A New Approach to Europe?
Jeff Rathke Speaks at Helsinki Commission Briefing
November 1, 2018
European countries and institutions like NATO and the European Union are our partners of first resort. And it is clear that the United States benefits from and should seek partnership with Europe, unless we choose to deliberately do things alone, which is a choice. Now, getting to the policy differences that we have with some of our European friends and partners, those could be reasonably be raised as an objection. The Nord Stream II gas pipeline is one example. But I believe that an effective foreign policy for the United States is one that seeks to establish priorities that are achievable within the resources that we have available to us.
And if we look at the world through a lens of great power competition, as I believe this administration does, in which there are five crucial challenges – Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and international terrorism – U.S. success in meeting any of those challenges will be greatly enhanced by partnership with Europe. Economically, it is hard to see the European Union as a greater challenge than China, for example, and to portray the European Union as a foe is, frankly, absurd. The United States and the EU together account for 46 percent of global GDP. Our influence is enormous together on global economic issues. Alone, the United States is 24 percent of global GDP, and necessarily wields less influence in trying to shape the future of the global economy than we would in partnership with Europe.
– Jeff Rathke, AICGS President
At the Helsinki Commission briefing A NEW APPROACH TO EUROPE? U.S. Interests, Nationalist Movements, and the European Union, distinguished experts on U.S.-European relations examined the historical context of the relationship and asked whether European integration remains in the U.S. national interest, and whether populist movements in Europe should be considered a threat or an opportunity.