The European Defence Policy and Transatlantic Cooperation in Times of Obama and Trump Administrations

Marharyta Lymar

Ph.D. (Political Sciences)

ORCID: 0000-0001-9902-2709

Viktoria Ahieieva

Ph.D. (Philology)

ORCID: 0000-0001-5243-3623

Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, Mykolaiv, Ukraine


Abstract. The purpose of the study is to analyze the development of the European common security and defense policy during the Obama and Trump administrations by determining the specifics of its formation, trends and causes. It is observed the preconditions and principles for the formation of European CSDP; tendencies of its evolution in the post-bipolar era are considered; the EU CSDP is explored as a part of transatlantic system in the times of Obama administration; the trends and changes in the CSDP are examined in correlation with NATO policy under the Trump administration. The research emphasizes a significance of the European defense policy, which has been creating in two following ways: as a united force within NATO and as a unique initiative in parallel to the transatlantic cooperation (mostly, after the destruction of the bipolar system). However, the Euro-Atlantic defense ties never crashes, despite the periodic abatements. The article notes that Europe has substantially strengthened its positions at the end of the era of bipolarity, demonstrating its intention to create the own security system. It was found that in 2010–2016 there was a tendency weakening of American influence on the European community defense integration. According to Western European researchers, the EU defence initiatives became a matter of concern to both American presidents. However, during the Obama period, European governments failed in realizing their intentions (despite the desire to create their own army) due to the lack of mutual understanding on the issue and unwillingness to bear the additional costs of implementing the CSDP. However, such an opportunity has arisen during Trump’s presidency. It is stated that the foundation of a new stage of European defence integration was laid in 2016. Since 2017, European countries have taken new steps by creating the European Defense Fund (EDF) and starting the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). In addition, the article notes that in 2017–2018 there was an increase in the participation of national contingents in NATO. Moreover, the EU considers its defense system as «autonomous», but not absolutely independent of existing and effective structures. It is concluded that transatlantic relations matter and the further cooperation between European governments and the United States could be enhanced.

Keywords: Europe, United States, NATO, CSDP, Obama, Trump, defense policy.

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