What does ‘European strategic autonomy’ actually mean? It’s the latest buzzword in Brussels circles, seemingly indicating a general desire for greater independence on the global stage, principally with regards to supply chains but potentially also in terms of security. Some are calling it Europe’s answer to “America First”.
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in by Craig, who argues that “Something of a Franco-German consensus is emerging on strategic autonomy”. Craig says he expects the results to be modest, but thinks a real shift appears to be underway. Has Trump (among the other factors Craig lists – including Brexit and the rise of China) finally split the Western alliance?
To get a response, we put Craig’s comment to Susi Dennison, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and director of ECFR’s European Power programme. What would she say?
For another perspective, we also put Craig’s comment to Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and a former Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division (ESCD). How would he respond?
Next up, we had a comment from Franz. The US relationship with Europe has traditionally been based on common geostrategic interests (particularly during the Cold War with the Soviet Union) and on common liberal democratic values. However, America’s geostrategic attention has pivoted to Asia in recent years, and commenter Franz says he can’t think of any fundamental values which Europe shares with President Donald Trump. Is he right?
How would Susi Dennison respond?
Finally, what would Jamie Shea say?
Has Trump split the Western alliance? Does Europe share any fundamental values with Donald Trump’s America? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!
What you mean by common liberal democratic values? Well I hope Trump wins, for the best.
these are the values you don’t have and Trump has’nt them either. They are the values we used to share with the USA untill four years ago.
I dont agree with you.Trump 2020 for a better world
je ne parle pas anglais “sorry” Trump = QUanon
The EU is in subordinate position to the United States. The EU-US warm relationship is a myth. Strong United Europe is against the US interests. If it was, Europe would have had a common army in the 1950s.
Do you mean Europe or the eu? Different things. The eu is fundamentally socialist so probably not. If more European countries break free of the EU they have every chance of a good relationship with the USA under trump
The relationship is bent, but not broken.
it will be if they’ll have four more years of Trump!
It needed to be shaken up was becoming rusty
Why Trump? Is it Trump’s fault that some of the European NATO members are violating the NATO treaty by not investing the contractually agreed funds in their defence and military?
some not all, the UK contributes its dues
Yes, not all of course.
“Estonia needs to spend another 0.1% of GDP, so let’s blow up the most powerful military alliance on earth so the Shanghai Cooperation Organization can take over” is the kind of take that doesn’t let you see the forest from seeing the trees.
It’s easy to say that when you’re not the one paying for everything. Even if we ignore the implications of violating an international treaty, why should the american taxpayer pay for Estonia’s defence if estonians themselves don’t want to? The whole idea of a military alliance is that everyone contributes. Trump’s position is perfectly fair.
it really isn’t because there is what the NATO charter says, and there is what NATO actually is. Do you think the US actually needs Estonia to feel safer? Post 1991, NATO is still an alliance where like before the US and only the US decides its priorities except now it has an international organization of 30 countries to rubber stamp it for legitimacy.
If Europeans were going to pay full freight then they would actually have to have a say in which wars America uses NATO to justify and which it does not. But the US doesn’t want that, and Trump who has the foreign policy understanding of a 6 year old playing a board game, doesn’t get that.
The big players in Europe (Germany France etc) now actually want a military alliance that is both capable and where they have some influence into what goes on. And it’s why post Brexit they will form it within the confines of the EU where the US will have no say. NATO was a place where they offered increasingly less and less unqualified support to the US in exchange for not paying their fair share. And if that’s not an option, if they are going to pay for it, they will have an alliance they like, not one led by a dysfunctional kakistocracy that the US is today.
The big players in Europe want security and safety and not having to pay for it. Let’s face the truth.
yes and in return they were offering the US legitimacy for its wars and foreign policy outside of its own borders. But now the US wants that same legitimacy AND wants them to pay AND STILL doesn’t want to consult them. No one will agree to that.
Literally no one in Europe feels the need to participate in NATO today if under the EU treaties they are pledged to defend each other. With Frances nukes they even have nuclear deterrence from the big players, so why would they need to pay for NATO unless they were getting something in return, like low defense spending?
Every single American president understood this, but now there is an idiot in the White House who doesn’t. And it’s why the big European players are walking away, because the US has more to lose from NATO disbanding than anyone else.
Who violates the Wales treaty?
I understand that the entire mainstream media are blaming Trump about everything, so they can give a lead to sleepy Joe.
But come on lets just say it as it is. EU was on slippery slope long before Trump. We need a change of leadership and a common direction,so we can get back on the road again.
Merkel is bad for EU, not Trump!
NATO may need to transform if it’s to survive anyways. Trump has a child’s understanding of foreign and defense policy, but even if he weren’t there, post Brexit Europe is going to integrate into either a single army or a very closely knit alliance that functions as one army. NATO can be a triple alliance of US, the Anglosphere (UK, Canada, maybe even Aus and NZ since they cooperate very closely) and the EU, but it’s doubtful it can remain in its post Cold War format. Most of the easterners joined it as some sort of a prelude to EU membership anyways, with the exception of the Baltics who had genuine concerns about being invaded by Russia.
The final halting of TTIP (the trade agreement that would have given megacorporations too much power, people were protesting about that) is thanks to him, that is definitely nice.
Quesqui d’i lol
Trump is the worst for anybody except for himself. We hate this guy!
speak for yourself not everyond else, I think he’s great. Four more years!
un type dangereux pour les usa et pour le monde…merci pour votre clairvoyance
No, if anything they are standing together even more strongly now. Thank you, Mr President…
If by “liberal democratic values” we mean progressivism, than it’s possible but still unlikely. If we mean “liberal values” more in a classical sense, than a republican led US is definitely our best partener. And Trump is the most efficient republican. Conservative minded europeans are pretty satisfied with him as POTUS.
Well move to Youre master putin, he is not communist, i swear.first party in the eu christian democrat 2 social democrat 3 liberal . Happy now?first beg to be in ,now wanting to be out. Make a choice. Youre with us or against us.
well said that man
You don t have an empire, just a divided medium country with little industry, no tradedeals , no friends. Easy prey for the superpowers. You Will do what we say like it or not.We don t like gasbag treators.
lol with your collapsing eu empire lol, you lot don’t know what a real empire looked like. Belgium is a joke and we will show all you that cower beneath Germanys heal what real freedom is. Anyway hadn’t you better go and pray to merkle or something?
Sorry but we were more free than english and our other neighbours. We had aristocraty but not so powerfull as in other countries, Belgium was a country of citystates.the french were our traditional enemies and english allies but now it s the other way. The english have choisen to be isolated and don t now what to do next. I am proud to be belgian and european and feel superior. Got That ? If You don t understand it i don t care.long live free scotland and united Ireland.!
in Eastern Europe collectivism was forcibly imposed under threat of violence. It fell under soviet influence after the war, because the west wasn’t able to keep it. Your wish that three hundred million people should go back under that influence once again, makes you pretty much a commie. Actually we have opposing views because I don’t value my physical or financial safety more than my individual freedom. I don’t believe in any socialist revolution or reformism, we were forced to try to make it work, we really tried, but it can’t be done. Socialism just doesn’t work. So that’s why Trump seems an enemy to you, because he preaches freedom with personal responsibility not tribalism and collective guilt.
the Eastern Europeans seem to be the only ones with any sense of country and patriotism. The Western countries seem to be going through a stage of self loathing but coming from Belgium its no wonder you feel like that 😂
Only east Europeans react here, if You don t like the eu go back to russia. We ll set the iron curtain for free.trump is an enemy.
un raciste, macho, menteur, climatosceptique, un ennemi de la biodiversité…un bâtisseur de mur… bref, une ordure.
Has Trump split the Western alliance?
What Western alliance is Trump supposed to have split? Who from whom are split that you are addressing? Do you mean the split between the cultures of the West against the cultures of and expectations of, third world principles entering en masse since the beginning of the sixties. Otherwise, it is difficult to see any split amongst tax payers and traditional Western peoples expectations and aspirations. As it appears to all who look, those same traditional values are identical to ones they’ve had for thousands of years…. The heavy differences between all discontented factions, only appear to come ‘to’ the West from ‘outside.’ From those who initially appear to envy Western civilisation, its better standard of living and cultural practices, until they see and experience living in such a high principled standard of law and order, work and intellectually expected tolerance, is not at all what they are used to. It has so many unexpected connotations to it. Ones the invading cultures do not wish acceptance of. Hence the violence toward those teaching our way of life to their communities. These are the splits so obvious within our societies. Not via those who vote for the traditional way of Western life. It turns out, those opposed to our values are the ones doing the splitting, not Trump. He’s only been around for 3.5 years. Not the lengthy time you imply with this thread heading.
This movement is from the late sixties and seventies and has nothing to do with Trump, it’s all to do with Biden and cohorts. He, having been in political chicanery for the last forty seven years. Along with those old globalist turds coming out the of the closet, akin to the Clinton\Obama sell out, via wealthy corporation pressure, just as Blair and Co. did and continues to do, as they role in the millions openly stolen from US and British tax payers coffers.
Why are you not asking what Biden and his side kick, Harris, have achieved through their party, over decades, for those who vote for them? Except, of course, to tell the world only American BLM. No one else must ever consider their individual worth, must they?
I hope not
Did we also shared interests in the invasion of Iraque, or it was just a few europeans, that should have been judged in Court? And have we shared interests with Nixon in Chile, or again, just a few europeans that should have been also judged in Court? Each time we share interests with USA, are there some europeans that should have been judged in Court? What a strange way to share interests!
We’re fed up with him.
Splitting the Western alliance? Isn’t this a stupid question! It is not the problem of Donald Trump, it is the whole alliance problem. When forming an alliance with a very powerful country, Europe becomes the little brother and is obliged to waste resources to fight unnecessary wars. Think carefully why the Soviet Union had pulled off all its scientists and factories equipment from China. It is because Mao Zedong refused to submit China for Soviet leadership, which means also sacrificing the independence of national and foreign policy. We can see the very different experience between Japan and China. How Japan has lost its 30 years? How China has re-emerged as a key player of the global political economy. If Europe wants to prosper and strong, do not form alliance so that political leaders would always thinking only Europe rather than the America. Forming secret alliances is one of the key factor leading to the outbreak of the first world war in Europe. When limited resources are used to help killing people which is not hostile for ourselves, when they ought to be used for the people and by the people…particularly for the post-pandemic socioeconomic recovery!
If EU wants to prevent itself from being disintegrated, do not form alliance with a more powerful country for small member states are ready to sacrifice the collective benefit of the union for its own national interests as we have seen now. What EU lacking now is solidarity.