Many issues to tackle – but also more engagement needed

Austrian Institute of International Affairs

The three top priorities for a re-definition or re-vitalisation of the transatlantic EU-US relationship is the establishment of peace and stability in the Afghan region, fighting climate change and the closing-down of the Guantanamo prison camp. Barack Obama is expected to demand more engagement in Afghanistan from the Europeans, not only in terms of financial support but also through the increase of troops deployed in the country.
In a commentary in the newspaper “Der Standard”, Austrian EU-Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner stated that it was crucial to revitalise the transatlantic relationship. As most pressing topics for both parties she mentioned the economical crisis, climate change and energy scarcity. On a more international level she highlighted the Middle East peace process, Afghanistan and the convention on climate protection as the three top priorities. But she was also very clear in saying that Europe would not get a better partnership for free, and that a lot of engagement from European side was needed.[1]

[1] “’Yes we can!’ Soll auch für Europa gelten”, Der Standard, 19 January 2009, available at: (last access: 17 February 2009).