This chapter focuses on the key strategic relationship in the evolution of the EU—but one which has never been formalised as a strategic partnership. First, it explores the ways in which the post-Cold War period gave rise to a new and creative period in the EU-US partnership but also to new areas of fluidity and tension in both transatlantic security relations and the management of the transatlantic political economy. Second, it focuses on the tensions and crises emerging from the growth of the EU as a foreign policy actor, the attempts of the US to restore global leadership in a changing security order, the attempts to negotiate a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the growing perceptions of a crisis in the transatlantic relationship since 2016. Third, it assesses the scope, scale and effectiveness of the EU’s attempts to manage recent fluctuations of transatlantic relations, and especially those evident since the advent of the Trump administration. The chapter conclusions explore the ways in which the balance between competition, convergence and crisis has shifted in contemporary EU-US relations, and the extent to which the relationship can still be characterised as a ‘strategic partnership’ of the type studied in this volume.


Smith M. (2021) The European Union and the United States: Competition, Convergence and Crisis in a Strategic Relationship. In: Ferreira-Pereira L.C., Smith M. (eds) The European Union’s Strategic Partnerships. The European Union in International Affairs. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.