Doubtful Ally or Ally Full of Doubts? The Course of Transatlantic Relations under Donald Trump's Presidency
Donald Trump's "America-first" diplomacy has undermined the foundations of many alliances, including a transatlantic relationship on which post-war liberal order would rest. Under the current American presidency, EU-US relations are facing significant challenges whose implications are still far from clear. The list of discrepancies between the allies are growing ever longer and the American administration's decisions are antithetical to those taken by Brussels and other European capitals. Divisions, among other things, have occurred over policies towards the Paris Climate Agreement, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the Middle East approach. The special relationship between Europe and United States can no longer be taken for granted. In this presented paper, the author has looked beyond current political disagreements in order to focus on the long term factors underlying the "special relationship". The rationale behind this research is the dawn of great power politics that happens during the transition from uni-to-multipolar order. America's disengagement from (and defunding of) the global scene means that the European Union will have to adjust to a world with numerous centres of power and different sources of threat. Ursula von der Leyen announced, upon assuming offi ce in December 2019, that she would lead a "geopolitical Commission" engaged in tackling global challenges. All of this in the face of the first American administration in post-war history that opposes European integration. Due to the space limit (and deservedness for sole attention), the security and defence dimension of transatlantic cooperation will only be briefly mentioned. Regardless of any comments made by former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that the European Union will not create an alternative model to NATO, the creation of a Permanent Structure Cooperation (PESCO) and the establishing of a European Defence Fund cannot be limitted. Enhanced European defence will be essential for a "healthy transatlantic partnership with the United States". That partnership will, almost certainly, become more transactional.(original abstract)
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