I think it is the three combined together. Depending on the situation, whether economically, politically, or military, the European Union has acted as a threat, competitor or a partner to the United States. This could be demonstrated using different economic, political and military examples. First, lets look at the role and involvement of the United States in the Formation of the European Union. The United States has maintained diplomatic relations with the European Union since 1953, when the first US Observers to the European Defense Community and the European Coal and Steel Community were nominated.
In 1961, the US Mission to the European Communities – now the European Union – was established. The European Commission is represented in the United States by a Delegation in Washington, which was established in 1954. In 1971 the Washington office became a Delegation with full diplomatic privileges and immunities. The Delegation represents the European Commission in its dealings with the US government. It reports on US developments to headquarters in Brussels and acts as a liaison with other international institutions in Washington, DC.
The European Union and the United States hold twice-yearly presidential summits to assess and develop transatlantic cooperation. The EU-US summits bring together the President of the United States and the President of the European Commission. The EU-US Presidential Summits started as a result of the November 1990 Transatlantic Declaration. In December 1995, a step forward in the relations was taken at the EU-US Summit in Madrid, when the European Union and the United States adopted the New Transatlantic Agenda.
Both sides pledged to work together to promote peace, democracy and stability, foster economic growth and liberalization worldwide, meet global challenges such as terrorism and environmental degradation, and to build stronger non-governmental links between the people of Europe and the United States. Thus, the New Transatlantic Agenda launched an era of cooperation on a wide range of political and economic issues. This led in 1998 to a further deepening of the framework for economic relations, when the London Summit of May 1998 launched the Transatlantic Economic Partnership.
I would now like to raise the question ” why is the US so keen on its relationship with the European Union, why is there a great deal of involvement and cooperation between them? I think the answer to this question goes back to the fact stated in the beginning: the European Union is a potential threat, competitor or partner to the US. By keeping a strong relationship with the European Union, the US is trying to eliminate the threat and competition and strengthen the partnership.
The creation of a single European market has boosted cross-border business, creating economies of scale, increasing Europe’s competitiveness and leverage on world markets, and providing new opportunities for US exporters and investors. Nowadays, the European Union and the United States are the two largest economies in the world. They account together for about half the entire world economy. They also have the biggest bilateral trading and investment relationship. Both realized that by working together, they could promote their common goals and interests in the world much more effectively.
Although, the EU and US have a strong and long-standing economic relationship, it is only more recently that the EU as such has emerged as a potential partner in foreign policy for the US. Because of the EU’s importance as an international donor and, in particular since the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union, and its increasingly influential role in international diplomacy, the EU-US partnership now covers the full range of foreign policy issues.
The EU and the US are also linked by close security ties and a similar set of values, belief in democratic government, human rights and market economics. They share a common concern in handling effectively a wide variety of political and security issues across the world. Even if transatlantic achievements in the area of foreign policy are less visible and numerous than in the trade policy field, it is becoming increasingly evident that, in politics as in economics, where they have common interests the EU and the US can achieve more by acting together than when they act separately.
This could be seen through the example of Kosovo and the Middle East peace process. There are other areas, however, where EU-US cooperation still has a good deal of scope for improvement. In some cases, co-operation has been held back by internal political factors: in the case of the EU this sometimes reflects the difficulty of achieving consensus between all Member States.
On the US side, lack of support in Congress for multilateral commitments (such as in the case of UN financing, the Anti-Landmines Convention and the ratification of Chemical Weapons Convention) can sometimes be problematic. Different policy approaches also exist towards certain “countries of concern”, and in particular Iran and Cuba. Whilst the EU fully shares the US’s determination to ensure international security and full respect of human rights and democratic principles, the EU does not share the US’s political strategy of isolating these countries.
In conclusion, I would like to say that diversity of Amercian society owes much to successive waves of immigration from practically every European country during the course of the past five hundred years, and this accounts for the extent to which Europeans and Americans share common values and maintain close cultural, economic, social and political ties. Both the US and the European Union understand that the basis for their cooperation is the respect which each partner has for the other’s positions and the recognition that, whatever the difficulties, they are stronger acting together than acting separately.