U.S. Slights a Disunited Europe

Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune, 04.02.2010

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With President Barack Obama’s decision to skip a United States-European Union summit meeting next May in Madrid, Europe’s egos were badly bruised. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, and José Manuel Barroso, the E.U. Commission president, were angry and embarrassed. They saw Mr. Obama’s nonattendance as a snub.

It could signal an emerging shift in the trans-Atlantic relationship, analysts and diplomats believe. [...]

E.U. leaders are also divided over Turkey’s eventual accession to the bloc. Mrs. Merkel wants a “privileged partnership” consisting of economic and trade benefits but none of the political and voting rights inside the European Union. Mr. Sarkozy is staunchly against Turkey’s membership, while other countries are divided.

“This is a big mistake,” said Janis A. Emmanouilidis, security expert at the European Policy Center in Brussels. “The E.U. policy over Turkey is shortsighted. It is stupid. We risk losing a crucial economic, political and above all a strategic partner,” he added. [...]

For the entire article see here.


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