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What Should America's Policy Toward Europe and the EU Be?

Recorded on May 13, 2008

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Allison Auditorium

For centuries, the United States has carefully crafted valuable relationships and bilateral alliances with individual European nations, first among them being the United Kingdom.  America has found its strongest, most enduring alliance in its Special Relationship with Great Britain, which stands as testimony to systematic engagement and common values.  However, as Britain and its European partners continue to surrender national sovereignty to the European Union in every area of policy from defense to trade America's strategic involvement with Europe will invariably take on a different flavor.

In key areas of policy, especially foreign policy and defense, Washington must establish a comprehensive alliance-building strategy that reinforces rather than undermines the sovereignty of nation states.  The United States must look at its role within NATO and how it intends to work with the Alliance in future, as well as the EU's burgeoning role in the critical spheres of military and defense.  For its part, the European Union must decide whether it wishes to continue on a path of confrontation with the United States, especially in areas of soft power such as climate change and trade where they exercise unfettered supranational power.

Key decision-makers from the European Union, Great Britain and the United States will explore these issues on a case-by-case basis and discuss what America's international partnerships should look like in the future.