Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 111–136 | Cite as

Transatlantic Relations Caught up by Reality

  • Ekavi Athanassopoulou


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  1. 1.
    Research for this paper was completed during a stay at the Pacific Council on International Policy (L.A.) as a German Marshall Fund of the United States European Visiting Research Fellow. A large part of research in the US was based on interviews; I would like to especially thank each and every one of the interviewees (who wished not to be quoted).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
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    This was the first time in NATO’s history that Article 5 had been formally invoked.Google Scholar
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    Similarly the less aggressive international leadership style employed by the second George W. Bush administration amounted to little more than a more clever public policy.Google Scholar
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    Conclusions based on the author’s interviews in 2002 and 2003 with prominent Democrats and Republicans in Washington D.C. and California.Google Scholar
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    Steel is using this to make the point that ‘Europe lacks a fundamental quality that a state needs to be a major global actor. It lacks a will to power’, Ronald Steel, “Europe: The Phantom Pillar”, in R. Laurence Moore and Maurizio Vaudagna (eds). The American Century in Europe (Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2003), p.74.Google Scholar
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    Robert W. Tucker and David C. Hendrickson, The Imperial Temptation: The New World Order and America’s Purpose (New York, Council on Foreign Relations, 1992), p.57.Google Scholar
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    Collectively Europe spends 160 billion euros per year on defence. (The US spends two thirds more than Europe).Google Scholar
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    Clearly political success in a few European countries including France, Germany, Spain, has increasingly becoming also dependent on disagreeing with Washington on many of the most important international issues.Google Scholar
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    Romano Prodi, “2000-2005: Shaping the New Europe”, Speech to the European Parliament, 15 Feb 2000, Strasbourg. The similarities in senior European officials’ understanding of what the essence and purpose of the EU political paradigm is, with those underlined by the early Americans, are striking. Daniel Webster, the 19th century American statesman and orator was declaring in a speech in 1826: “America held out the far different prospect of being able, ‘by the mere influence of civil liberty and religious toleration, to dry up these outpouring fountains of blood, and to extinguish these consuming fires of war,’” in Tucker, Imperial Temptation, 168.Google Scholar
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    It has been argued that transatlantic relations are based on an Acquis Atlantique, that is defined as a set of five principles: a common transatlantic heritage; democracy; liberty; peace; prosperity, Peter Barschdorff, Facilitating Transatlantic Cooperation After the Cold War: An Acquis Atlantique (Palgrave, Lit Veriag, 2001), p.23; It is worth mentioning that currently the most important relationship between Europe and the US revolves around economic interests. In this field the two are partners as well as strong competitors..Google Scholar
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    A good example is the co-operation between Germany, the UK and France in dealing with the question of Iran’s nuclear programme.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis Group 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ekavi Athanassopoulou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Athens and Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign PolicyGreece

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