By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour

Twice in the past 100 years, leaders and representatives of France and Germany have gathered in glittering salons, amid gold trimming and mirrors, in Paris and its environs to sign historic treaties. The first, at Versailles in 1919, was an act of vengeance against a defeated Germany and helped pave the way for another war twenty years later.

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By Brian Beary, Washington Correspondent for Europolitics  

As President Barack Obama begins his second term, a special report from Europolitics, the Brussels-based EU affairs daily newspaper, outlines the current state of transatlantic relations in 15 separate articles. Agreement and disagreements are covered, although the general tone is positive and upbeat.  

Included are articles on:

  •  the discussions to upgrade trade relations, moderated, however, by potential squabbles over agricultural subsidies;
  •  the dispute between the EU and U.S. on tax on airline emissions;
  • global security issues including the fight against terror and U.S. policies that draw fire in some European circles;
  • data protection issues, and
  • the impact of shale gas in the U.S. on Europe.  

Key transatlantic relationship scholars are interviewed, and a useful compendium of key EU-U.S. events during Obama’s first term is presented.  
The full Europolitics report - “EU-US relations: Time for closer links” – is available at: Click on “Obama”

michaelwhiteTo say that David Cameron's big speech on Europe has been jinxed since its inception may be the understatement of the year so far.

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By Ryan Barnes, Senior Trade Specialist at U.S. Dept. of Commerce

The world was watching as voters hit the polls on November 25th in the most important regional elections in Catalonia since the return of democracy in Spain. Seen by many as a referendum on Catalan independence, the election created more questions than answers.

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michaelwhiteOnly six weeks to go, thank goodness. Foreigners don't have a vote in US presidential elections, although some behave as if they do and most non-Americans know that the outcome will affect their own lives one way or another. We care, and we also enjoy a good political horse race when we see one.

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