Relation adrift in the haze

Posted on 04. November 2012

by Veronika Sobolova

veronika-sobolova-modifieedEvery American presidential election tends to be the most important in the history. But this really is. What do you think, can we expect a change in the White House after the 6th of November? Barack Obama promised the change in every of his speech four years ago. Well Mr. President, I am still waiting! Maybe it will finally come, but with Mitt Romney…

However, how does the outcome of American presidential elections and the following Congressional elections could affect Europe? The American diplomacy tends to prefer the bilateral relations. Let´s face it up very clearly – we are not important for them anymore from the economic point of view. (Let me a short plot digression: Who is the most important trading partner of USA? Hm, there is China, Canada, Mexico, I am looking for a European county… congratulations to Germany – it is the fifth most important partner of the USA1, but German total trade amount is just one fifth from the amounts of trade reached by China or Canada. And guess who the most important trading partner of the EU is? Yes, I know you are bright – it is the America2. ) But transatlantic nations hold together not just because they can profit from mutual economic cooperation. We share common values in terms of democracy, culture and not on the last place we are military allies. Obama and the EU were both awarded by the Nobel peace prize not accidently of course.

Obama gets on Merkel´s nerves, I heard today in the news. No wonder, there are not many politicians in the world that can criticize her excessive focus on austerity and she is not used to it. Obama and his office are very outspoken in their disapproval of the way European Union countries handle the Euro crises.  And as usually presidents of the USA urge the Europeans to do more to uphold international security and to increase governmental budgets for defense. But why Mr. Obama, the president of the most important economic partner of the EU, has never been invited to Germany (the industrial heart and real decision maker of Europe) during his presidential term? Or maybe the reality is worse, than you would be expected. He has he been invited he did not want/manage to find some time in his diary?

Which presidential candidate would be a better option for restoring the transatlantic relations? The smooth and successful businessman or the old but still charismatic Mr. President? The American voter can choose between two starkly different philosophies acrimoniously discussing the role of the state and on economic and fiscal policy, but from what kind of America can Europeans profit more?

Dear Mr. President, come and take a walk with us – Europeans, visit us! We are disappointed in your neglect that you show to your transatlantic partners.

Mr. Romney, I agree with you that there is a need for renew of transatlantic relations but I wonder what you really do in case you win. The same promised Mr. Obama four years ago.

What can we except after the new American President swear in January in Washington? Can we hope for a revival of transatlantic vision or are the transatlantic relations going to stay in inherent vagueness?

Footnotes

1. United States Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c0003.html#2011
2. European Comission, http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/bilateral-relations/statistics/