First Resort: An Agenda for the United States and the European Union
The most far-reaching opportunities for future U.S.-EU cooperation are likely to transcend foreign policy; they include interrelated issues of health, resilience, climate and energy, digital transformation, creating jobs and fostering inclusive and sustainable growth. This report focuses on these key areas.
Joe Biden and EU leaders have underscored that the United States and Europe are indispensable partners of first resort. The United States and the EU have a rare and potentially fleeting opportunity to reinvigorate and recast their partnership to rebuild a sense of common cause and forge a resilient Atlantic partnership that is more effective at leading our societies and economies from sickness to health, enhancing our prosperity, protecting our interests and advancing our values, and working with others to forge global responses to global challenges.
This renewed sense of common purpose is likely to start quickly – although not necessarily easily -- in the foreign policy realm. The two parties will want to ensure that U.S.-EU-UK relations remain strong and sturdy. They share a common interest in a more capable Europe, including in defense and security. And they must find common ground in identifying together where China can be a potential partner, where they agree it is a competitor, the ways in which it is a systemic rival, and what each partner can do, together or separately, to address the opportunities and challenges that accompany China’s rise. However, the most far-reaching opportunities for U.S.-EU cooperation are likely to transcend foreign policy; they include interrelated issues of health, resilience, climate and energy, digital transformation, creating jobs and fostering inclusive and sustainable growth. This report focuses on these key areas.
The most urgent priority is to lead our societies and our economies from sickness to health, including through a Transatlantic Recovery Initiative. Measures could include lifting remaining transatlantic trade barriers on, and streamlining approvals of, medical devices, supplies and other products in each other’s markets; working bilaterally and via the WTO’s Trade and Health Initiative to facilitate global trade in essential medical goods and healthcare products; and strengthening transatlantic and global supply chains.
This report was the result of several working papers. These papers are available online here:
About the Author
Daniel S. Hamilton
Daniel S. Hamilton was the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Distinguished Fellow and Director of the Global Europe Program at the Wilson Center from 2020 to 2021. He is one of the country’s foremost experts on modern Europe, the transatlantic relationship, and U.S. foreign policy. He testifies regularly before the Senate, the House, and various European parliaments, comments often in U.S. and international media, and is an award-winning author of scores of publications on European and transatlantic security, economic and political affairs, and on U.S. foreign policy issues. A former senior U.S. diplomat, he is also Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins SAIS.Read More
Global Europe Program
The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, U.S.-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. It does this through scholars-in-residence, seminars, policy study groups, media commentary, international conferences and publications. Activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The program investigates European approaches to policy issues of importance to the United States, including globalization, digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance, and relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Read more