In recent years, Europe has faced a series of extraordinary challenges, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, the refugee crisis, the euro crisis, the rise of populist and nationalist movements across the continent, the erosion of liberal democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, and increasingly difficult relations with Turkey.
Currently, the United States and Europe — as well as the United States and the European Union — are cooperating on a wide array of issues to support Ukraine and push back against Russia’s aggression. A reinvigorated North Atlantic Treaty Organization has invited Finland and Sweden to join; and the EU has put Ukraine and Moldova on a path to membership. At the same time, trans-Atlantic partners are struggling to convince non-Western partners to condemn Russia or to join in sanctions. And in the medium-to-long term, older trans-Atlantic divisions are threatening to resurface.
Ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, some in America are questioning the need to remain engaged in Europe, or the adequacy of European burdensharing. Europeans, for their part, ask whether America will not return again to prioritizing the Indo-Pacific and competition with China, and what the degree and nature of its commitment to global order will be. On both sides of the Atlantic, domestic concerns with inflation, energy shortages, and political polarization may limit bandwidth for cooperation on foreign and security policy issues of common concern.
These challenges and trends have serious implications for trans-Atlantic cooperation in support of a global order that is vital to U.S. and European interests. In an ever more competitive global environment, and amid war on the European continent, trans-Atlantic solidarity in the face of new threats is more important than ever.
The mission of the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) is to offer independent research and recommendations for policymakers, foster high-level U.S.-European dialogue on developments in Europe and global challenges that affect trans-Atlantic relations, and convene seminars and public forums on policy-relevant issues. The Center’s research program currently focuses on (1) the implications of the war in Ukraine for Europe, the United States, and their relationships with third powers; (2) Russia’s trajectory under Vladimir Putin and the future of Russia-Europe relations; (3) bilateral relations between the United States and key European states, including France, Germany, and Turkey; and (4) transnational developments within and across the United States and Europe, including China’s increasing role in Europe, institutional and democratic crises, and the role of technology in the trans-Atlantic relationship. CUSE scholars produce books, research papers, and commentaries for Brookings and other outlets. Along with the Strobe Talbott Center on Security, Strategy, and Technology, the Center is currently co-producing a paper series on the implications of the war in Ukraine.
From 2017 to 2021, as part of the Brookings-Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative, a multi-year project of applied research, CUSE produced a paper series and the quarterly Trans-Atlantic Scorecard, which paired an expert survey with a data-based analysis of trans-Atlantic relations over the previous three calendar months.
The Center convenes public and private events throughout the year in conjunction with a range of European and U.S. partners, including the annual Raymond Aron Lecture, featuring a leading French scholar, the annual Justice Stephen Breyer Lecture on International Law, the Hewett Forum on Post-Soviet Affairs, and the Daimler U.S.-European Forum on Global Issues, a high-level, biannual dialogue for leading analysts and government officials to inform policy decisions and strengthen trans-Atlantic relations. As part of the Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum, the Center also hosts European leaders at Brookings for major policy addresses. CUSE also hosts a number of other events, including via Twitter Spaces (such as the #FrenchFriday series), as well as working groups, to address current trends and developments in trans-Atlantic relations.
The substantive work of CUSE is carried out by a diverse and experienced team of scholars on Europe and trans-Atlantic relations, as well as other Brookings scholars from various disciplines. This team includes (in residence at Brookings):
Constanze Stelzenmüller, Director, Senior Fellow, and Fritz Stern Chair on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations
Asli Aydıntaşbaş, Visiting Fellow
James Goldgeier, Visiting Fellow
Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow
Other scholars with CUSE affiliations include:
Pavel K. Baev, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Carlo Bastasin, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Célia Belin, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Daniel S. Hamilton, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Kemal Kirişci, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Steven Pifer, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Douglas Rediker, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Jeremy Shapiro, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Angela Stent, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Ömer Taşpınar, Nonresident Senior Fellow
Strobe Talbott, Distinguished Fellow and Former Brookings President
Javier Solana, Distinguished Fellow
Paolo Gentiloni, Distinguished Fellow (Leave of Absence)
Ted Reinert, Assistant Director
Sophie Roehse, Research Assistant
Lucy Seavey, Senior Research Assistant
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