Europe’s Political Discontent: What It Means for the Future of U.S.-European Relations

September 25, 2009 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm EDT

There is a steady stream of significant political events occurring in Europe this fall: national parliamentary elections in Germany (September 27), the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (October 2), and a debate in the UK House of Commons regarding the state of the "special relationship" between the U.S. and UK. The outcomes of all three events could potentially have dramatic consequences for U.S. foreign policy, yet Washington’s attention is focused elsewhere. What is the likely outcome of the German elections and what could the results mean for the future of Germany’s 4,000 troops in Afghanistan? What are the implications for the future of the EU, both institutionally as well as politically, should the Irish vote yes or no? Is the U.S.-UK "special relationship" really all that "special" in light of the recent release of the Lockerbie Bomber?

Heather A. Conley