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The Americas

The transatlantic relationship has been the cornerstone of the EU’s foreign and security policy. However, in a context where some in the US are looking inwards and questioning the values and institutions their country has built at the international level, expectations on Europe have increased. The rise of new global power centres has added a new dimension to transatlantic debates, and both partners must redefine the relationship to preserve security and prosperity, as well as maintain influence in an emerging international system where the 'West’– may no longer be such a dominant, nor united player.

The EU has also cultivated and institutionalised relations with Canada and many countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Recent changes in the international context have made the EU a more attractive partner to LAC countries, which facing economic slowdowns, rising criminality and problems related to the rule of law. However, the increasing contestation of democratic values (which used to bind LAC countries together) has put regional institutions under pressure, as well as strained relations with the EU.

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    21February 2014

    In light of the negotiations set to begin on a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Cuba, this alert – the first of its kind dealing with a country in Latin America – advocates the adoption of a new strategy towards the isolated island nation and highlights how, this time, there are good reasons to be hopeful of success.

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    29November 2013

    This brief analyses what impact the five BRICS countries are likely to have in global politics in the years to come, and what future trajectory the grouping might take. The BRICS ‘club’ may or may not last – in its present or another formation – but its rise is a wake-up call for the EU to deepen its bilateral relations with individual BRICS and possibly reconsider its own position in the emerging system of global governance.

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    22November 2013

    This alert examines the priority reforms identified by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in order ensure that the US military remains ready to counter the full range of future threats. With smaller budgets forcing European governments to make difficult choices, are there lessons to be drawn from Hagel’s observations?

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    10June 2013

    The recent appointment of experienced diplomats to Obama’s foreign policy team equally indicates a primarily political and pragmatic approach towards foreign policy, as well as a return of a transatlantic orientation - while continuing to 'rebalance', towards Asia. But what do these appointments mean for EU-US relations?

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    03June 2013

    This alert examines President Obama’s recent speech at the National Defense University, in which he laid out the US approach to counter-terrorism and redefined the parameters of the ‘global war on terror’. But if this speech marks a new beginning, what are the possible ripple effects across the Atlantic for Europe?

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    22April 2013

    Budget cuts in the US are causing concerns not only because of their effect on security and defence spending, but also because of the particular way in which much of them are set to be administered. This brief argues that as a result of sequestration, the EU would do well to identify and take seriously its strategic interests and to invest in its own operational capabilities.

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    26March 2013

    The US ‘pivot’ towards Asia has generated debate in Europe about whether the EU should upgrade its presence in the region. Yet, as this alert shows, the EU and its member states already began their own, largely undetected, rebalancing towards Asia roughly a decade ago. Does the EU now have the possibility of becoming – even inadvertently – an Asian (minor) power?

  • 13March 2013

    Taking place in Washington, D.C on the 13-14 March, the 2013 EUWF served as a reminder that diplomacy, development and defence are all important elements in attempts to maintain stability and generate growth, even in times of budgetary constraints.

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    18February 2013

    The recent boom in ‘unconventional’ oil and gas in the United States has raised many questions regarding the impact it will have on global energy markets, the security of energy supplies, the fight against climate change and even the global balance of power. Is it now time for Europe to develop its own resources?

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    18December 2012

    The transatlantic partners share similar objectives with regard to the Asia Pacific. Nevertheless, history, geography as well as differences in perceptions contribute to forging two distinct stances vis-à-vis the region. This report identifies areas where those two positions intersect.

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