The Future of the Transatlantic Relationship between the U.S. and Europe

Dec 02, 2008

Discussion at the GHI | Dr. Thomas Bagger (Deputy Head of the Political Division, German Embassy, Washington DC), Emily Schmidt (CDS International), Introduced by Dr. Philipp Gassert (GHI)

In the months before the 2008 Presidential election, it became clear that the election was not only an American election, but rather a world election; one in which the transatlantic relationship between the U.S. and Europe seemed to hang in the balance. On December 02, 2008, Dr. Thomas Bagger (German Embassy) visited the GHI to greet interns from CDS International and to discuss the current German views of the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election.

As made clear in his introduction, Dr. Bagger’s analysis of the current state of America and Germany’s transatlantic relationship was based on a number of factors including: perceived foreign policy differences between John McCain and Barack Obama, European perceptions of America’s new commitment to environmental issues, and America’s stance on dealing with foreign powers who attempt to proliferate nuclear weapons.

The ensuing discussion focused on recent points of difficulty between the United States and Europe. Dr. Bagger clarified that in the age of global politics, there remains the hope that America and Europe can come together to overcome past differences. Dr. Bagger noted that Germans, in particular, were quite pleased with the recent election of Barack Obama to the office of President of the United States. According to Dr. Bagger, while the relationship between the United States and Europe certainly stands to be improved, the election of Obama may signify movement towards such change.