GMF’s Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer Testifies before French National Assembly
Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, the director of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in Paris, testified on Wednesday December 5, before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, at the French National Assembly, along with Vincent Michelot, an expert on U.S. domestic affairs. A month after the U.S. presidential elections and in the midst of significant developments in the Middle-East, Dr. de Hoop Scheffer discussed the American foreign policy agenda and the future of transatlantic relations in the context of the U.S. ‘rebalancing’ to Asia.
Chaired by Elisabeth Guigou, Dr. de Hoop Scheffer presented the main international challenges the Obama administration will face during the coming four years, as well as the different possible scenarios that U.S. actions on the global stage may take during this period. She also highlighted the continuity and differences that are likely to define Barak Obama’s second term in comparison to the first, analyzing the issues in which the President could start defining and building his legacy on the international scene. During the course of her discussion with the French representatives, she had the opportunity to address other specific issues such as the U.S. response to the current evolutions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the future of U.S.-Russia relations, nuclear Iran, and the military implications of federal budgetary cuts.
Regarding the U.S. strategic rebalancing to Asia, Dr. de Hoop Scheffer argued that it should not be perceived as a sign of U.S. disinterest towards Europe and does not imply a fundamental transformation of the strategic ties linking the two sides of the Atlantic. Addressing the concerns of certain French representatives in seeing European states be forsaken by their American ally, Dr. de Hoop Scheffer concluded that the so-called ‘pivot’ to Asia was a unique opportunity for European countries to gain more responsibility over the security of their neighboring regions, as well as to renew transatlantic cooperation on issues related to Asia, at a time when the Americans look more and more towards their allies to answer global challenges.
Click here to watch a recording of the hearing (in French).