What is a transatlantic accent

Transatlantic Policy

Stephan Martens

To person

Dr. phil. habil., born in 1964; Professor of German and European Contemporary History at the University of Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux 3, Domaine universitaire, F-33607 Pessac Cedex.
Email: [email protected]


The far-reaching changes in international politics naturally also have an impact on transatlantic relations. Since the fall of the "Iron Curtain" in 1989, the geostrategic framework, the relationship between Europeans and their relations with the USA have changed. After the end of the Cold War and the disappearance of a common enemy, America's enthusiasm to support European integration is also disappearing. Because today the USA is no longer as dependent on Europe as it was when the old continent was the scene of their confrontation with the Soviet Union. However, it is quite evident across the Atlantic that tackling the strategic and economic challenges requires strong Euro-Atlantic cooperation, especially in the fight against international terrorism. The "transatlantic civilization" (Gerhard Schröder) is threatened by the same dangers. After the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on September 11, 2001, Islamist terrorism showed on March 11, 2004 in Madrid and on July 7, 2005 in London that Europe too is the target of terrorist attacks at all times can be.

Instead of bipolarity, there is a complex reality today. The transatlantic relations will have to adapt to this global political reality. The stronger EU will also take a more independent path. In a recent study, the German Marshall Fund asked 11,000 Americans and Europeans about their ideas about future transatlantic relations. The trend was clear: Europeans want more independence from America, 71 percent support the development of the EU into an equal "superpower". However, this endorsement would drop by 50 percent if it were associated with an increase in defense costs. The Iraq war and the rifts in transatlantic relations that grew out of it only intensified and accelerated an already diverging development between America and Europe. [1] In order to shape a realpolitically determined relationship, however, the Europeans must also want this.