Time to Grow up: What Obama's Re-election Means for Europe
European Council on Foreign Relations | November 2012
Abstract from the ECFR report by Dimitar Bechev, Anthony Dworkin, François
Godement, Richard Gowan, Hans Kundnani, Mark Leonard, Daniel Levy, Kadri Liik
and Nick Witney:
"Most Europeans are relieved at the re-election of Barack Obama. But in his second term, he will face even greater pressure to cut costs than in his first term and is likely to continue the US "pivot" to Asia, though the Middle East still has the potential to derail it. This means that, although transatlantic security co-operation will continue, Europeans will increasingly be expected to take responsibility for sorting out problems in their own neighbourhood.
Whereas Europeans seek to build a multilateral, rule-based world, Americans seek to craft a multi-partner world. Thus Europe may increasingly lack an engaged partner in on multilateral issues as well as in its own neighbourhood. Europe now needs to grow up and focus on developing its own power, relationships with rising powers and its ability to manage crises in its own backyard. In particular, Europeans need to reach out to their neighbours - especially Russia and Turkey - through a European security initiative. They should engage with the Syrian opposition; push back against any shift towards military action against Iran and focus on partial and immediate sanctions relief in exchange for verifiable suspension of uranium enrichment; and support the new democracies in North Africa.
Finally, a serious strategic debate in Europe - which is to say, a Strategic Review commissioned by the European Council - is now essential."
Download the ECFR report