Analysis & Opinions - Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship

Critical Times for the Atlantic Alliance

| Nov. 13, 2019

“Trump has it right: we’re failing to meet the challenges of prosperity, reinvent our economy, and change the inequality across the Atlantic.”

As part of the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship’s (PETR) event series, Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, moderated a conversation on the crisis in the transatlantic relationship with Ambassador Victoria Nuland, Senior Fellow on the Future of Diplomacy Project and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Ambassador Philippe Etienne, Ambassador of France to the United States and diplomatic adviser to the President of the French Republic, on October 28th, 2019. 

In their discussion, Ambassadors Nuland and Etienne agreed that the alliance between the United States and the European Union has been and will remain crucial for both parties. The Ambassadors also agreed that the transatlantic relationship must be consolidated if the US and EU are to continue to enjoy the same freedom, security, and prosperity that they have in the past.

“It’s in the interests of the US and the EU, considering the challenges and threats of the new world, that we keep the same alliance across the Atlantic,” noted Ambassador Etienne. “Everything has to be adapted. We must keep together because there are new challenges to face.” Etienne went on to cite numerous challenges facing the transatlantic, including cybersecurity, ever-changing migration issues, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and terrorism.

For the transatlantic relationship to strengthen, both Ambassadors emphasized the importance for European nations to develop stronger militaries and for China’s rise as a global power to be addressed appropriately. Ambassador Nuland added that “the only way [for the US and the EU] to reinvent ourselves as a liberal community and to stand up against authoritarian challenge is to work together on a different and a more balanced approach to China, an answer to creating an internet that favors freedom rather than favoring autocrats, reimagining our prosperity by together reinventing our economies in a savvy way. We have all the potential to do that, but we have to do it together because right now we are putting a threat over what made us special.” 

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Critical Times for the Atlantic Alliance .” Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, November 13, 2019.


Nicholas Burns