The Next U.S. President and Europe: Thriving Together or Withering Apart?
When Barack Obama takes his second oath of office in January 2013, he will find both perils and promises in the old continent. On the one hand, the eurozone crisis may bring about a variably integrated “multi-speed” Europe, with the United Kingdom and perhaps others distancing themselves from their European Union (EU) partners. A reconfigured Europe could complicate the NATO alliance and make the U.S. economic recovery more difficult, given the interdependence of the transatlantic economies. On the other hand, the prospect of a major free-trade agreement with the EU could jolt growth on both sides of the Atlantic. More importantly, European allies remain indispensable partners in tackling global challenges including terrorism in the Sahel, the Iranian nuclear program, civil war in Syria, tensions with Russia and more.
On November 8, the Center on the U.S. and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation hosted a discussion on transatlantic relations over the next four years. Panelists included Clive Crook of Bloomberg View, Charles Kupchan of Georgetown University, Andrew Moravcsik of Princeton University, and Senior Fellow and CUSE Director of Research Justin Vaïsse. CUSE Director Fiona Hill moderated the discussion.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.