America’s New European Opportunity

Giorgia Meloni. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images.)

President Joe Biden ran for office on a promise to reinvigorate America’s alliances. His administration has had some success, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Yet the White House continues to miss opportunities, as the news coming out of Sweden and Italy this week shows. 

Many in Western Europe see the U.S. as an unreliable partner, an old trend only exacerbated by the election of Donald Trump six years ago. Dangerous whispers of effectively “decoupling” from Washington still emanate from many continental capitals. The European Union’s attempt to centralize power in Brussels is often nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on U.S. policy—and in some cases American businesses interests. 

Talk of creating a “European Amazon” or “European Google” are all bywords for asking how to kick the Americans out of the EU’s common market. Perhaps more sinister is the insistence on “strategic autonomy,” a euphemism for replacing NATO with an EU Army commanded from Brussels. And some of this has been more than talk—with disastrous real consequences: German suspicion about buying liquefied natural gas from the U.S. led to a disastrous reliance on Russian energy. 

Heavily reliant on U.S. innovation and military power, there are limits to the appeal of anti-Americanism in Europe. But the transatlantic relationship remains vulnerable, and leaders in Washington would be wise to take every opportunity to fortify ties. Fortunately, two excellent opportunities have presented themselves in the continent’s north and south. 

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