An agency of the EU

Overview

The transatlantic relationship has been and remains the cornerstone of the EU’s foreign and security policy. However, in a context where the US is increasingly looking towards Asia and is less willing to take a lead in international affairs, expectations on Europe have been raised. The impact of austerity measures on transatlantic defence budgets further highlights the necessity for Europe to take on more responsibility in international security.

As President Obama has stated: "We want strong allies. We are not looking to be patrons of Europe. We are looking to be partners of Europe". He spoke specifically of European defence capabilities, but his statement can also be applied to other areas of transatlantic cooperation. Indeed, EU-US security cooperation - particularly in the civilian aspects of peace-building and across the spectrum of the comprehensive approach - has increased over the past decade, and there is now a strong basis on which to build.

The rise of new global power centres has added a new dimension to transatlantic debates. Both partners must redefine the relationship to preserve security and prosperity but also to maintain influence in an emerging global system where the US - and the EU, as part of ‘the West’ - may no longer be the sole, or the dominant, player.

The EUISS pays particular attention to developments in US foreign policy and debates over strategy and burden-sharing in security and defence; but also to EU-US cooperation in foreign and security policy and to a broader transatlantic agenda that includes cyber and energy security and other emerging foreign policy challenges.

Publications

  • US defence after the mid-term elections

    This Alert looks at the implications of the recent Republican victory in the US mid-term elections for the country’s defence policies. How will this affect the current administration? And what changes could we witness overseas?

  • Staying ahead: the US and future technologies

    What steps is the US taking in order to ensure that it remains technologically superior to its rivals when it comes to defence matters? Is there still a role for Europe in the race to stay ahead of the game?

  • CSDP’s new partners: South America

    This Alert explores the motives driving Latin American countries to institutionalise security cooperation with the EU. In spite of the asymmetric levels of engagement in CSDP missions and operations, Latin American states can reap considerable benefits from their participation through other policy channels.

  • The changing game of multilateralism

    This Alert examines the outcome of the BRICS summit that took place in July, as well as the reluctance of individual BRICS to criticise Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Does the establishment of the New Development Bank herald an age of opposition to Western-dominated institutions and policies?