Monday, June 23, 2003
An Unequal Partnership - 23rd June 2003, 22.59

The EU and the US are meeting for a summit this week in Washington DC. With their relationship under strain, the EU is inevitably attempting to puff out its chest, and present itself as an equal.

"The development of the transatlantic relations on an equal footing remains of fundamental importance in every domain not only for the two sides but also for the international community," they said in their summit declaration.

However, the lack of military and diplomatic weight undermines their claims, hence a revealing search for allies to form a counterweight to the US, under the guise of flexibility.

"The transatlantic relationship is irreplaceable," Solana says in it. But he also urges the EU to move off in new strategic directions and to focus on developing relations with Russia, Japan, China, Canada and India. "None of our relations will be exclusive," Solana's document reads.

The EU is diplomatically and strategically weak, but economically strong in terms of trade and finance. However, its protectionist policies and unwillingness to open up trade barriers, has weakened its strongest card in the Doha round.
They are living down to their claims.


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