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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.


  • 15September 2011

    This first US Task Force, organised with the support of the European Commission and the United States Mission to the European Union, stimulated an interesting debate at transatlantic level on the development of homeland security, focusing in particular on the future balance between liberty and security.

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    10September 2011

    The commemoration of 10 years since the attacks of 9/11 is an opportunity to both remember the victims and their families and to reflect on the evolution of our society since those tragic events.

    We can all recall the day the towers of the World Trade Center were attacked, but the memories of life before that day seem to be fading away. This is perhaps the reason why news of Osama bin Laden's death was for some a reason for celebration. Repeated triumphalist shouts in front of the White House felt improper.

    Defending our way of life

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    09September 2011

    Ten years after the barbarian attacks against the Americans, have we even understood its long-term impact? Was the Bush administration right in thinking that 9/11 changed the world?

  • 10November 2010

    The third annual EU-Washington Forum, held on 8-9 November 2010 in Washington DC, addressed the challenge of strengthening the EU-US relationship post Lisbon and explored options for reinvigorating the common agenda.

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    08November 2010

    The nostalgia for President Obama’s message of hope, change and post-partisanship articulated during the 2008 presidential elections was not enough to win over the majority of Americans preoccupied with high unemployment rates, slow economic growth and the country’s huge deficit.

  • 20September 2010

    This preparatory seminar for the EU-Washington Forum 2010 took place at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC on 20 September 2010. The main talking points of the seminar included the role of innovation in 'smart economies', new skills for new jobs and the implications for transatlantic cooperation.

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    09April 2010

    The New START, a bilateral nuclear arms reduction treaty, aims to significantly reduce the weapons stockpiles of both the US and Russia. While it may be seen as a positive step towards disarmament and for US-Russia relations, getting it past the US Senate is Obama’s next big challenge, writes Jean Pascal Zanders.

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    07April 2010

    Articles in this current issue: "After Lisbon: the States of the Union", "The EU and natural gas: the new security agenda", and "Obama's first year: a transformational presidency?"

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    22January 2010

    The devastating earthquake in Haiti tore apart the already impoverished nation, setting back recent development efforts by several years. But simply pouring money and personnel into the country will not secure its future. What Haiti desperately needs is its diaspora and a legitimate local leadership, writes Damien Helly.

  • 20January 2010

    The Obama Moment’ was launched in Brussels on 20 January 2010, the first anniversary of US President Barack Obama’s inauguration. This latest EUISS book addresses the prospects for EU-US relations during the Obama era and provides an authoritative analysis of the most topical global questions of our time: multilateralism, the economy, disarmament and climate change. The launch was attended by William E. Kennard, the US Ambassador to the EU, and Alan Seatter, a director within the EC Directorate-General for External Relations.



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    01January 2008

    ‘It’s rough out there’ warns the front cover of a recent issue of The Economist, and it is not talking about nuclear threats, Iraq or the growth of China’s military power, but rather about the economy. Economic news from the US has been consistently bad for some time: the dollar has been rapidly losing value against all international currencies, the budget and trade deficits have ballooned, while oil prices have been at record high levels.

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    01September 2007

    For six decades the United States has supported European integration, yet many Americans have an ambivalent attitude towards the European Union. Some Americans see the EU as the culmination of historic efforts to ensure peace, stability and democracy on the continent, while others consider the Union an elaborate scheme to create a rival to US hegemony. Still others dismiss the EU as irrelevant.

  • 01July 2007

    Missile defence in Europe is currently a hotly debated topic in international security. It has animated discussions and raised issues at multiple levels, including ramifications for international relations (e.g. between the US and Russia), intra-EU relations (e.g. concerning national positions), and institutional relations (e.g. the role of NATO).

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    01June 2007

    The attacks of September 11 2001 spectacularly demonstrated that America’s main security challenges did not stem from traditional power rivalries but rather from ‘grey areas’, failed or badly governed states which are breeding grounds for extremism. But overthrowing tyrants is not enough to create a stable democracy and can even complicate matters, as events between 2003 and 2005 in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt have shown.

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    01April 2007

    How should European and American policymakers respond to the inevitable rise of China and India on the world scene? Werner Weidenfeld assesses the ways in which international relations will undergo change in the years ahead and looks to a new Atlantic partnership while Marcin Zaborowski forms his commentary around the desire of Europe and America for a stable China.

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    19January 2007

    America is failing in Iraq. It has disintegrated into a civil war and the domestic situation in the country is constantly deteriorating. The American public has turned against the war and Bush's popularity has declined sharply. Iraq proved a major factor in the Congressional elections on 7 November 2006, which returned a Democratic majority in both Houses.

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    01December 2006

    Les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 ont démontré de façon spectaculaire que les principaux défis de sécurité posés à l’Amérique ne venaient pas des rivalités de puissance traditionnelles mais plutôt des zones grises, en mal de souveraineté, des Etats faillis ou mal gouvernés dont s’emparent les extrémistes.

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    13November 2006

    For the first time since 1994 the House of Representatives has been taken by the Democrats and a slim Democrat majority has emerged in the Senate. The nation’s dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, alongside the corruption scandals surrounding the GOP, proved to be the most important factors swinging the pendulum of American politics in favour of the Democrats.

  • 06November 2006

    A la veille des élections législatives, les États-Unis ressemblent à ce Gulliver empêtré que décrivait Stanley Hoffman après leur échec au Vietnam. À trois niveaux au moins, on touche aux limites de la puissance américaine. Sur le plan militaire, parce que l'échec est possible en Irak. Les 130 000 hommes déployés ne parviennent pas à stabiliser un pays qui plombe la liberté d'action de l'Amérique, alors que les 500 milliards de dollars (soit environ 400 milliards d'euros) de budget militaire (près de 60 % des dépenses mondiales) ne parviennent ni à vaincre le terrorisme ni à rendre le monde meilleur et plus sûr.

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    01August 2006

    The approaching mid-term elections (due to take place on 7 November) to both Houses of the Congress and a number of state governorships may deliver a considerable change in the US and have an impact on its foreign policy.