While it is too early to say that the creation of the European External Action Service two and a half years ago has created a truly coordinated European foreign policy, it is very much correct to say that the Lady Catherine Ashton, who has headed that organization since its founding, has become a significant player in international diplomacy. Her several successes have been recently capped by her role in Iran nuclear deal, where she played a hands-on and critical part in bringing the historic agreement to fruition. She has been widely praised for being the key interlocutor with Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif in the talks, which involved long hours of discussion between just the two of them. And when the agreement was announced and signed, it was Ashton and Zarif who met at the Geneva’s Palais des Nations to formally sign the pact.
U.S. and European Union officials finished their second round of talks earlier last month in Brussels, largely it seems to demonstrate that a “constructive” process is underway to establish the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). At this early stage, there are few signs of progress in addressing any of the most difficult and complex issues that will determine if the world’s two largest markets form a free trade union.
When it comes to the United States, Germans easily get emotional. Why? For Germans the United States is so much more than just another political ally. It was the US that reached out to the Germans after the morally devastating World War II; it was the US that opened up the world for so many German exchange students, scholars, businessmen, travelers in the years that followed. And it was US leadership that in 1989 supported a divided Germany in its craving to be reunited again – while other so-called friends at that crucial political juncture were hesitant or outright hostile to the prospect of having a single German state in their neighborhood. That is – by the way – why Germans hold former President George H. W. Bush to this very day in high esteem.
© COPYRIGHT THE EUROPEAN INSTITUTE 2009
You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from our site and redistribute by email or post to the web.