2018 Global Outlook: The Euro-Atlantic relationship

French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel at an EU summit on defense
Dec. 14, 2017: French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talk at a ceremony launching EU military cooperation in Brussels (source: dpa)
  • Europe has accepted that it can no longer rely on the U.S. for global leadership
  • In defense, structured cooperation is the first sign that the EU is starting to act
  • On trade policy, the EU could gain influence is setting global standards
  • The key challenge is to avoid damaging transatlantic structures, especially NATO

The postwar transatlantic relationship is often described as a family matter – with the United States cast as the powerful and mostly benevolent hegemon and the (Western) European countries as more or less distant relatives, dependent on the protection and goodwill of their patriarch. Relations had been cooling for at least a decade, but this process was expedited by the presidency of Donald Trump. Even worse, mutual trust has eroded.

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