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Focus euroatlantico, n. 8 (aprile-giugno 2018)


The second issue of the 2018 Euro-Atlantic Focus begins, as usual, with an analysis of the state of play in the transatlantic relationship. Whereas early this year America and Europe seemed to have avoided major rifts, the last three months have seen the transatlantic relationship enter a period of perhaps unprecedented crisis. NATO and the broader transatlantic security and defence relationship is the subject of the first essay of this Focus. Alessandro Marrone maintains that NATO can continue to act as the glue keeping the two shores of the Atlantic from drifting apart. However, certain conditions need to be met for this to happen. The second essay discusses the transatlantic trade relationship. Paolo Guerrieri argues that President Trump’s out-dated mercantilist view of trade has pushed him to opt for the wrong means – tariffs – to pursue a debatable goal (the reduction of trade deficits) and a fully legitimate one (containing China’s unfair trade practices). The EU should now not only retaliate against US tariffs, but also seek cooperation with other countries to prevent a full-blown trade war from endangering the global trade system, the endurance and reform of which is a fundamental interest of the Union. The third essay focuses on an international issue of great importance to Europe even though the latter has only played a secondary role in its evolution, the nuclear dispute with North Korea. Lorenzo Mariani reconstructs the process that culminated in the historic summit between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. Mariani highlights three points: (i) Kim’s decision to seek dialogue has less to do with Trump’s maximum pressure strategy than it has with a deliberate choice by the North Korean regime to engage; (ii) détente would not have been possible – and will not be sustainable in the future – had it not been for the perseverance of South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in; (iii) the Singapore Declaration is extremely vague in terms of commitments, and that the prospect of North Korean nuclear disarmament is thus currently very much in doubt.

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