Friday

20th Apr 2018

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"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altogether – ranging from the stalled Doha round of trade talks known to the non-proliferation treaty, as well as outdated bodies such as the G7 or the International Monetary Fund that don't include the emerging economies such as China.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 toes the line on Syria air strikes

EU foreign ministers to back Western air strikes on Syria, the same way they backed the UK over Russia's chemical attack on an ex-spy in Britain.

Analysis

Is Germany more hawkish on Russia?

Germany's socialist foreign minister just said the EU should "step up pressure" on Russia. Merkel aired "political" doubts on a Russian pipeline.

Western Balkans summit imperilled over Kosovo

While Bulgaria aims to have all 28 EU countries in Sofia in May to give a boost to EU accession of the Western Balkans, some EU countries want to make sure their reservations about Kosovo are noted.

Analysis

Is Germany more hawkish on Russia?

Germany's socialist foreign minister just said the EU should "step up pressure" on Russia. Merkel aired "political" doubts on a Russian pipeline.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  2. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  3. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  4. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  5. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  6. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  7. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit
  8. Merkel and Macron meet to finetune eurozone reform plans

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeParabéNs! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  2. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  3. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  4. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  5. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  6. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  8. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  9. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  10. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector

Latest News

  1. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  2. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  3. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  4. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists
  5. Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study
  6. Selmayr case scars Parliament and Commission
  7. Beyond macho: Turkish-EU ties
  8. 'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesEU Tax Proposal on Digital Services Causes Concern for Small Exporting Economies
  2. Europea Jewish CongressCondemns the Horrific Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris
  3. Mission of China to the EUAn Open China Will Foster a World-Class Business Environment
  4. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  5. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  6. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  7. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  8. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  9. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  10. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  11. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  12. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership