Seeing Blue: American Visions of the EU (PDF; 404 KB)
Source: Institute for Security Studies

The United States has been a constant, if at times ambivalent, support of European integration from the earliest days of the European Coal and Steel Community to the current European Union. After two world wars drew the United States into military action to defend liberal democracy in Europe, American leaders understood that the security of Europe was in the American interest. The foundation of that security would be a transatlantic alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) providing a formal commitment that the US and its allies would defend each other if they were attacked. While the mlitary alliance was the foundation, a deeper relationship needed to be built. By forging new economic, political and social links, Europeans could make war among Germany and its neighbours unthinkable. The vision was realised in Western Europe through the integration process that would lead to the European Union.

This Chaillot Paper will analyse American perspectives on the European Union, particularly as a global strategic actor. It will argue that while the US-EU relationship is less acrimonious than in 2003, there are still fundamental tensions in the relationship. While most of these are political, some are structural. The political ones can be solved by changed in policies and policy-making personnel; the structural ones cannot. These have to be addressed and managed, but are likely to continue to be a source of friction.