Transatlantic Security Relations: An Irish Contribution
7 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2011
Date Written: 2004
The June 2004 EU-US summit takes place at a time of great challenge and great opportunity in transatlantic relations. Thus, the Irish Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers has the potential to make an impact upon both the tenor and substance of those relations and, in the longer term, Ireland has its own national contribution to make to that relationship. The Union’s own response to the tragic events in Madrid, within the context of an ongoing battle against terrorism pursued on both sides of the Atlantic, gives a very particular focus to the bilateral agenda in the short to medium term. While much of this agenda is related to domestic security issues, it also has an impact upon bilateral security and defence relationships, EU-NATO relations and the struggle against the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). This paper argues that, despite the challenges which face it, the Transatlantic alliance has the potential to make a positive and significant contribution to international peace and security – and one which focuses upon the roots of instability as well as dealing more effectively with the imminent physical threats that derive from such instability. It argues that the European Union and the United States have differing but perhaps complementary strengths and that the Irish EU Council Presidency has an opportunity to contribute to the development of a positive, strong and effective bilateral agenda.
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