What Issue Should Transatlantic Leaders Make a Priority at the U.S.-EU Summit?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 6, 2008
U.S. and EU Flags

On June 10, 2008, President Bush and his European counterparts will meet in Slovenia to participate in the summit between the United States and the European Union. At the summit, the President will encourage Europe to work with the United States to confront global challenges that we both face.

What issue should transatlantic leaders make a priority at the U.S.-EU Summit?



Syrian P.
June 8, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

They should take advantage of this high level meeting, specially this exceptional unity of mind set and decide how to bring freedom and Democracy, Bush style, to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.

South Korea
June 8, 2008

Chul-hong in South Korea writes:

There are two agendas to be brought to the summit.

First of all, it should be discussed that the world is faced with high price of oil.

Second, the key currency of the world - Dollar or Euro - should be talked over.

Actually, two problems result from the same cause, that is [the weak Dollar].

A wise U.S. policy on the Dollar will settle two problems I mentioned above.

New Mexico, USA
June 9, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I posted the following on a different thread, but if there is one thing I hope folks at the G8 consider, it is this in context with all the other issues they will discuss:

"I think it will be only when we truly consider ourselves as an endangered species will the human condition start to improve globally.

I say this as the humanitarian aid needed to save 1 million people is sailing away from Burma.

I say this as 300 million in the Mideast are at risk from the proliferation of WMD, and a radical mindset in Tehran willing to wipe nations off the map.

I say this as millions more are at risk of starvation across the globe due to higher cost of food staples.

I say this as some 50-60 conflicts across the globe endanger the peace and security of populations.

Personally, I think Mother Nature is fed up with us in general, and we better get our priorities strait if we're to survive into the 22nd century."

New York, USA
June 9, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:


Set the stage for a US/EU post-cold-war initiative.
The Bretton Woods and Marshall Plans never met their
intended goals. In the New Millennium, partnership
and cooperation is key to solving all global challenges.

New Mexico, USA
June 9, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Sometimes plans work better than intended Ron. I don't think anyone involved in the Marshall plan at the time would have envisioned the EU of today, "Whole, free and at peace" as it has been described accurately. But maybe they simply anticipated miracles.

I agree with you on how to get there from here between nations, but the details are hammered out in the dark to a certain extent, and over time. Like going over a bridge in the fog, you just gotta hope there isn't a section missing out of it on the way to the other side, because you're driving on gut instinct and dead reconning to get there.

One can draw historical precedent and understand the trend toward a greater democratic mindset on this planet exists because other economic and social ideologies have fallen out of favor, simply because a more efficiant system of governance is out there for the choosing if a people wishes to meet their full potential as a nation and as individuals.

And of course there will always be resistance to inevitable change for any number of reasons, both valid and malicious.

In some ways, the democratic trend as manifest seems to defy the second law of thermodynamics in that human affairs generally are becoming more ordered rather than moving towards chaos.

I'd say it's safe to say that if humanity can defy one of the principals of physics, then we indeed create our own reality.

Conciously or not. That is the question.

A little of both, I think.

Tennessee, USA
June 12, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

1. Monetary and International currency control and restructure.

2. Food production, cost and distribution.

3. Energy cost controls by States/Countries for leverage.

4. Honest alignment to eliminate unproductive leaders from the world society in the timeliest and cost efficient method possible. We simply cannot afford fanatical leaders; especially, those with WMD who threaten world peace or ignore their citizens. It is non productive ideology and not acceptable.

Maryland, USA
June 11, 2008

Tim in Maryland writes:

Leaders should take on the problem of illegitimate governments and failed states. The international community is continually thwarted in its efforts to help at-risk populations (e.g., Myananmar, Zimbabwe, Sudan) because it chooses to deal with their governments as legitmate when it's patently obvious that the existing government is illegitimate. Leaders should take on the task of defining the difference between legitimate and illegitimate governments in a way that allows the international community to apply the definition to each existing nation.

(I believe the definition should apply the tests of: (1) protecting snd acting on behalf of their entire population, (2) protecting and using the resources of the country on behalf of the population and their long-term economic interests, and (3) providing a safe, transparent mechanism for the populace to exchange information/news, air grievances and petition their government for redress. I also believe that the definition can address whether there is any practical difference (in how the international community should respond) between an illegitimate government and a failed state.)

By any reasonable definition the governments of Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Somalia would be labeled as illegitimate and/or a failed state. Leaders should maintain a running list of legitimate and illegitimate governments, put the illegitimate governments on notice and use the distinction when the situation is warranted. Such examples are:

1. Natural disasters adversely affecting the population. The declared illegitimate government would be given no power to impede the international rescue effort.

2. Humanitarian disasters caused by "civil wars" or incompetent government health and economic programs. The declared illegitimate government would be given no power to impede international intervention on behalf of the populace.

3. Attempts by the government to change its role or powers. The declared illegitimate government would be subject to international oversight to ensure a transparent process and a fair outcome. Whatever the outcome, the international community would reassess the legitimacy of the government.

4. No declared illegitimate government would be allowed voting representation in the U.N or to sign treaties.

International leaders need to take steps now to avoid the next international debacle at the hands of an illegitimate government.

New Mexico, USA
June 11, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Interesting concept, this "responsibility to protect" signed by 171 nations at the 2005 UNGA.

Daily Press Briefing
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 3, 2008

(in progress)

QUESTION: "Is there a lesson learned here about what the international community can do in the future in a similar circumstance to try to get aid into a closed country?"

MR. MCCORMACK: "I suppose that our folks will do the forensics on that to see if there are any lessons learned. But you come up against, very quickly, once you start sorting through these issues, the hard and fast issue of getting the cooperation of a sovereign state. You know, this is ? our differences regarding politics and the Burmese regime are well-known. That said, we put those aside in the interest of trying to save people?s lives. We?re going to ? we continue that effort. We think that, to the extent that there has been significant loss of life, that we as well as others could have reduced that number had we been allowed to more quickly act with a large-scale intervention.

Certainly, the decision-making process of the Burmese regime stands in stark contrast to the decision making of those countries affected by the tsunami several years ago in the Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Very quickly, those countries made the decision that they were going to open up their borders to a massive influx of aid. And as a result, people?s lives were saved and the process of reconstruction was able to proceed more quickly. And because of that, also, I think ? I would say the international system was prepared to offer even more assistance well beyond the date at which the natural disaster took place."


Given the fact that the int. community is sailing away from a couple million in distress, and half of those at risk of their lives, I think I would have used another word besides "forensics" to describe any post-mortem analysis done. As there undoubtable will be a lot of dead bodies to lend mute testimonial to the failure to act.

Although I think if world leaders had to do the forensic analysis themselves via autopsy on a million dead, they would definately say "Never again!" and mean it this time for real. Maybe Sean was just trying to make that subtle point.

Tennessee, USA
June 11, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

1. Population Control. It has been determined the world can only support some 4.8 billion people. We have 2 billion too many now. The only productive part of China is the limitation of population. Ted Turner did have a valid point.

2. Energy sourcing. There needs to be some limitation on inter vested bidding and the effects on civility worldwide. No one resource should have that much power.

3. Food production and distribution. In America, the issue of Subsidies to NOT GROW any crop is not reaching the small farmer and considering there is a world shortage; subsidies should be on the order of growing for USAID...not price control for the futures market. People come first.

4. Currency re evaluation worldwide. The system is being split into almost three world currencies since SA has produced a banking regiment to avoid the World Bank; as well as OPEC, NARCO and Mineral wealth evaluations.

5. Stronger sanctions with more immediate results for illegitimate leaderships or fanatical leaders with WMDs.

United States
June 12, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

SNP in Syria raises an interesting question:

The U.S.A. is helping Saudi Arabia build nuclear power while objecting to Iran building nuclear power plant fuel facilities and stopping Syria from even thinking about it. It does look a tad hypocritical. Especially so when one considers it was Saudi Wahabbi extremists which the Bush Administration blamed for the attack in New York on 9/11/2001.

As long as we are spreading Democracy like butter on bread, why not start with Saudi Arabia and let them get rid of their "royal" families and elect their own leaders? Would that work out in the U.S. interest? I doubt it. The first guys running for office would the the most extreme Wahabbi radicals one might imagine. If elected, we would have two Iran-style theocracies to deal with instead of one, and both would have nukes.

Quite a mess, no?

What might have been a better course?

What foreign policy measures would make the middle east a nuclear weapons-free zone yet still allow nuclear power plant development?

Tennessee, USA
June 12, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Saudi, Middle East.

The crux of the problem is recognized by you quite well. The Saudis will not help create a democracy; it is diametrically opposed to the leaderships power and control, not only of resources, but power. There is no doubt that the Saudis are aiding both sides to their own end. Why would they want peace? Why are there not any terrorist attacks there? Why do they forgive and nationalize our enemies in hordes then let them back out of the country to attack American and Democratic Interest worldwide?

The major problem in the Middle East is the Saudis, combined with the use of Religious extremism by fanatical leadership.

Sadly, I am afraid only war will solve this to any degree and the Saudis will continue to do EVERYTHING, including fiscal support, continued money laundering etc, to insure wars continue until there is some change in their leadership...The Saudis are the key to it all, no one else and why should they help? They are making over 1 billion a day right now on the oil alone. ONE BILLION A DAY...and have peace on their soil. Why would they want to change anything?

The real problem is America is being used as the political fool it has been for decades by them. -- If you don't help us, the Russians will or Chinese -- along with our age old: -They may be a bad Government, but they are our government philosophy. -

There will be no peace in the Middle East until the Saudis want it ...just that simple. The rest is all peripherals ...the only thing we have as leverage is WMD threat between Iran/Syria and Israel.

American Leadership has forgotten one thing: Everyone wants to live, the more money and power they have, the more they want to stay alive. We are considered diplomatic fools by the Arab world ...and Russians. I HAVE BEEN THERE, and know how they think.

We are incapable of running our own country right now according to Dmitry Medvedev; he is planning a World Power Summit. The U.S.A. is going to be excluded as he does not recognize us as a viable economic world power. He announced that YESTERDAY!!!

What can we do? Bring back Turner or find Thomas and reform the Skunk works. I'm in.

District Of Columbia, USA
December 28, 2008

David in Washington, DC writes:

The U.S. should discuss the creation of a system similar the historical library at Europeana.eu, as described here:


Perhaps this is something best pursued by the Library of Congress.


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