What are the main reasons Europe has withdrawn from a close relationship with the U.S.?
First, I would take issue with the idea that “Europe” does not have a close relationship with the United States. Many countries of Europe still do have a very close relationship with the US. It is hard to identify many countries outside of Europe that have better relations with the US than do some of the European countries.
However, if we are to argue that “Europe” no longer has a close relationship with the US, we can identify a few issues that might have reduced the closeness of that relationship. Among them are:
- The wars that have occurred after 9/11. At least some European countries have felt that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have either been bad ideas in the first place or have dragged on longer than they should have. European countries have felt that the US’s actions are counterproductive in these countries.
- Economic problems. Since 2007 or 2008, the world economy has struggled. European countries in particular have been hit hard by the recession. Harder times make for poorer relationships between countries.
- Issues of security. The recent revelation of widespread American collection of what Europeans see as secret personal data has caused problems. So have issues such as the American reaction to the Wikileaks incident. Europeans have tended to think that America is too focused on security and is willing to trample on personal privacy.
These issues have worked to weaken the relationship between the US and some European countries.