Monday, May 05, 2003
CSIS: Euro-Focus - 5th May 2003, 18.00

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies provides a cogent overview of the winners and losers in Europe (pdf file).

"...the prevailing view in the United States is that the EU is a troubled and troubling union: troubled in terms of its internal divisions, and troubling in terms of the motivation that seems to underline the actions of its older members. As for Nato, the prevailing view is that it is a fading organization with a blocking minority of members who are not only unwilling but also broadly incapable and frankly irrelevant".

Simon Serfaty argues that there was a convergence of agendas on EU and NATO cooperation, cushioned by behind teh scenes support from the United States, during the NATO summit in Prague last autumn and at the EU summit in Copenhagen during December. This convergence no longer exists and individual countries within Europe work within the existing institutions whilst undertaking bilateral relationships that contravene the standards of governance supporting the common foreign and security policy. Yet, Washington may place more weight upon bilateral relationships than they can hold and misunderstand the constraints under which European nations function in their foreign policy. Serfaty recognises the Quartet underwriting the Middle East roadmap as a possible model for future cooperation. Where European nations agree more amongst themselves than with the United States, a corporate model may be invoked that presents a counterweight in particular areas of diplomacy.

Serfaty's recommendations that greater European unity would aid the United States by providing the opportunity for firmer institutional links may be opposed on the grounds that the Gaullist tendency within the EU has warped into anti-Americanism without any productive programme for solving Europe's weaknesses. However, he does indicate the possible diplomatic model that may be adopted from now on over issues like the Middle East, Iraq, the Balkans and so on.


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