Notes de l'Ifri Europe.visions

A New Institutional Architecture for the Transatlantic Relationship? Europe.Visions No. 5, June 2009

Une nouvelle architecture institutionnelle pour les relations transatlantiques?

In the past five years, there has been a veritable avalanche of both academic and policy studies on the transatlantic relationship. Much of this output was sparked by the crisis over Iraq and by fears that the Alliance itself might become a victim of the Bush Administration"s unilateralism. But much of it was also generated by the growing reality of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and the need to consider what implications this might have for NATO. In parallel, major opinion poll surveys charted the public"s reactions to the crisis. A flood of books and studies appeared calling into question the very future of the “West” as an entity. As the Bush years drew to a close and the world awaited the inauguration of Barack Obama, a new wave of studies appeared offering prescriptions for a relaunch of the transatlantic relationship under the new Administration. Implicit in most of these latter analyses have been several hypotheses about the likely stance which the Obama Administration will take on transatlantic relations. There are questions about the degree of priority which the new administration will attach to Europe (given the urgent and competing claims of other regions and other global players). Is the fact that Barack Obama began his global diplomatic Odyssey in Europe (with trips in April/May, June and July) significant or merely a coincidence of timetabling and scheduling ?

A New Institutional Architecture for the Transatlantic Relationship?