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Implications of the Obama Re-Election for Europe

November 14th, 2012 - There are unlikely to be any major changes in US strategic policy toward Europe as a result of last Tuesday's presidential election. It is true that the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, sounded at times as if he would pursue a fundamentally different set of policies from those of President Barack Obama on issues of importance to Europe (in particular, his stance on Russia, which on the campaign trail he branded America's biggest geopolitical challenge), but it is well to recall what Mario Cuomo once said about rhetoric employed during a bid for election, namely that "we campaign in poetry, but we govern in prose."

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Europe's Existential Moment?

Europe's Existential Moment?

The ongoing sovereign debt crisis had its origins long before the introduction of the euro. A disparate set of countries, seemingly united in their desire to put aside centuries of conflict, and recognizing that their future economic prosperity and political relevance in the international community required some common purpose, opted for the relatively easier route of economic and monetary union over some form of political union. Contrary to the impression given by some observers, the flaws inherent in Maastricht Treaty were known long before the economic eruption that took place beginning in May 2010. The policy makers who devised and negotiated the creation of the European Union, followed by the single currency, knew very well the limits that sovereign nations and the electorate would tolerate on the road to something approaching a single entity called Europe.

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