Washington, D.C. — Relations between the United States and its longtime allies in Europe reached a historic low during the Trump administration as the former president actively sought to undermine the long-standing pillars of the trans-Atlantic relationship, questioned America’s decadeslong security commitment to NATO, and launched sustained attacks on the European Union.
A new report from the Center for American Progress and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) urges Europe and the United States to renew the foundation of their historic trans-Atlantic bond, repairing the damage caused after four years of outright hostility and neglect. While the Biden administration is expected to come into office seeking to embrace Europe, the report argues that it’s time to rethink the relationship and embrace an explicitly progressive model for how the United States and Europe can tackle some of the biggest bilateral and global issues.
“To effectively relaunch and renew the trans-Atlantic bond, both the United States and Europe must make a comprehensive commitment to progressive values,” said James Lamond, a resident fellow at CAP. “The success of this effort will depend on both sides of the Atlantic using this unique opportunity to reimagine their relationship, not simply renew existing commitments.”
“What is required to repair and enhance the trans-Atlantic partnership cannot simply be the opposite of the Trump agenda,” said Vassilis Ntousas, senior international relations policy advisor at FEPS in Brussels. “It is crucial to find the right balance. Washington must urge Europeans to take action in a meaningful manner, and Europeans must be willing to accept strong U.S. support without viewing the relationship as an open door for unbridled U.S. primacy in Europe.”
The report highlights four key areas that demand urgent attention and recommends that both partners:
- Foster an inclusive growth agenda that takes aim at inequality by finally addressing both its symptoms and its root causes.
- Deepen the shared commitment to free, open, and just societies by strengthening the democratic core of American and European communities and tackling the underlying problems that make both systems susceptible to illiberal strains.
- Thwart digital authoritarianism by increasing the accountability and transparency of digital practices and actors while strengthening the safeguards against efforts to weaponize disinformation.
- Adopt a new joint strategic global vision; this presupposes the emergence of a new rapprochement on foreign, security, and defense terms, as well as a common outlook that tackles in a balanced way the challenges ahead.
Read the report: “In Our Hands: Progressive Ideas for a Renewed and Repurposed Trans-Atlantic Bond” by Vassilis Ntousas and James Lamond
For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs or 202-478-6327.