01. March 2021

Breaking the Law of Opposite Effects: Europe’s Strategic Autonomy and the Revived Transatlantic Partnership Europe’s Strategic Autonomy and the Revived Transatlantic Partnership

Dr. Iulian Romanyshyn

Dr. Iulian Romanyshyn on European Strategic autonomy and the transatlantic relations.

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The post-Cold War transatlantic relations have been marked by something akin to the law of opposite effects. When the relationship is vibrant, Europe’s defence cooperation stagnates. When the relationship is in trouble, Europeans pull themselves together to advance their security and defence interests. During the Clinton presidency, Europeans comfortably outsourced military crisis management in the Balkans to Washington. In contrast, a major transatlantic rift over the Iraq war during the Bush administration triggered the adoption of the European Security Strategy and a bulk of EU military operations under the banner of the European Security and Defence Policy. EU-US relations were back on an even keel during the Obama era, the time when Europeans haphazardly reduced their defence budgets and lost a great share of their military capabilities.


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