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Top Press Commentary

A careful selection and summary of editorials, commentaries, and analyses from the world’s leading newspapers and magazines to help you stay on top of the latest debates and developments in the transatlantic agenda. See list of monitoring sources.
Readers can also see how the perspectives and priorities diverge in different regions.

It Is Time for Transatlantic Free Trade

S.E. Eizenstat & D.S. Hamilton, EUBC & JHU | December 19, 2012

Europe buys three times more US products than China. ++ Though US orientation towards Asia is legitimate, the importance of transatlantic relations must not be neglected. ++ A Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement can significantly foster bilateral economic growth. ++ Liberalizing trade and eliminating tariffs can lead to 7 million new jobs in both the US and Europe. ++ An agreement would also serve as a paradigm of free trade and liberalization. ++ US-EU standards quickly would become the model for global standards.

Turkey and the EU - a Slow Alienation

Amanda Paul, Today's Zaman | December 18, 2012

Negotiations between the EU and Turkey about full membership have almost come to a dead end. ++ A breakthrough will be difficult to achieve due to the continuing criticism on Turkey’s restrictions on human rights. ++ Recent surveys show a decreasing identification of Turks as Europeans and as Turkey as a part of Europe. ++ Direct Turkish involvement regarding EU decisions has also dropped. ++ 2013 with the 50th anniversary of a bilateral Association Agreement can be a decisive year for Turkish-European relations.

Overrating China Neglects India's Prospects

A. Gary Shilling, President GS & Co. | December 17, 2012

Touting China as global growth engine can prove to be a deception. ++ China has to transform its internationally oriented economy into a domestically directed one. ++ China’s governmental structure, its one-child policy, an aging population and rising wages are some of the Chinese flaws. ++ India offers much better conditions for foreign investment and global economic growth. ++ India's advantages also include a skilled and globally competitive workforce, good infrastructure and a more transparent governmental regime.

US-Russian Relations: Towards The Eurasia Pivot

T. E. Graham & D. Trenin, Kiss. Assoc. & CC Moscow | December 14, 2012

Cooperation between the US and Russia in international affairs still suffers from mutual distrust. ++ An improvement demands the willingness to shape a longer-term strategy addressing contemporary global challenges. ++ American and Russian interests do not necessarily collide. ++ A common agenda can be possible when it comes to the rise of China, energy cooperation or combating terrorism and extremism. ++ Despite the difficulties in fostering a trustful bilateral partnership, the potential benefits are worth setting the re-reset button.

Climate Change: The US and its Credibility Problem

Alexander Ochs, World Watch Institute (in German) | December 12, 2012

Neither the Bush nor the Obama administration could successfully alter the bad US image in combating climate change. ++ Given latest decisions in US climate policy, the US seems unwilling to take the lead. ++ However, the US reduced its emission of carbon dioxide by 10 percent and increased its percentage of renewables. ++ Despite this domestic development, the US neglects its environmental responsibility internationally. ++ By closing this gap, the Obama administration can be a credible contributor to today's global environmental challenges.

Strengthening "Defense Europe" within NATO

Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of France | December 7, 2012

NATO has to remain a special instrument of the trans-Atlantic relationship. ++ The return of France to integrated command, however, must not affect the independence of its foreign policy. ++ Events like the Libya crisis have demonstrated the need for common European action and European defense policy. ++ NATO members should actively and calmly discuss a new sharing of security and defense responsibilities. ++ In this regard, NATO will be a crucial player but "Defense Europe" also requires a common European initiative.

Why Not Create an "Economic NATO"?

David Ignatius, The Washington Post | December 6, 2012

Historically, austerity measures have proven wrong to stimulate sustainable economic growth. ++ A trans-Atlantic free trade agreement can be the right move to foster both the US and the European economies. ++ Harmonizing markets and reducing trade barriers through a so called "Economic NATO" can serve as a catalyst for job growth and would boost US and European GDP. ++ A free trade agreement would also symbolize the revitalization of transatlantic relations and US economic leadership. 

US Should Engage with Mexico

Editorial, The Economist | December 3, 2012

Despite the worldwide discussion on economic growth in the BRICs, the US might be well-advised to look more south. ++ In the coming years, the US will acknowledge an increasing Mexican influence in imports with "Made in Mexico" having replaced "Made in China". ++ Mexico in US perception still has a bad image due to high violence and drug trafficking, yet the country welcomes foreign investment and features a stable GDP development. ++ Instead of indifference, engagement would be the better diplomatic tool in US policy towards Mexico.

The EU and the Middle East: Divided We Decide

Ana Palacio, Spanish Council of State | November 30, 2012

On November 29, the UN approved Palestine's bid for being a "non-member observer state". ++ Despite all the risks of this decision, the EU has once again shown its inability of acting unanimously. ++ While France, Portugal and Spain declared their support, the Czech Republic opposed the vote and Germany stressed its abstention. ++ With its split mind-sets, the EU undermines its credibility as mediating agent in conflict regions. ++ It also raises general doubt about EU's maturity towards foreign policy issues on the global agenda. 

The Fallacy of New in the Middle East

Fareed Zakaria, editor-at-large, TIME | November 28, 2012

The assumption that the world, due to the events of the Arab Spring, has acknowledged a "new Middle East" has proven wrong. ++ Despite harsh rhetoric and verbal clashes, an attack of any Arab player on Israel is unlikely. ++ Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system has successfully worked out and provides security and deterrence. ++ Sustainable peace will only be within reach on Israel's own initiative or US mediation. ++ With its strategic ties to the US and military and economic strength, Israel still dominates the (new) Middle East.

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