Tuesday

15th Oct 2019

Obama and EU to reinvent global politics, pundit says

  • President Barack Obama is likely to visit Europe in the first months of his mandate. (Photo: The Israel Project)

The Obama administration will play a big role in "reinventing" the international system, especially on the financial side, in strong partnership with the EU, US foreign policy expert David J. Rothkopf said on Wednesday.

A former trade offical in the Clinton administration and a consultant on foreign affairs and emerging markets, Mr Rothkopf was talking from Washington during a video-conference organized by the Brussels branch of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an international think-tank associated with the US State Department.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"President Obama will play a bigger role in re-inventing the international system than any other president before in past decades," Mr Rothkopf argued, with a number of organisations and treaties badly needing an "update" or to be replaced altogether – ranging from the stalled Doha round of trade talks known to the non-proliferation treaty, as well as outdated bodies such as the G7 or the International Monetary Fund that don't include the emerging economies such as China.

US-EU relations will "clearly" improve, with a second trip to Europe probably taking place in the first months of his mandate, Mr Rothkopf said.

The tendency of the Democratic Party to be "more comfortable" with multi-lateralism and listening to its European partners will also contribute to improving relations, he said.

But there was also a "necessity" for this partnership to improve, Mr Rothkopf argued.

"We can't do things alone, we need partnerships and burden sharing. I would expect a debate within NATO about a broader role and sense of burden sharing," he said, mentioning Afghanistan as an example where European help is needed.

"Problems within Europe are going to have an impact on this as much as US obligations are, to the extent that the EU is divided on some of the big issues of the time and on the nature of the common foreign policy and common defence policy," Mr Rothkopf added.

New global financial regulator and IMF reform

Mr Rothkopf emphasised the need for a global financial regulator – something the G20 meeting in Washington on 15 November is still unlikely to agree upon, with the outgoing Bush administration opposing this idea and the Obama team yet not in charge.

But G20 leaders would probably agree to meet again in the first months of 2009, when both the creation of such a body, as well as the reform of the IMF could take a more concrete shape.

He spoke of a "regulatory renaissance" and of of "fusion capitalism", by which he means seeing European and Asian visions of capitalism and how markets are to be regulated take greater prominance on the international stage, and not just the so-called Washington Consensus. Yet on the down side, Mr Rothkopf warned against "blazing new trails on protectionism" that would isolate economies and only aggravate problems.

In terms of what a global financial regulator would look like, Mr Rothkopf mentioned the EU as an example of "creating super-national structures," while also noting the problem of enforcement. "Getting everybody in a room and agreeing on principles is easy – this is what we are probably going to get on 15 November – but next year we'll see whether we'll get institutions that have the ability to enforce new global standards on the international financial markets. That's going to be the challenge," he said.

Any financial agreement would also foresee a leadership role for the US, in coalition with the EU and other countries, Mr Rothkopf projected.

EU countries to halt arms sales to Turkey

EU states have agreed to stop arms sales to Turkey over its invasion of Syria, marking a nadir in relations with their Nato ally. In response, Ankara mocked the decision as a "joke".

EU powerless in new Syrian mayhem

EU foreign ministers are meeting to find a common position on the Turkish invasion in Syria. However, events are evolving quickly, as Kurdish forces asked the Syrian army to protect them.

Turkish attack on Syria might revive Isis

The EU has told Turkey to stop its attack on Syria, but Trump seems to be less worried about the 12,000 Isis fighters walking free, saying "they will be escaping to Europe".

Borrell hard on Russia in EU hearing

The EU should continue to expand in the Western Balkans and maintain sanctions on Russia, its next foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has said.

Column

These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.

Opinion

Time to pay attention to Belarus

Belarus may be hosting the European Games, but Vladimir Putin is not playing games when it comes to Belarus' independence. The West needs to get serious as well.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Latest News

  1. EU countries to halt arms sales to Turkey
  2. Nine Catalan separatist leaders given long jail terms
  3. Poland's right-wing ruler wins four more years
  4. EU powerless in new Syrian mayhem
  5. Hungarian opposition wins Budapest in blow to Orban
  6. New Dutch terror bill must not target aid workers
  7. EU proposes pesticide ban, but key documents still secret
  8. Brexit nail-biter and EU nominations This WEEK

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  2. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  3. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  8. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  9. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  12. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us