With many national economies slipping back into recession and voters in Greece, France and the United Kingdom rejecting austerity measures in recent elections, the European political and economic landscape has shifted again. Europe now seems headed towards a revised social contract and a new round of negotiations to respond to the continuing financial crisis. The United States, while experiencing a mild recovery, also strives to find the right balance between fiscal consolidation and growth preservation—a mission made more challenging with the upcoming November elections. A new loss of confidence in Europe may well imperil the U.S. economy’s fragile recovery. Will similar anti-austerity political currents cross the Atlantic and bring “change” to the United States? Despite the crisis, transatlantic cooperation has increased during the Obama administration, but U.S.-EU relations will be subjected to critical examination during the election year.
On May 23, the same day European leaders will gather for an extraordinary summit in Brussels, the Center on the United States at Brookings (CUSE) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation hosted a discussion featuring experts and top officials from both sides of the Atlantic for the 2012 CUSE Annual Conference. Panelists explored critical issues shaping the future of transatlantic relations in a year of elections and political transitions, from the euro crisis and the future of NATO to relations with Russia, Turkey and the Middle East.
After each panel, participants took audience questions.