Fall 2004

Letter from the Editor

The U.S. and Europe: Time for a Fresh Start

 President George Bush has lost little time letting Europe know that he wants to make a fresh start in Transatlantic relations as he begins his second term in the White House - and he has done so in language that sounds much sweeter to European ears than some of the harsh statements of his first four years. Not only has Mr. Bush pledged to work to deepen Transatlantic ties, and said that America and Europe must "remain close partners, he has also chosen to make the first foreign trip of his new term to Europe.


Europe Is Contesting the American Dream

We love to vacation there. But when we think of institutional Europe, what comes to mind is an old and creaky set of governing institutions riding precariously astride a moribund economy plagued by anti-market bias, inflexible labor policies, bloated welfare bureaucracies, and an aging and pampered population. Many Americans dismiss Europe as outdated and out of touch.


Challenges Facing the EU: A Business View

Let us for a moment change perspective and look at today's Europe not through the eyes of a politician, or a journalist, but through those of a business executive. Imagine that you work for a well-established international company that has grown steadily and successfully over the years. This year your company has simultaneously acquired ten foreign companies of greatly differing size, expertise and product range. One month later, head hunters have been searching for a new CEO, and, after all well known names have been rejected, the directors have settled on a young, unknown candidate with good potential on paper but little track record.


Do Europeans Really Have to Work Harder?

A bout of European soul-searching over working hours is attracting little sympathy in the United States. "Bonetired? You need a job in Europe, suggests the Los Angeles Times. "Memo to Germany: get to work thunders Forbes magazine.

A little New World smugness is understandable. For decades, and especially during the 1980s, Europeans achieved a standard of living as good as or better than America's, while apparently working far less hard. Now, this alchemy is going into reverse. Amid slack economic growth and persistently high unemployment, Europe is threatening to fall decisively behind the United States. For policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic, the prescription seems clear: more work and less play.


Madrid Seeks a National Consensus on Foreign Policy

Miguel Ángel MoratinosSince a new Socialist government took office in Spain in April 2004, the country's foreign policy has undergone a period of intense activity and reappraisal that is almost without precedent in recent decades. In a very short time, the Government has made far-reaching decisions and has started to express a new vision of Spain's role in Europe and the world, to which party leaders had given considerable time and thought during their years in opposition.

The Government came to power just a few weeks after the worst terrorist attack in Spanish history, the devastating bombing of the Madrid railroad system on March 11. Until then, the terrorism that had been a scourge on our society had originated within our borders.