Ten Suggestions for Strengthening Transatlantic Ties
Daniel S. Hamilton et. al | Center for Transatlantic Relations | March 2010
The United States and Europe urgently need to reconsider their relationship. There is room for redefining and improving the nature of relations across the Atlantic. Both the United States and Europe should make use of existing opportunities to recast the transatlantic partnership. Action on the following ten topics would greatly strengthen transatlantic ties:
- A transatlantic solidarity pledge: greater emphasis on coordinating security strategies and mechanisms would help to ensure territorial sovereignty, justice, peace, and freedom. Closer cooperation would also assist in the prevention of terrorist attacks.
- A barrier-free transatlantic marketplace: the removal of trade barriers and restrictions on investments would improve trade relations and benefit the European as well as the U.S. economy.
- Reform of global economic governance: the creation of an informal "G2," consisting of the United States and the European Union, would allow both parties to work out initiatives in greater detail prior to presenting them at G20 meetings.
- A partnership for energy sustainability: the U.S. and the EU should cooperate more closely on the advancement of renewable energies. They should improve their collaboration on the development of international climate agreements and on ensuring compliance thereto.
- Focus on the completion of a Europe whole and free: The U.S. and Europe should remain strongly engaged in the Balkan countries. However, potential member states should be made to realize that joining the West takes reforms within their own countries.
- Joint action to address conflicts more effectively: NATO is and should remain the primary transatlantic vehicle for making decisions on the use of military force.
- Redouble efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
- Improvement of the effectiveness of development policies and humanitarian aid: The U.S. and Europe need to coordinate their joint efforts better, as well as cooperation projects with third parties.
- Support for the creation of an open and competitive transatlantic defense market.
- Creation of an "Atlantic-Basin-Initiative": the U.S. and Europe should strive to support countries in the North and South Atlantic in their efforts to come to terms with the effects of globalisation.
In sum, the suggested redefinition of transatlantic relations should subordinate process to purpose. No international relationship is as complex or as complete as that of the United States and Europe. Hence any change in the relationship needs to be goal-oriented and of obvious advantage to both partners. Examples range from the U.S. Congress opening an office in Brussels, to the creation of a "Euro-Atlantic Forum," consisting of all European Union and NATO member states.
This summary was prepared by the Atlantic Community Editorial Team from "Shoulder to Shoulder: Forging a Strategic U.S.-EU Partnership" published here by the Center for Transatlantic Relations.