'the End Of The Cold War Gave New Political And Security Dimensions To Eu/Us Relations, Demonstrated Particularly In Their Approaches To European Order.' Why, And How?

2176 words - 9 pages

'The end of the Cold War gave new political and security dimensions to EU/US relations, demonstrated particularly in their approaches to European order.' Why, and how?The ending of predominant Cold War hostilities between the Western world and the Former Soviet Union at the end of the 1980's significantly affected EU and US relations. The transatlantic framework, which had been developing between these two entities over the last forty years, suddenly had to adapt to new and challenging situations. At the same time the EU and US had to contemplate that issues which had previously been concentrated at the core of the relationship between the two were changing in dimension.There were obviously many motives for US political and financial support for the development of an integrated Western Europe at the end of World War Two and the following years. Analysts of EU and US relations have however broken these motives down into five broad groupings. Firstly American support lent itself to the development of a more rational and efficient Europe, contributing ultimately to a reduced American burden and the development of a European trading partner. The US recognised that an integrated Europe would also help in its goal of Soviet Union containment and its Communists tendencies, which were spreading throughout much of Eastern Europe by the late 1940's and threatened to extend further. Finally the containment of Germany was seen as a key motive for support of a more closely integrated Europe, as much of the Western world held Germany primarily responsible for the start of two world wars.It must be noted that the 1980's have been described by many analysts as a period of breakdown in EU and US relations within the transatlantic framework. This was due mainly to the withdrawal from multilateral structure of the agreement process by the US president Ronald Reagan as he branded the Western European trading block as 'Fortress Europe'. This led to a far more self-interested form of economic and political policy and saw the American defence budget drastically increase and hence the so-called adoption of 'Reaganomics'.One of the most noted changes of dimension to EU and US relations following the conclusion of the Cold War surrounded the topic of European and international security. Since the end of the WWII there had been a clearly defined common enemy of the EU and US in the form of the Soviet Union and its Communist ideology. Consequently much of EU and US security planning had encompassed combating this common threat/target, mainly achieved under the umbrella of the international organisation NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). The relaxing and eventual collapse of the Soviet Union under the administration of Mikhail Gorbachev effectively meant that this common enemy disappeared. Subsequently creating a fragile new system of states in Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. This had direct implications for NATO as its primary function had...

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