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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 internationally, expectations on Europe have increased. The rise of new global power centres has added a new dimension to transatlantic debates, and both sides of the Atlantic 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 dominant.

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 are 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 and 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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    09July 2012

    he latest wave of European military spending cuts is swelling the ranks of Americans who believe that Europeans are not contributing enough to global security. But this assessment is too harsh. It is true that Europeans spend less on defence than their American counterparts. They have also been less willing to use force in recent years. But the US itself is reassessing the merit of its military interventions over the last decade.

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    13June 2012

    US-Pakistan relations are at an all time low, something not helped by the US encouragement of Pakistan's arch-rival India to play a more robust role in Afghanistan. Yet as Gerald Stang explains, with tact and patience a convergence of US-Pakistan interests is quite possible.

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    12June 2012

    For the moment, the US presence in the Asia Pacific region provi­des regional and extra-regional actors, including the EU, with security and stability that enable free naviga­tion, trade flows, peaceful development, and avoidance of violent conflicts or confrontations. But how can the EU assume a more active and strategic role in the region?

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    30December 2011
    Edited by

    The increasing levels of transatlantic security cooperation since 9/11 have given birth to new policy instruments. These have often been criticised for shifting the balance between liberty and security. This paper explores new policy avenues worth pursuing in the broader security context.

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    13October 2011

    This volume brings together contributions based on reports originally presented at the 2010 EU Washington Forum and is divided into four main chapters which focus specifically on Europe’s ‘unfinished business’ in the Western Balkans and the eastern neighbourhood, the Middle East, transatlantic cooperation on the economy and nuclear non-proliferation.

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    20September 2011

    A: Not for Israel

    After losing Turkey and Egypt, evacuating its embassy in Jordan and awaiting further conflict on the eve of a looming Palestinian statehood, Israel’s foreign policy is in ruins.


    The deterioration of the Turkish-Israeli relationship is often linked to Turkey’s democratisation. Will a post-revolutionary and potentially democratic Egypt follow a similar path? And what are the consequences of this for Israel?

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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?

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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.

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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.