Workshop on US-EU Relations in Times of Uncertainty

From December 12-13, IES hosted a workshop entitled “US-EU Relations in Times of Uncertainty: Crises and Transatlantic Relations,” which featured guest editors Marianne Riddervold (University of Oslo, Norway) and Akasemi Newsome (University of California, Berkeley), who attempted to account for how transatlantic relations have been impacted by the crises currently faced by the EU. Central to each participating paper’s examination of these relations were questions pertaining to whether the EU states have become more unified or fragmented in their position on the US, as well as the extent to which US and EU relations have strengthened or weakened in different areas.

The topics and perspectives presented over the two-day period proved vast and intriguing. Beverly Crawford (Berkeley) spoke on “Moral Leadership or Moral Hazard? Germany’s Response to the Refugee Crisis and its Impact on European Solidarity and Transatlantic Relations,” which centered on the rise of Anti-Americanism in Germany and whether or not European and transatlantic solidarity should be the goal when it involves the sacrifice of the universal human rights on which the EU was built. Jolyon Howorth (Yale University) presented on European common security and defense policy, the desire for autonomy, and the necessity to re-think the relations between the EU and NATO in his paper “European Security Autonomy and NATO: Grasping the Nettle of Alliance EU-isation.” In “Supranational Governance, Transatlantic Relations, and the Fear of Terrorism: From Crises to Institutional Change?,” Christian Kaunert (Free University Brussels) discussed the different roles played by exogenous shocks, transnational cross-border security threats, and supranational policy entrepreneurs in counter-terrorism cooperative efforts.

Akasemi Newsome’s “European Disunity and the Collapse of Schengen: What Implications for the Transatlantic Projection of Soft Power” built on the insights of Sjursen, Zielonka, Freyburg, and Richter to describe the effects of the reinstitution of borders on the future of EU integration and projection of soft power. Also, Marianne Riddervold spoke on her paper “Unified in response to rising powers? China, Russia, and transatlantic relations,” which centered on transatlantic unity and dissent in the face of geopolitical issues and how such trends impact not only our understanding of transatlantic relations, but also the future of global power-relations. Finally, Michael Smith (University of Warwick) explored the crisis of contemporary multilateralism and how the distinct responses to the problem in the EU and US affect and reflect the reality of transatlantic relations in “The EU, the US, and the Crisis of Contemporary Multilateralism.” Over the course of the workshop, the twenty participants and attendees had the opportunity to engage in lively, productive discussions of the the diverse issues at hand, offering constructive criticisms to the presented arguments that served to both strengthen and expand upon this upcoming scholarship.