28th Oct 2016

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".

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"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".

Poland defies EU on rule of law

Prime minister Szydlo said the European Commission concerns over rule of law in Poland were political grudges.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ANCI LazioAnci Lazio Definetely has a lot to Celebrate This Year
  2. EU-China ForumDebating the Future of the EU-China Relations on 28 November in Prague
  3. COMECEMigrants: From Fear to Compassion
  4. Birdlife EuropeBusiness as Usual - Juncker Snubs Environment and Protects Broken CAP
  5. EFADraft Bill for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum
  6. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  7. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  8. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  9. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  10. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament
  11. World VisionWomen and Girls Urge EU Leadership to Help end Gender-based Violence
  12. Belgrade Security ForumGet the Latest News and Updates on the Belgrade Security Forum @BelSecForum

Latest News

  1. Greece to probe UN allegations of illegal returns
  2. Poland defies EU on rule of law
  3. Belgium breaks Ceta deadlock
  4. Left MEPs thwarting Dieselgate probe, say right MEPs
  5. Cars should be allowed to exceed emissions limits, say experts
  6. EU case against Google is bad for developers
  7. Privacy activists mount court challenge to EU-US data pact
  8. Thousands of Nato soldiers go to Baltic states, Romania