OPINION

A new partnership?

Washington is inviting Brussels to cooperate in a common effort to crack down on «international terrorism» – now that international concern has turned to Saudi Arabia and Iran. The conveyor of American opinions on the proposed project to the European Union is Foreign Minister George Papandreou in his capacity as president of the council of EU foreign ministers until the end of June (EU Foreign Policy and Security Chief Javier Solana is also involved). However, the establishment of a top-level «dialogue» between the EU and the USA on the major issues of foreign policy and security is not in the least straightforward. Proposals foresee a new US-European «partnership» – with Americans entitled to an opinion and to the right to intervene in every «common» policy which EU member states have decided they want to pursue. Already under discussion is the American proposal for US «observers» to be allowed to follow EU reforms from close up (a proposal to which Papandreou has already reacted positively). In view of the aggressive foreign policy being pursued by the US leadership ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and especially after the distressing experience – for the European Union and for international law – of US- and British-led strikes on Iraq, America’s latest proposal demands much deliberation. How, to what extent, and on the basis of which institutional procedures will the USA soon be able to «observe» that which is said and done inside the EU?