EU-US Relations: An Alliance of Strength and Hope

, by Luca Caruana

EU-US Relations: An Alliance of Strength and Hope

Some 200 thousand people hailed Mr Obama last July in Berlin as he spoke to the Europeans for the first time. He inspired a message of hope; an aspect barely seen in George Bush. However, allies do not exist only to talk and smile at each other. Allies are there to help each other; and this is exactly what Barack Obama is asking of America’s greatest ally: the EU.

The U.S. cannot tackle the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan on its own. For Obama’s new strategy of defeating the Taliban to succeed, it needs more troops; something which the EU can provide.

What should be the EU’s reaction to this? Many member states may be reluctant to send their soldiers far from their homeland to fight a distant war. Europeans might even ask: what is the purpose of fighting such a war if it doesn’t even affect us? As Mr. Obama made it clear in Strasbourg and Prague in April, the threat of terrorist aggression in the EU is greater than in the US. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are a threat to democracy and human rights around the world. Therefore, the EU – being one of the main pillars of freedom around the world – has the obligation to help America fight this war.

A more united Europe would be more efficient and more powerful in its foreign policy.

This is why a more united Europe would be more efficient and more powerful in its foreign policy. Agreements reached within the EU are sometimes fragile especially due to the fact that member states differ in opinion between each other. The EU must keep good relations with America, not only because President Obama has a high rate of approval amongst Europeans themselves, but also because it is in the EU’s best interest to consolidate its relationship with the country which has been a great helping hand in the development of progress in the European continent for the last sixty years.

The leaders of France and Germany were spoiling for a fight in the G20 Summit—they stressed their absolute accord and their differences with everybody else. At a joint appearance Sarkozy and Merkel said Europe had done a lot already to provide economic stimulus. What was needed was a tougher regulation. Both seemed keener on trying to prevent financial crisis in the future than on dealing with the one raging now. This divergence of opinion is not healthy for unity. That is why I believe that the EU’s leaders should unite under a common goal. Mr. Obama spoke about a world free of nuclear weapons in Prague. This is a target in the best interest of every nation; therefore, it can easily be one of the common goals that the whole EU should unite under. This is why the EU’s relationship with America is so important; European unity can only be enhanced if its relations with the US are strengthened.

Image: G20 London Summit, source:

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