‘Europe warns Obama: this relationship isn’t working.’
The piece is teeming with quotations from diplomats and representatives of major European governments, voicing their concern that post-Cold War America no longer offers Europe a privileged relationship. The goodwill that Europe offered Obama has entirely evaporated.
Few diplomatic spats are ever one-sided, and the Americans are deeply frustrated with the European Union. A White House official condemned the EU’s ‘non-existent foreign policy apparatus’, and Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations said:
‘Europe created these posts (EU President and EU Foreign Minister) to speak for the collective as a whole. But from the perspective of many Americans, rather than building up someone of the stature of [the former Nato Secretary-General] Javier Solana, it looks as though Europe has retreated.’
That should be a warning to all European leaders. The White House wants to see co-ordinated European action on trade, climate change, aid and defence; is uninterested in the talking shop and its ciphers.