While relations between Europe and other great powers are all characterised by a mix of co-operation and competition, transatlantic relations are distinctive because of the overwhelming predominance of the former over the latter. Europe and the US collaborate on a wide range of international issues, both in the Old Continent and in the wider world, and on both economic and political issues. This uniquely dense relationship does not mean, however, that European and American interests are identical, nor that the relationship automatically serves European interests. Apart from the few purely bilateral issues, assessing European performance in dealing with the US is thus largely an exercise in measuring how successful Europeans were in persuading the US to respect their positions and take into account their red lines in joint ventures.
In 2010, Europeans had mixed results in influencing Americans in this way. Mostly, this was because of a lack of unity and coordination; sometimes, it was because they lacked assertiveness and hesitated to affirm and defend European interests. This was compounded by the legacy of the past, which still weighs on some present situations such as European security, where Europeans are divided between NATO members and non-NATO members, by their strategic cultures, and by their views of Russia – all of which ends up consolidating American leadership.
|27– Reciprocity on visa procedures with the US||3/5||2/5||3/10||8/20||C|
|28 – Relations with the US on terrorism, information sharing and data protection||5/5||5/5||8/10||18/20||A|
|29 – Trade and investment disputes with the US||3/5||3/5||6/10||12/20||B-|
|30 – Agreement with the US on standards and norms, consumer protection||4/5||3/5||6/10||13/20||B|
|31 – Relations with the US on counter-terrorism and human rights||3/5||2/5||5/10||10/20||C+|
|32 – Relations with the US on NATO and NATO reform||2/5||2/5||3/10||7/20||C-|
|33 – Relations with the US on arms control and relations with Russia||2/5||2/5||4/10||8/20||C|
|34 – Relations with the US on the Balkans||3/5||4/5||7/10||14/20||B+|
|35 – Relations with the US on the Middle East peace process||3/5||3/5||2/10||8/20||C|
|36 – Relations with the US on Afghanistan||4/5||2/5||2/10||8/20||C|
|37 – Relations with the US on Iran and proliferation||5/5||5/5||8/10||18/20||A|
|38 – Relations with the US on climate change||5/5||4/5||2/10||11/20||B-|
|39 – Relations with the US on global economic and financial reform||2/5||2/5||4/10||8/20||C|