Europe-US relations failing to meet potential: Barroso

15th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Europe's relationship with the United States is failing to meet its potential and the 27-nation bloc and Washington should work together more closely, EU chief Jose Manuel Barroso told a paper Thursday.

"The transatlantic relationship is not living up to its potential," the European Commission president told Britain's Times daily.

"I think we should do much more together. We have conditions like we have never had before and it would be a pity if we missed the opportunity."

But the United States responded that expectations were so great when US President Barack Obama took over from his unpopular predecessor, George W. Bush, that they would have been impossible to fulfil.

"Expectations were probably so high that they could not have been met when you looked at the European response to the election," a senior US administration official told the paper.

Relations between some European powers and the United States have been strained over the past few months, after Washington spoke out against a growing consensus in Europe in favour of deep public spending cuts.

European countries have wielded the axe with a string of belt-tightening budgets as fears grow over huge public debts, in the wake of Greece's sovereign debt crisis.

But the savings measures, introduced in countries including Spain, Italy, Britain and even European economic powerhouse Germany, have provoked cries of protest from the United States.

Obama has warned fellow members of the G20, which groups established world powers and the most dynamic emerging players, against withdrawing stimulus too quickly for fear of pushing the global economy back into recession.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article