Wednesday

27th Mar 2019

EU-US ties in "vicious circle"

Former US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, says that current transatlantic relations are currently in a dangerous "vicious circle".

In an interview with German news magazine, Der Spiegel, Ms Albright - who served as US Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, says, "There have always been times when anti-American feeling has grown in Europe and times when anti-European feeling has grown in the US".

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

"But when both these trends happen at the same time, you have a vicious circle. This is exactly what has happened now".

"It is disgraceful to see how Europeans take pleasure over the chaos in Iraq, or the recent black-out in the US. Should we also be delighted that 10,000 French people died in the summer heatwave?"

Both sides to blame

However, in terms of the source of the most recent row - the differences of opinion on how to proceed in Iraq earlier this year, Ms Albright shares out the blame equally. She says, "President Chirac made the situation unbelievably complicated. In reality, both sides prevented the UN from having a significant role before the war - President Bush because he was always saying, 'I don't care what is said there' and President Chirac because he was always saying, 'I am going to use my veto whatever happens'".

EU is no counterweight

Despite this, Ms Albright - who was born in Prague and fled to the US after the war - does not believe that Europe can be a useful counterweight to American hegemony.

"Naturally the US has more power now than any other nation in the history of mankind. That brings responsibility with it. We must keep control of ourselves. Europe is no counterweight".

The American 'catch-22'

But Ms Albright also makes the point that America is criticised whatever foreign policy it adopts. She says, "If the US takes a strong role, we are criticised; if we do nothing, we are deserting our responsibilities. At times, it is not easy being the United States".

Turkey should be in the EU

On the controversial question of Turkish membership of the EU, Ms Albright appears to have strong views in favour of Turkish adhesion. She declares, in a seperate interview with the Suddeutsche Zeitung, "I have always criticised the EU for not working harder with Turkey because I feel that Turkey should be brought into the EU. You do not have to be completely a part of Europe to be part of Europe".

Bush told to treat Europeans 'like adults'

The former American secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, has attacked the Bush administration for alienating the Arab world and Europe, warning that a long-term rift will occur if fences are not mended soon.

EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law

The European Parliament backed a law on copyrighted content online. Defenders says it will safeguard right holders from being exploited by big tech firms. Critics say it spells the end of internet freedoms and curtails expression.

Opinion

Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?

Ahead of the European Parliament election in May, the bloc is ideologically split between authoritarians seeking to reduce its sway, and those seeking a moderate track. In essence, voters have to decide if they want to move forwards or backwards.

Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem

Romania will move its embassy to Jerusalem, its prime minister has said, shattering the EU line on the Arab-Israeli conflict while the country holds the EU rotating presidency.

Magazine

The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted

It is a divisive 'Brussels bubble' debate: whether to give the European Parliament more of a say on who becomes the next European Commission president. But the issue goes right to the heart of European integration.

News in Brief

  1. EU tables plan for joint approach to 5G security
  2. MEPs agree to scrap summer time clock changes by 2021
  3. European Parliament votes on reform of copyright
  4. New French-German parliament meets for first time
  5. EU parliament reduces polling ahead of elections
  6. UK parliament votes to take control of Brexit process
  7. EU publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plans
  8. EU urges Israel and Gaza to re-establish calm

Magazine

The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted

It is a divisive 'Brussels bubble' debate: whether to give the European Parliament more of a say on who becomes the next European Commission president. But the issue goes right to the heart of European integration.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law
  2. France takes Chinese billions despite EU concerns
  3. Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?
  4. Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem
  5. The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted
  6. Russia and money laundering in Europe
  7. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  8. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us