The World financial crisis may be the galvanizing force needed to bring the EU together. The recent economic downturn has demanded greater cooperation and dialogue throughout the global community; however, the unprecedented interdependence shared among EU countries has made collaboration between its members even more important. Despite the uncertainty associated with this monetary meltdown, "the European Union's coordinated response to the financial crisis represents a much-needed boost for the European project of political and economic integration." Authors James M. Goldgeier and Charles A. Kupchan argue that "Greater European coherence and capacity also holds out promise of strengthening transatlantic ties. The more willing and able Europe is to team up with Washington…the more likely it is the Atlantic partnership can be repaired and renewed."
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EU eager to work with Obama
13 November 2008 – BBC- William Horsley
Both leaders and citizens are eager to begin, what most expect to be a fruitful relationship with US President-elect Barak Obama. Days before the US Presidential elections, leaders from the 27 member states of the European Union met and agreed upon a letter to the next US president. The content of that letter, which was not revealed until after the election results were confirmed, included bold ideas about stronger transatlantic cooperation based on "a more balanced relationship between the EU and the US …a partnership of equals." Although the future of US-EU ties looks much brighter than it did during the previous eight years, challenges remain. "Barack Obama has fuelled European hopes. Among his first pledges after his election win was one to "rebuild" alliances." This is a promising first step; however, accomplishment on this scale is dependant on a commitment from both sides of the Atlantic "to rebuild the fractured alliance, frayed close to breaking-point by sharp differences over Iraq and complaints about US 'unilateralism.'"
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EU Ambassador on Prospects for EU-US Relations under Obama
13 November 2008 – European Commission
In a speech given at the Bertelsmann Foundation on Thursday, EU Ambassador John Bruton, gave his "personal reflections on prospects for EU-US relations under the Obama administration and a prescription for how common problems should be addressed." Bruton, who heads the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States, went on to say, 'now is the time for the European Union and the United States to join together to make the case to the rest of the world' to turn the series of separate and seemingly insoluble problems into a chain of interlinked opportunities" Outlining a variety of present and future foreign policy issues, Ambassador Bruton called for an increase in strategic and diplomatic cooperation between the EU and the next US administration.
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Russia Proposes New Peace to Europe
11 November 2008 – www.kommersant.com
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to restore negotiations with Russia on the subject of “partnership and cooperation.” The Russia-EU summit will resume in Nice this Friday after talks were frozen at the outset of the Russia-Georgia conflict in August of this year. According to Russian representative at the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, “The agreement we are proposing envisages the participation of the EU, United States and Canada – we are speaking of Euro-Atlantic security. At the same time, we are not trying to exclude NATO. Our idea for the agreement reflects a synthesis of approaches and suggests the participation of all the countries of the Euro-Atlantic space.” Chizhov went on to say, “that Medvedev’s proposal for a new architecture of Euro-Atlantic security will be a main point in the talks.”
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EU to end freeze on Russia talks
10 November 2008 – BBC News
In what some members have characterized as a "pragmatic" move, the 27-member European Union will resume talks with Russia . Despite the strong protests of the Lithuania government, the other 26 members agreed it was time to re-engage with Moscow, but they were careful to stress that the talks would not be a return to "business as usual."
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It's not the demise of the West but its rise
10 November 2008 – The European Weekly
By: Karl-Heinz Kamp, Research Director of the NATO Defense College in Rome
Stressing the strength of America 's military, economy, and particularly its soft power, Karl-Heinz Kamp of the NATO Defense College in Rome counters the idea the decline of the West. However, the US position of the world's only "hyper-power" does not lead to omnipotence but requires consensus. The Euro-Atlantic relationship helps each side of the partnership to balance the other's weaknesses, Kamp writes. Additionally, Kamp believes that "transatlantic cooperation" should extend to the more broadly defined "West" to include Australia , New Zealand and Japan , all of which share the Euro-Atlantic community's commitment to "freedom, democracy, market economy, pluralism, and rule of law." He writes, "A unified West…is definitely on the rise."
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EU Offers Road Map for Policy with US
4 November 2008 – The Washington Post, Edward Cody
The EU drafted a letter to the new US president laying out in broad terms Europe’s priorities for cooperation with the incoming administration. Topics range from reinforcing multinational diplomacy in the UN to greater concentration on solving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, officials involved in the drafting said. While the document will remain confidential until the election results are announced, an EU announcement said it was aimed at fostering “a balanced and closer relationship with the United States.”
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Transatlantic fresh start
4 November 2008 – The Guardian, Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European parliament
With the election of a new American president today and the election of a new European Parliament by next summer and a new European Commission next autumn, the near future “presents a fresh challenge and a huge opportunity.” A presidential address to the European Parliament could boost initiatives already underway to strengthen ties between the Congress and parliament. Political commitment is needed to build a barrier-free transatlantic market, as is an initiative to address public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic.
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EU Briefing Paper Encourages EU-US Cooperation on Conflict Prevention
31 October 2008 – www.topnews.in
An EU briefing paper about the future of EU-US relations states that the two entities should push for international intervention in third countries to prevent conflict. The paper is intended to help the EU set up a “minimum common platform” of principles which each member state will use in dealing with the next US president. Using the “responsibility to protect” as its basis, the argument encourages the strengthening of the rule of law and human rights in rising powers such as China and India. Additionally, the paper calls for “full US engagement in the [Middle East] peace process from the start of the new president’s mandate.” Greater cooperation in reforming the international financial systems and entities such as the G8 and the UN Security Council is also encouraged. The EU also calls upon member states and to work with the US to support peace initiatives between Syria and Lebanon and on the stabilization of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Relations with Iran and Russia are also addressed in the briefing paper.
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Transatlantic Accord Reached on Air Cargo Screening
31 October 2008 – Dept. of Homeland Security
The US Transportation Safety Administration announced an agreement with the EU Directorate General for Energy and Transport on screening standards for cargo aboard passenger aircraft. Half of air cargo on passenger crafts will now be screened. Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff says that this new step in transatlantic cooperation addresses a potential vulnerability for terrorists. Agencies on both sides of the Atlantic will develop compatible practices and benchmarks as well as continue to share classified technical information.
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A new agenda for transatlantic relations
30 October 2008 – EurActiv.com
Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution, discussed the advantages the next president will have in strengthening transatlantic relations and the steps the EU can take in that direction. Ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, which will allow the EU to present a more unified front to the world, will be an important factor in the continuation of the EU-US partnership. For its part, the US must make a “concerted effort to reaffirm American dedication to international law and multilateral institutions,” Talbott says.
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What Bush will hand over
30 October 2008 – European Voice
Contrary to what many think, an important part of George W. Bush’s legacy is transatlantic cooperation. This greater openness to multilateral solutions can be built on and strengthened under the next president. The EU has shown itself to be more active and unified, which has also strengthened the relationship. Over the last four years, transatlantic cooperation on foreign policy and in the areas of business and the economy has increased dramatically, laying the foundations for further collaboration.
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U.S., EU Relations Touted
29 October 2008 – The Harvard Crimson
In a speech at the Center for European Studies, French MEP Alain Lamassoure stressed the importance of European engagement with the U.S. Citing issues ranging from global warming to nuclear proliferation, Lamassoure laid out the full possibility of cooperation across the Atlantic. Additionally, he discussed the more pro-American climate French President Sarkozy is fostering in his country and the increasing willingness of European powers to help American efforts in the Middle East.
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Big foreign policy agenda awaits next U.S. president
29 October 2008 – Thestar.com - Caren Bohan
Despite the predominance of partisan politics this election season, most agree that foreign policy will be a top priority of the next administration. The headlining issues in Iraq and Afghanistan, are not the only challenges facing the next President. The new administration will also be faced with strengthening and rebuilding some long-established ties that have waned over the last eight years. Although individual policy initiatives may differ between the two candidates, both agree that the US- EU alliance must take on a vital role in US foreign policy in the future. While some view McCain’s stance on Russia as more hard-line, Mark Lippert, an Obama foreign policy advisor, said “strengthening European alliances would help on many fronts, including providing more leverage with Russia…One foreign policy priority Obama and McCain share is repairing ties with traditional allies, including many European countries that became strained under the Bush administration.”
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Whether it's Obama or McCain, the top priority must be Europe
27 October 2008 - New Europe - David M. Abshire, Alex Douville, Sarah Ficenec
According to an article co-authored by the former US ambassador to NATO, David Abshire: "The next president must strengthen the transatlantic relationship, as Europe and the US face the challenge of what is already being called the "Asian Century." The authors list progressive reform of multilateral institutions, such as NATO, as a necessary priority for the next US President in the critical "need to reinvigorating the transatlantic alliance." They state that NATO "could go further by creating a greater circle of security composed of non-European democracies like Japan , Australia , and possibly Brazil ." In the face of exploding Asian influence, these writers place great emphasis on "reinvigorating American and European ties [to] provide a counterweight to China 's influence without antagonizing the Chinese." In order to overcome foreign policy missteps of the last eight years, "creative measures will need to be taken early in the next Administration to build fresh ideas for renewing European and American relations."
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Kosovo mission highlights improved EU-US relations
24 October 2008 - Belgrade News
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried points to U.S. participation in a European Union Kosovo mission as evidence that US-EU “trans-Atlantic cooperation is not only strong but is producing tangible results.” The United States has committed to provide 80 police officers and up to eight judges and prosecutors to the ‘Rule of Law Mission’, aimed to oversee the way the predominantly ethnic Albanian authorities respect the rights of minority Serbs and strengthen the rule of law in Kosovo. In a statement on Friday, Fried told reporters that the US pledge of support and collaboration “establishes a precedent for what I hope is future cooperation between the United States and the European Union.” The Assistant Secretary of State went on to predict that the incoming US administration “will continue to make Europe a principal focus of its foreign policy.”
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Bosnia in danger of collapse warn former envoys
22 October 2008 - Reuters - Maja Zuvela
On Wednesday, Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and High Representative in Bosnia 2002-2006, called for "resolve and trans-atlantic unity" in order to stay the current threat of reemerging violence in Bosnia . "Animosities have deepened since rival leaders Haris Silajdzic, the Muslim chairman of the state inter-ethnic presidency, and Serb Republic Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, came to power in the 2006 parliamentary vote." Holbrooke assigns blame to a distracted United States and a lethargic EU for allowing the situation in Bosnia to regress. He advocated for a renewed sense of cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic in order to beat back the risk of regional destabilization.
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New Center to Emphasize Importance of Transatlantic Relations
20 October 2008 - TheCampuspress.com
The European Union has provided a $450,000 grant to Colorado University , which it will use to establish the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence. The new center will focus on teaching, research, and outreach. Initially, the center will focus on politics within the EU and the effect on the US . Other programs will include diversity training in journalism, business, and humanities.
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Bush announces visa-waiver for 7 Countries
18 October 2008 - Associated Press- Jennifer Loven
President Bush's visa-waiver plan has been heralded as a large success for the strengthening of transatlantic relations between the US and former-Soviet block European countries. Latvia , Lithuania , Estonia , Hungary , the Czech Republic and Slovakia where among the nations added Friday, October 17th.  "Bush said all of the countries added to the list agreed to take specific steps, such as coming up with tamper-proof, biometric passports that are difficult to forge." Accompanying the visa-waivers, the "seven countries added Friday agreed to share information about security threats to the U.S. and that their citizens would use a new system that requires travelers to register online ahead of their visits to the United States."
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Americans fall back in love with Germany
10 October 2008 - Spiegel International - Gregor Peter Schmitz
Tensions over the disputed Iraq invasion seem to have diminished in the eyes of many Americans who, once again, identify Germany as a very important ally. A recent poll observed "nearly one in two Americans has a very positive image of the European country. And more than one-third categorize German-American relations as excellent or very good." This comes less than half of a decade since contention over the Iraq invasion left only 17 percent of Americans with a favorable opinion of Germany . Although a growing number of Americans have a positive opinion of German-US relations, many in the US still feel ill-informed by the American media on subjects of German culture and politics. This is an encouraging trend as relations between the US and Germany will remain pivotal to future transatlantic cooperation.
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Sweden: EU and USA in dialogue on aid and development
8 October 2008 - Government Offices of Sweden
A meeting of the 'Transatlantic Taskforce on Development' is scheduled to be held October 7-8 in Stockholm , Sweden . Initiated by The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS), and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, this project will be attended by "a number of prominent figures from administrations and development aid agencies, the private sector, foundations and organizations in Europe and the United States ." Workshop organizers and participants hope to influence the incoming administration in Washington to achieve greater consensus on aid and development issues on both sides of the Atlantic.
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US and Europe get chummy over high-tech passport
30 October 2003 - Silicon.net - Jo Best
In the search to stifle terrorist activities, the US and the EU are in agreement over the need to "go high-tech." The discussion centers on the idea of including a biometric element in the construction of new, national passports. Many security leaders on both sides of the Atlantic hope that efforts will eventually lead to the development of a "common international standard for passport, in order to deter forgers." Recent proposals include requirements for passports to include individual fingerprint and/or iris identification. "Speaking after a meeting with German Interior Minister, Otto Schily, [US Homeland Security Secretary Tom] Ridge said that it was up to the US and Europe to set the biometrics path for the rest of the world to follow."
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Transatlantic Education Partnership
6 October 2008 - Financial Times
The ENPC School of International Management in Paris has announced the establishment of a partnership with the Fox School at Philadelphia 's Temple University . Offering an executive MBA, the program will last 24 months and offer a dual degree - one from each organization. Students will travel to the USA and China as part of their studies and can choose from six study tracks.
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EU hopes for renewed relationship under new American administration
5 October 2008 - EU Business
Anxious for a renewed partnership with the United States, European leaders are hopeful that the victor of the November 4 elections will boost transatlantic ties and relaunch international institutions. Citing issues such as the current financial crisis and global climate change, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed the need for a strong transatlantic partnership to an audience at Harvard University. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has described the European desire for a more equal partnership on diplomatic efforts.
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The Case for a League of Democracies
6 October 2008 - San Francisco Chronicle- Robert Kagan
Both American presidential candidates seem to be warming up to the idea of constructing a global "league of democracies."  This idea has long been championed by Senator John McCain and more recently Ivo Daalder, a foreign policy expert and senior adviser to Barack Obama, has also expressed support. A proposal of this kind seems to be gaining popularity in Europe as well; "Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, recently proposed his own vision of an 'alliance of democracies.'"  The author, Robert Kagan, appears to support the general plan for a league of democracies as well. Kagan addresses critics' concerns about the method for determining which countries qualify as a 'democracy' by citing the EU admission processes, marked by the employment of "precise and stringent criteria for deciding whether a possible entrant is or is not a democracy." Kagan ends by noticing that: "final reason not to worry about a league of democracies [is that] it will not come into being unless the world's great democracies want it to. This is one idea that the United States cannot impose.
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French Minister Encourages Cooperation between US, European Union
30 September 2008 - Columbia Spectator - Chloe Smith
At a recent address on the campus of Columbia University in New York , Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the French minister of state responsible for European affairs, "called for a strengthened partnership between the United States and Europe ." As one of the presiding authorities over the European Union, Mr. Jouyet cited the current global economic crisis as an additional incentive for the revitalization of this traditional transatlantic partnership, stressing the importance of cooperation between the EU and the United States.
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100 Rising Leaders Meet in Belfast and Dublin to Rebuild Transatlantic Ties
25 September 2008 - The Wall Street Journal
Twenty six Americans will be among the one hundred young North Americans and Europeans who “will gather in Belfast on Sunday, September 28, for the Inaugural Summit of Transatlantic Network 2020, an initiative by the British Council to unite the next generation of global leaders and influencers and strengthen transatlantic collaboration on world challenges.” This meeting marks an important step in the effort to revitalize an “important international partnership.” Participants selected largely fall outside of the traditional diplomatic circles and include outstanding individuals from all walks of life. In an attempt to strengthen future international relationships, the contributors will participate in “a series of workshops, debates, lectures, and creative exercises under the theme “transatlantic conflict and cooperation.”
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EU Chief Urges Next US President to Work Closely with Europe
24 September 2008 - AFP
Speaking in the United States , Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission chief, recently called for the next US president to pursue closer ties with the European Union. Mr. Barroso cited financial uncertainty across the global market as a key incentive for future transatlantic economic coordination and interdependence. After reiterating the importance of existing institutions, the transatlantic marketplace, NATO, the Transatlantic Economic Council, the head of the EU's executive arm went on to express the need to “move beyond [these instruments] and set an agenda of common action for a new multilateralism that can benefit the whole world.”
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British Foreign Secretary Insights on US-EU Relations
22 September 2008 - The Guardian - David Clark
British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband offers advice for a post-Bush revitalization of US-EU relations. Miliband calls for “a more powerful European voice within a stronger transatlantic Alliance .” Echoing recent statements by numerous politicians and diplomats on both sides of the Atlantic , the Foreign Secretary predicts a greater need for cooperation from both the United States and the European community in the face of rising power and influence from China , India , and Russia . Miliband also states the necessity of better balance within this relationship, pointing out the importance for “ US leadership that is prepared to listen and compromise, and an EU that is willing and able to shoulder its responsibilities.”
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Former French PM Outlines U.S.-Euro 'Union of theWest
12 September 2008 - NPC Wire- Ryan Howell
Former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur, outlined his perspective of a " Union of the West Between the United States and Europe at the National Press Club of Washington DC on 9 September 2008. Mr. Balladur’s address was followed by questions from the assembled media and a select group of academics. Former Prime Minister Balladur used the press conference as a platform put forward his new proposal, A Union of the West. Echoing the prose from his recently published essay, "Pour une Union occidentale entre l'Europe et les Etats-Unis," Mr. Balladur called for the promotion of stronger ties between the United States and Europe. Highlighted in this proposal are five major initiations: The development of a functioning Transatlantic Executive Council, a dollar-euro exchange rate stabilization system, a common transatlantic market, closer foreign policy coordination, and an updated NATO mission statement and strategic concept.
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Public Support for Stronger US-EU Partnership on the Rise
09 August 2008 - Financial Times
The German Marshall Fund’s annual public opinion survey examined American and European attitudes toward the transatlantic relationship and current global issues. Headlining the results this year was an increase in the number of Europeans who desire closer ties with the US . “The overall percentage of who felt relations should become closer increased from 27% in 2006 to 31% in 2008. Additionally, the largest percentage of Americans (47%) continued to feel that the partnership should be closer.” Other results of note include an increase in public support for NATO: “Fifty-seven percent of Europeans agreed that NATO is still essential to their country's security, an increase of four percentage points from last year.”
(Read More)

French Education Minister: The importance role of the English Language in International Cooperation
02 August 2008 - Dailymail.co.uk - Peter Allen
The French Education Minister announced his commitment to providing the English language to the youth of France.  Tuesday's statement from Xavier Darcos comes after years of an unofficial national French movement to protect the solidarity of the nation's culture.  Darcos points to increased globalization and international dependence as the catalyst for the rise of English as a critical skill.  His efforts to offer English language training will include increased funds for English language education and additional classes to be held during holiday interims.  The Education Minister also points to "the expansion of the EU to 27 member states, the majority of which prefer English to French," as added incentive for English Language acquisition. Surely, the replacement of Jacques Chirac and the emergence of "President Nicolas Sarkozy, a self-confessed Anglophile," influenced this decision as well.
(Read More)

Stronger Atlantic and G7 Cooperation Needed for Georgia-Russia Conflict
31 August 2008 - The Guardian- Gordon Brown
In a piece submitted to The Guardian on August 31st, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown expressed the need for the EU "continue to strengthen the transatlantic relationship and to meet more regularly as the G7."  In his statement, Prime Minister Brown points to the politics of energy as inherently linked to transatlantic security. These comments come in anticipation of the European summit, scheduled for September 1, in Brussels. The meeting is expected to address the conflict between Georgia and Russian, with the hopes of constructing a unified European response to the incident.  Brown claims that the primary concern is for those who require humanitarian aid; however, the future of Russia-EU relations will surely be discussed. (Read More)

Russia Could Help Unite a Drifting West
25 August 2008 - Los Angeles Times - Sebastian Rotella
Some analysts are beginning to see recent Russian aggression as "precisely the kind of urgent catalyst that can renew the ailing transatlantic alliance."  Even Francois Heisbourg, famous French academic and author of, "The End of the West?," cites Russian opposition as the one thing that could rehash the need for a united Atlantic community. Perhaps the appearance of a familiar threat will nudge Europe and the United States back into pre-1989 cooperation; marked by Europe's ability "to complement a tough American stance by playing the role of mediator."  Although the Caucusian dust has yet to settle, Heisbourg warns, “ Russia shouldn't underestimate Washington's ability to lead a resurgence of Western unity once a new president replaces the Bush administration.”
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Canadian Member of Parliament Calls for Strong Euro-Atlantic Alliance
20 August 2008 - Embassy - Lui Temelkovski
Liberal Party of Canada representative, Lui Temelkovski emphasized the importance of close transatlantic ties in a recent article published by the Canadian journal, Embassy. Representative Lui pointed to Canada 's history of strong Euro-Atlantic support as he highlighted a path towards greater international security through increased transatlantic political cooperation. Lui sees European regional stability as a fundamental building block for the creation of a successful "Atlantic Community." Citing former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson's efforts during NATO's early years to strengthen political consultation as a means to improve military co-operation, Lui makes the case that the successful future of an "active global Euro-Atlantic alliance" must be built on this very same tradition.
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Bringing the UK to Europe's Core
11 August 2008 - Mark Eyskens, Former Prime Minister of Belgium
In the editorial, Mark Eyskens, former Prime Minister of Belgium, advocates for strengthening the economic relationship between the UK and the EU and the need for compromise.  He describes an "Atlantic Monetary Union" between the US and the EU as a "grand design for the future" which first necessitates continuing trade liberalization.  He states that "Europe's leaders and their voting publics now have a choice between the Europe of the past and of the future" adding that "the vocation of Europe in the course of the 21st century should be to become the lever of step-by-step inter-continental convergence and unification. Europe must be reinvented for this purpose, and broadening the EMU's reach is the right place to start." (Read More).

For another article by Eyskens on the same topic (Click Here). For the text of a 2005 speech on the same topic (Click Here).

Russia's 'New Order' of Security Incorporating the US, Russia, and the EU: The Medvedev Proposal
22 July 2008 - F. William Engdahl
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made several bold proposals to promote transatlantic relations.  This has been a significant change in foreign policy of his predecessor Vladimir Putin, considering the perceived aggressive actions of the United States abroad. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that the EU, US, and Russia should stop "arguing over superficial issues" and focus instead on immediate problems such as terrorism and arms control.  Medvedev has made several proposals for a new transatlantic relationship including creating a US-EU-Russian alliance, "a unified North" in order to implement "coordinated security and economic policies".  Second, he proposes that "the West recognize the inevitability of the rise of non-Western powers such as especially China" and "engage with the new powers using collective forums".  Lastly, he advocates reshaping the present "failed global economic order" and proposes that the "North share some if its gains with the South"
(Read More).

Democracies Must Work in Concert
10 July 2008 - Financial Times - Anne-Marie Slaughter and John Ikenberry
Distinguishing their idea from John McCain's "League of Democracies", the authors advocate for a "Concert of Democracies".  They emphasize reforming the G8, Bretton Woods conference, and the UN.  "By making clear that liberal democracy is not confined to "the west", a Concert would redraw the geopolitical map and open spaces to reform global institutions to reflect the world they purportedly represent."  Despite criticism, the authors believe that such reforms would help prevent unilateral actions such as the United States' invasion of Iraq.
(Read More).

Ban Hails Potential of New Mediterranean Union at Paris Summit
14 July 2008 - UN News Centre
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded the creation of a Union for the Mediterranean launched in Paris last weekend.  Stating that the creation was "well-timed," Ban noted that the union can not only help countries face their collective responsibilities for issues concerning peace and security but also provide them with a forum to explore other complicated international issues.  He said, "I believe this far-reaching multilateral initiative can work to address the complex trans-border issues the region faces, and provide a framework for the pooling of resources and the development of collective action."  Ban also stated that today's global problems require a collective action to be successfully addressed, saying "Your initiative brings together a diversity of cultures, experiences and world views that is, I believe, fundamental to any effort to understand and address today's transnational problems."
(Read More)

Size Matters
July/August 2008 - The American Interest - Richard Rosencrance
"In 1938, Clarence Kirshman Streit published a book calling for a union of the North Atlantic democracies."  Though this has not occurred and will not happen in the foreseeable future, today's globalized transatlantic economy demonstrated the vested interest of both sides.  Today, multinational corporations' size has increased dramatically, integrating the economic and political spheres of policy.  As a result, integration has occurred between various states, such as the formation of the European Union.  The EU is Europe's solution to the "problem of size in world politics".  However, the United States has been more hesitant to do so and has "yet to respond to German Chancellor Angela proposal of a Transatlantic free-trade agreement with the United States—an economic Atlantikbrücke, an "Atlantic Bridge." "A Euro-American deal of unprecedented scale is the only way the United States can preserve its privileged position atop the global hierarchy." (Read More).

Bush and G8 Leaders Push Hard Line on Zimbabwe
8 July 2008 - New York Times - Sheryl Stolberg and Anahad O'Conor
G8 leaders met in Japan today discussing how to react to Robert Mugabe's election to president of Zimbabwe, in what was criticized as an illegitimate election.  "President Bush and other Western leaders urged the international community to condemn Mr. Mugabe and back strong sanctions against Zimbabwe, but the leaders of the seven African nations who were also in attendance resisted growing pressure to adopt a tougher stance."  President Bush stated, "You know I care deeply about the people of Zimbabwe. "I'm extremely disappointed in the elections, which I labeled a sham election."  The leaders also discussed other pressing global issues including rising oil and food prices.
(Read More.

Review of John McClintock The Uniting of Nations: An Essay on Global Governance
John McClintock The Uniting of Nations: An Essay on Global Governance (New York: P.I.E. Peter Lang Publishers, 2007), 281pp.
This book, published in 2007 by an official of the European Commission with extensive work internationally, provides a compelling philosophy and blueprint for an idea with a long history: a full-fledged union of democracies. McClintock believes that the European Union offers a lesson for the development of this new union. Principally, he sees advantages in the way the EU slowly developed, first as the post-World War II Coal and Steel Community, and then as a broader and closer-managed political and economic organization. For a global union, he sees several principles which must be involved. First is the gradualism of the EU model. Second is inclusiveness: all nations should potentially be able  to become members. The third is Voluntary Membership: all nations should be free  from coercion into membership, and should suffer no negative effects from non-membership; membership should also be subjected to a national referendum  in each nation. The last principle is obviously a shared commitment to democratic forms of government. As to the form, he sees  the Union as being made of a series of regional unions of democracies. Thus,  the Union itself would only have about 15-20 members, one seat for each specific region of the global (i.e. one for the EU, one for a purported South American Union of Democracies, etc.). This is an effective work in generating ideas and debate, and the author is well-grounded in his arguments. He also has a decent respect for the lessons of history: "The past can teach us lessons which we must never, ever forget. It can inform us of what works and what does not work. But we cannot allow it to fetter our imagination of the future" (11)

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