chapter  1
20 Pages

The European Union and international organizations: A framework for analysis


In his reflections on the future role of the European Union and the United States, the former US ambassador to the European Union, Rockwell A. Schnabel, points to a scenario outlined by the former EU Commissioner for external relations, Chris Patten: ‘the US and the EU have two decades left to “shape the world” in the ways we deem best. After that, in his estimation, economic and demographic trends will force us to share that power with the two emerging Asian giants’ (Schnabel 2005: 75; see also Patten 2005). Schnabel adds that Patten’s deadline ‘sounds all too realistic to me. Meaning that now is the Atlantic moment, the moment of America and Europe. Will we seize it?’ (2005: 75; see also Daalder 2001). There are multiple ways and multiple arenas to shape the world, yet international organizations engaged in global governance constitute one such important arena and both the United States and the European Union have policies vis-à-vis international organizations.1