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Inseparable, but not equal: assessing U.S.-EU relations in the wake of the NSA surveillance affair


Thimm, Johannes

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Corporate Editor Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik -SWP- Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit
Abstract The revelations about the data collection and espionage activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) have left their mark on transatlantic relations. In the beginning of 2013, the future of relations between the United States and the European Union looked bright, fueled by optimism about the negotiation of a transatlantic free trade area. Since then, tensions have risen over leaked information about the NSA's actions. The dispute is significant beyond the immediate issue of surveillance because it draws attention to the enduring asymmetries in the transatlantic relationship. Discussions about its decline notwithstanding, the U.S. upholds its claim to global leadership and continues to rely on controversial security measures in the name of fighting terrorism. Despite their initial indignation at the revelations, the leaders of European governments have offered conflicting and ineffective responses. In the intelligence field as well as the EU's broader relationship with the U.S., Europe does not seem prepared to challenge the status quo. This poses questions about the nature of future transatlantic cooperation. (author's abstract)
Keywords United States of America; secret service; espionage; EU; international relations; transatlantic relations; foreign policy; international cooperation; asymmetry
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Free Keywords National Security Agency (United States); außenpolitische Interessendivergenzen; Nuklearpolitik; Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
City Berlin
Page/Pages 4 p.
Series SWP Comments, 4/2014
ISSN 1861-1761
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications