BRUSSELS (Realist English). The peoples of Europe are currently unable to defend themselves, so they have no choice but to rely on the United States in a crisis situation. This report is written by the head of ECFR in Berlin, Yana Pelerin, and ECFR Research Director Jeremy Shapiro.
“But that observation just begs the question. These are wealthy, advanced nations with acknowledged security problems and a growing awareness that continuing to rely on the US contains long-term risks. So why do they remain so incapable of formulating their own response to crises in their neighbourhood?” — European analysts note.
In their opinion, there are two fundamental causes for American dominance over Europe:
“All the focus on America’s decline relative to China and the recent upheavals in US domestic politics have obscured a key trend in the transatlantic alliance over the last 15 years. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the US has become ever more powerful relative to its European allies. The transatlantic relationship has not become more balanced, but more dominated by the US. Europeans’ lack of agency in the Russia-Ukraine crisis stems from this growing power imbalance in the Western alliance. Under the Biden administration, the US has become ever more willing to exercise this growing influence.
The second cause is that Europeans have failed to reach a consensus on what greater strategic sovereignty should even look like, how to organise themselves for it, who their decision-makers would be in a crisis, and how to distribute the costs.
More profoundly, the nations of Europe do not agree on what to do and do not trust each other enough to reach compromises on these questions. In this context, Europeans cannot know what they would do with greater autonomy or how they might differ from America because they have no process or capacity to decide on their own policies. American leadership remains necessary in Europe because Europeans remain incapable of leading themselves.” – they emphasize.
In 2008 the EU’s economy was somewhat larger than America’s: $16.2 trillion versus $14.7 trillion. By 2022, the US economy had grown to $25 trillion, whereas the EU and the UK together had only reached $19.8 trillion. America’s economy is now nearly one-third bigger. It is more than 50 per cent larger than the EU without the UK.
The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is a European think-tank that conducts analyses on foreign policy and security topics. The Organization aims to strengthen the common and coordinated policies of European countries in these areas. It was founded in 2007 by 50 representatives of the political elites of European countries seeking to strengthen the role of Europe in world politics.