Together or Alone? Choices and Strategies for Transatlantic Relations for 2021 and Beyond

The United States and Europe face a daunting set of challenges ranging from the pandemic and resulting economic recession to climate change, China, disruptive technologies, and security threats. A new comprehensive set of 36 policy recommendations by an expert Transatlantic Task Force co-chaired by Dr. Karen Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund, and Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, offers a much-needed path forward for U.S.-European partnership.

In 2021, the United States and the nations of Europe will face challenges that threaten their way of life: a catastrophic pandemic, a deep economic recession, accelerating climate change, a rising China, growing technological competition, and emerging security threats.

These challenges test our ability to deliver on our promise to safeguard and enhance the lives of our people. They confront the transatlantic community at a time when many citizens on both sides of the Atlantic continue to question whether their governments are able to deliver for them. These are issues that transcend national borders. They cannot be successfully dealt with alone. They can only be resolved through concerted, cooperative international action.

This Transatlantic Task Force report recommends concrete policy initiatives the United States and Europe can take together to manage our pressing shared problems. We make these recommendations, not because they will be easy to implement, but because they represent practical options to help address the key challenges we face.

Political change is underway on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2021, the United States may have a new president. The United Kingdom will formally leave the European single market, complicating transatlantic relations. And Germany will hold a national election and have new leadership by the fall.

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