Reuters reported yesterday:
The European Union and the United States are likely to scrap plans to hold a summit in Madrid in May because U.S. President Barack Obama has decided not to attend, EU diplomats said on Tuesday.
Oh, that will make many in Europe's political class angry. Summits are so important to them, especially the "family photo" is considered of vital importance to national security.
An unsentimental President Obama has already lost patience with a Europe lacking coherence and purpose, opined Nick Witney and Jeremy Shapiro with the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution respectively in November 2009. Apparently, last year's EU-US summit in Prague, "at which President Obama was subjected to 27 interventions from the EU's assembled heads of state and government was an eye-opener for his administration."
Witney and Shapiro argued in Towards a post-American Europe: A Power Audit of EU-US Relations:
The US needs strong partners in a world that it no longer dominates. It knows it can turn to China on the economy and Russia on nuclear disarmament. In comparison, Washington is disappointed with Europe and sees EU member states as infantile: responsibility shirking and attention seeking.
The US would prefer a more united EU, but expects so little that it cannot bring itself to greatly care. When the EU is hard-headed, as with trade negotiations, the US listens. When it is not, Europeans are asking to be divided and ruled.
Will Europeans soon miss President George W. Bush?
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