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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Europe and United States, 1944-2006: Two Destinies in an Uncertain World


An Atlantic partnership is acceptable if the European cultural, linguistic, social and economic diversities are preserved. And yet, Europe feels a threat through the now Globalisation which is so often seen as a form or aspect of Americanisation. The European Union is weak but not drifting away. If the Union do wants to behave as “a global power in the Economic, Social, Environmental governance of the world” (Josaiane Tercinet), it must talk as a united power. This short overview of the period 1945-2006, made by an historian who is aware of the long term influence, shows that it is European integration that has recreated the conditions of the European renewal. Of course, Atlantic economic integration represents a mighty trend ever since 1944. But the Atlantic economic and financial interactions do not necessarily create the political unity of action between the two sides of the Atlantic ocean. It seems that trouble between the two banks of Atlantic is rising because the political, even mental, position of now US leaders and not because economic or commercial tensions. However, it doesn’t only depend on the short term situation. We will conclude on the specificity of the two sides of Atlantic. Beyond an economic integration which seems inevitable in an open world and which will spread to another part of industrial countries, beyond the necessary bilateral cooperation due to the old friendship, to hope overcoming the political and cultural differences between the two is both an unrealizable dream and a mistake.

Keywords: Atlantic partnership, European diversities, European Union, European integration, economic integration, European power

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