The reconstitution of transatlantic relations

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The transatlantic security community and the alliance of liberal democracies came under strain in the last few years, much of it due to the unilateralism of the former American president. The new US President Joe Biden has pledged to revitalize transatlantic relations and return to multilateralism on the international stage, and Europeans are eager to joining in strengthening the multilateral international order. The speeches of Biden, Merkel and Macron at the recent Munich Security Conference signalled this, but the reconstitution of the transatlantic community will take more than mere rhetoric. Transatlantic and European divergences persist on how to engage strategically with the China and Russia, but ultimately also on how to transform the EU itself into an effective international security actor capable of dealing more strategically with China and Russia, while preserving the transatlantic security community, NATO and US-European cooperation. The paper addresses these challenges and how the US and the EU can strengthen a shared strategic outlook on them. In particular, the role of Germany and France will be focused on in light of their different approaches vis-a-vis ‘strategic autonomy’, ‘strategic sovereignty’, taking into account the ongoing process towards the EU’s ‘Strategic Compass’ and how all this plays into the EU’s relations with the new US administration.

Keywords: transatlantic community; USA, Germany, France, Strategic Compass

Patricia Daehnhardt | IPRI-NOVA, Portugal

Patricia Daehnhardt is an Integrated Researcher at the Portuguese Institute of International Relations (IPRI-NOVA). She holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences at Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa and Porto. Her research interests are German foreign policy; EU Common Security and Defense Policy; NATO and European security; the great powers and international order.