he COVID pandemic has presented the transatlantic alliance and multilateralism with an existential challenge: can they tackle a global emergency and demonstrate the necessity of values-based alliances? With a transition to new leadership in the US, this is the moment to rebuild trust, sharpen resolve, and catalyse collective mobilisation. The major test is whether we can agree on a shared set of priorities; top of such a list must be the hybrid threat post by Russia and China. Our shared liberal democratic values are the source of our strength and unity; thus, we must hold regimes who flout those principles to account. Better integrating NATO’s role will be critical to addressing hybrid risks – security, economic, political, cyber, and democracy itself. With cyber as an increasingly contested space, where democracy is confronted by authoritarianism, the US and Europe must build an integrated, democratic framework together.
Paper presented in a joint webinar on transatlantic relations by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik (DGAP), organised in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Compagnia di San Paolo, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Rome Office) and the US Embassy to Italy on 5 November 2020.
1. The current landscape
1.1 The United States
1.2 The European Union
1.4 Disinformation and interference
2. US horizon: Complicated but restorative
3. European outlook: Less trusting but hopeful
4. A common agenda and commitment to fight urgent problems