On Monday, July 13, 2015, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) hosted a conference on the future of transatlantic relations and global governance at GMF’s headquarters in Washington D.C., which constituted the culminating event of the EU-funded Transworld project. In the framework of the this project, a group of selected experts collaborated and shared their research findings over a period of three and a half years with the aim of identifying ways by which the United States and European countries can address the greatest challenges to the global order as transatlantic partners. Their final project report, which found that transatlantic cooperation regained new urgency in the face of growing global fragmentation, was presented by Transworld contributors at the conference.
Morning and Lunch Sessions: “Rethinking Transatlantic Relations in the Multipolar Era”
The morning session, which was moderated by Daniela Schwarzer, senior director for research, director of the Europe Program, and director of the Berlin Office at GMF, aimed to summarize the key findings of the Transworld report. After Ettore Greco, director of IAI and Transworld Coordinator Riccardo Alcaro of IAI presented an overview over the project, three Transworld researchers shared their views and expertise on different focal points of the report. Paola Subacchi, director of the International Economics Departments at Chatham House, discussed how the fundamental changes that had redefined the European and global order since the project was launched in 2012 had altered the framework for transatlantic cooperation and global governance. Pierangelo Isernia, professor of International Relations at the University of Siena, portrayed how elite opinion on transatlantic issues diverged on both sides of the Atlantic. John Peterson, professor of International Politics at the University of Edinburgh, gave a more positive outlook arguing that transatlantic relations are “in surprisingly good shape” and that opportunities for transatlantic cooperation in areas such as trade and climate change continued to surface. All three presentations ignited an animated discussion between experts and policymakers on the importance of transatlantic cooperation in an increasingly multipolar world.
Following the morning discussions, Amy Studdart, deputy director and fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, moderated a lunch session that included a presentation by Brookings Fellow Jeremy Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro provided an overview over what he perceived to be the six major challenges to the liberal world order, which he argued, is imposed on the rest of the world by the United States.
According to his definition, these include external challenges emanating from Russia, China, the emerging economies and the Middle East, as well as internal challenges within Europe and the United States.
Afternoon Session: “Shaping Global Governance: The Challenges to Transatlantic Cooperation”
The afternoon session of the Transworld conference featured an exchange with policymakers and officials from both sides of the Atlantic. The session was moderated by Ambassador Marc Grossman, vice chairman of the Cohen Group and member of the GMF Board of Trustees. Ambassador David O’Sullivan, head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, and Congressman Gregory Meeks, ranking member on the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, joined Ambassador Grossman in a lively conversation regarding opportunities to restructure global governance by creating closer transatlantic cooperation on security and trade issues.
Listen to the related podcast on transatlantic relation between Ricardo Alcaro, senior fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) of Rome, and David O'Sullivan, ambassador of the European Union to the United States, here.