Current Challenges in Europe: The United States Perspective

Despite problems over the years, The United States and European policymakers alike have valued an in-depth transatlantic partnership as serving their respective geostrategic and economic interests. U.S. and European policymakers have developed trust and well-honed habits of political, military, and intelligence cooperation over decades. These dynamics are unique in diplomacy and can’t be easily or quickly replicated elsewhere (particularly with countries that don’t share an equivalent U.S. commitment to democracy, human rights, and therefore the rule of law). The United States and Europe share a considerable and interdependent economic relationship that’s highly integrated and interdependent. This economic relationship contributes to the economic process and employment on each side of the Atlantic. The United States and therefore the EU are each other’s largest trade and investment partners. The transatlantic economy (including the EU and non-EU countries such as the UK, Norway, and Switzerland) typically generates over $5 trillion per year in foreign affiliate sales and directly employs over 9 million workers on both sides of the Atlantic (and possibly up to 16 million people when indirect employment is included). The United States and Europe have created and maintained the present rules-based international trading system that has contributed to U.S. (and European) wealth and prosperity.

Evolution of U.S.-EU Relations                                

The United States has championed the European integration project since President Truman initial offered U.S. support for the European Coal and Steel Community since could 1950. It was thought to be the initial tread on the decades-long path toward building the EU—Supporters of the EU project contend that it, for the most part, succeeded in fulfilling core U.S. post-World War II-goals in Europe of promoting peace and prosperity and deterring the Soviet Union. The United States powerfully backed EU enlargement to the previous communist countries of Central and  Europe, viewing it as essential to extending stability, democracy, and also the rule of law throughout the region, preventing a strategic vacuum, and firmly entrenching these countries in Euro-Atlantic establishments and also the U.S.-led liberal international order when the conflict. U.S.-EU political and economic relations have gathered over the past twenty-five years because the EU has swollen and evolved. The U.S. has looked to the EU for partnership on policy and security considerations worldwide despite some acute variations (including the 2003 war in Iraq), Though EU decision making is typically slower than several U.S. policymakers would favour an agreement among EU member states proves elusive every now and then, U.S. officers usually have regarded cooperation with the EU—where possible—as serving to bolster U.S. positions and enhance the prospects of achieving U.S. objectives. The United States and also the EU have promoted stability in numerous regions and countries (including the Balkans, Asian country, and Africa), conjointly obligatory sanctions on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine increased enforcement and scheme cooperation, and sought-after to tackle cross-border challenges like cybersecurity and law-breaking. Traditionally, U.S.-EU cooperation has been a thrust behind efforts to liberalize world trade and make sure the stability of international monetary markets.

Current Challenges

The United States and Europe face various common foreign policy and security challenges, but they have pursued different policies on several key issues. The Trump administration maintained that its policy choices display strong U.S. leadership and seek to bolster both U.S. and European security.


U.S.-European cooperation has been thought to be crucial to managing an additional assertive Russia and preventing Russia from driving a wedge between the two sides of the Atlantic. Though some Europeans were cautious at first concerning President Trump’s expressed interest in rising U.S-.Russian relations, many U.S. and European policies toward Russia stay generally aligned. As noted higher than, the Trump Administration has supported new international organization initiatives to discourage Russian aggression and hyperbolic the U.S. military footprint in Europe. The imposition of sanctions on Russia following its 2014 invasion of land is cited as a key example of a policy that has benefited from U.S.-EU coordination given the EU’s additional in-depth economic ties with Russia. each the United States and therefore the EU still support and impose sanctions on Russia for its actions in land and for alternative malign activities (including Russia’s 2018 chemical weapons attack within Great Britain on former Russian secret agent and Great Britain national Sergei Scribal and his daughter). “The United States and plenty of European countries share considerations concerning Russian cyber activities and influence operations and have sought-after to figure along in numerous forums to share best practices on countermeasures. several within the EU welcome efforts by Congress in 2017 to make sure the Trump Administration maintained U.S. sanctions on Russia, despite considerations that sure provisions within the Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-44, Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, Title II) may negatively have an effect on EU business and energy interests”. At a similar time, variations in perspective exist among European countries. Some European officers and analysts question the effectiveness and property of international organization efforts to discourage Russia and therefore the use of sanctions as a semi-permanent policy possibility. Many European policymakers, as well as leaders in the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy, have stressed the importance of a dual-track approach to Russia that enhances deterrence with dialogue. In lightweight of what he views as a continuing stalemate with Russia, French President diacritical mark has criticized Western sanctions obligatory on Russia since 2014 as “inefficient” and has necessitated restarting a “strategic dialogue” to resolve variations with Russia. Alternative allies, as well as Polka and therefore the Baltic States, urge an additional sturdy international organization military presence in Central and Japanese Europe and powerfully support maintaining pressure on Russia through sanctions. Some U.S.-European tensions have arisen recently over new U.S. sanctions on Russia that EU and alternative European officers repute additional unilateral in nature, prompting considerations concerning the continuing coordination of U.S.-EU sanctions.

Arms Control and the INF Pact     

The key pillar to European security design are long regarded Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) pact for many European international organization allies, similarly because the EU, have long regarded the as a key pillar of the security design. In February 2019, the Trump Administration proclaimed it absolutely was suspending U.S. participation within the INF pact.  European leaders, for the most part, trust the U.S. assessment that Russia was violating the INF pact, and international organization leaders proclaimed that they “fully support” the U.S. withdrawal. At a similar time, European officers stay involved that the U.S. withdrawal from the INF pact may spark a replacement race and hurt European security. Following the U.S. decision, Russian President Statesman proclaimed that Russia conjointly would suspend participation within the INF pact. “Moreover, national leader indicated that Russia would begin work on developing new nuclear-capable missiles in lightweight of the treaty’s collapse.” several European officers seem troubled that we have not bestowed a transparent method forward on limitation following its withdrawal from the INF pact. Some worry that ought to the United States ask for to field U.S. missiles in Europe within the future, this might produce divisions inside the international organization and be prejudicious to alliance cohesion. They add that tensions coupled to the U.S. withdrawal from the INF pact may negatively have an effect on potential efforts to renew the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction pact (known as New START) with Russia that is ready to expire in 2021. French President diacritical mark has urged renewal of the New begin pact, as have some members of Congress. Russian President national leader conjointly has expressed interest in invigorating the pact. The Trump Administration has not nonetheless determined whether or not it’ll support extending the pact.

U.S. President Donald Trump with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping/AJ


As expressed within the 2017 U.S. National Security Strategy, U.S. officers have adult progressively involved that China is gaining a strategic foothold in Europe by increasing its unfair trade practices and finance in key industries, sensitive technologies, and infrastructure within the aftermath of the 2008-2009 monetary crisis and therefore the succeeding eurozone debt crisis, notable Chinese investments in Europe enclosed important possession shares in major European port terminals and acquisitions of leading corporations within the AI and engineering sector. Although Chinese investment in Europe has been on a downward trend since peaking at €37 billion in 2016 (about $40 billion at current exchange rates), studies indicate a sustained Chinese investment interest in data and engineering, transport and infrastructure, and analysis and development collaborations.  The Trump Administration and plenty of Members of Congress are afraid particularly by the potential involvement of Chinese telecommunications company Hawaii in building out a minimum of components of European fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks. U.S. officers have warned European allies that mistreatment Hawaii or alternative Chinese 5G instrumentation may impede intelligence sharing with U.S. because of fears of compromised network security. 51 Smaller EU countries, similarly as less prosperous non-EU Balkan countries, is also comparatively liable to economic pressure from China, though giant EU countries conjointly may well be prone. Some consultants specific concern particularly concerning Italy’s call to join forces in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a state-run initiative to deepen Chinese investment and infrastructure links across Asia, Africa, geographical area, and Europe. Programs). Some analysts, however, are sceptical concerning the extent to that U.S.European cooperation toward China is feasible. Those with this read note the disparities in U.S. and European security interest’s vis-à-vis China and apparent U.S. inclinations to look at China as associate degree economic rival to a larger extent than several European governments. With tensions between the United States and China increasing over the COVID-19 pandemic, analysts have discovered China endeavour a campaign of “facemask diplomacy” in providing medical providers and support to some European countries. At a similar time, consultants conjointly assert that tries by China to regulate the COVID-19 narrative through misinformation may backfire and lead to progressively strained relations with Europe.

EU Defense Initiatives

For two decades, the EU has sought-after to develop a typical Security and programmed to bolster its common policy and strengthen the EU’s ability to reply to security crises. Sequent U.S. Administrations and international organization officers have expressed support for CSDP as a method to reinforce European military capabilities on the conditions that such EU efforts ought to strengthen international organization’s European pillar instead of supersede or duplicate NATO. Rising European military capabilities, however, has been tough, particularly given a few years of flat or declining European defence budgets. Over a previous couple of years, several EU officers and national leaders have supported hyperbolic defence payment and advocated for more EU defence integration, partially to spice up the EU project in lightweight of Bruit and growing European uncertainty concerning the long-run U.S. role in European security. The EU has proclaimed many new initiatives, as well as an ecru Defense Fund (EDF) to support joint defence analysis and development activities. In 2017, twenty-five member states launched a replacement EU defence accord (known formally as Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO) aimed toward payment defence funds additional expeditiously, partially by put together developing military capabilities.


Washington had been working toward a rapprochement with Belarus The United States maintains a variety of sanctions against Belarus but fewer than it did a few years ago. There has been “a deliberate effort to regain a…diplomatic relationship,” with the country. Some sanctions were lifted. The United States “felt it was important to get to that point where we could re-engage with the entire country.” 

QUAD Head of States/ Image: PMOIndia@ Twitter

The Asia-Pacific region: Attention on Emerging Powers

Europe and the United States need to focus our attention on the evolution of emerging powers like China, India, and Brazil. There must be an urgent priority to study and thoroughly comprehend their reality, the track record of their growth, their values, histories, and interests, because the balance of world power is shifting towards them, forcing us to alter our perspective. It is vital that the European Union revise its strategic interests and the framework of its relations with China and other Asian countries. The Asia Pacific has recently acquired great strategic importance in international relations. We have already witnessed the reorientation of US interests in Asia, negotiating and signing the TPPA and establishing trade ties with these countries. The region is marked by numerous territorial and border disputes, nationalist movements, and a considerable level of distrust among countries. When analysing this part of the world, security issues are often overshadowed by its spectacular economic growth. However, there are enough elements in place for important security challenges to emerge, and the EU should monitor them closely.

South China Sea

One potential risk is located in the South China Sea. Many of the world’s nations are linked by the maritime trade that passes through this sea, which bathes the shores of seven countries: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, and Taiwan. All of them have claimed sovereignty over these waters on more than one occasion. “The US  estimates there are 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in deposits under the sea. Hence, making this region a very strategic one and whoever may control this region will gain to benefit the most. Also, all countries would want to keep this channel of trade route open and free for all to enable the free flow of goods. Both the countries have vested interest in the South China Sea.


The article envisages current challenges in European Union Foreign Policy taking in to account from the United States perspective. The best contribution that the EU and The United States can make to the International System is to stay united and prevent new conflicts in Europe. However, it cannot stop there. In the world of multilateralism and Interdependence, both the countries should stay on good terms with each other. Today’s problems will only be solved, not by confrontation and brute force, but through dialogue and consensus. This conjointly signifies that the United States and Europe still share generally similar values and policy outlooks and have few alternative partners of comparable size and influence elsewhere within the world.The4refore the article presented the current challenges or issues which the European Union is facing taking into account the interests of the United States.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Sanchana Srivastav

Sanchana Srivastav is a Former Research Intern at The Kootneeti

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