Correspondent's Choice

The following interview with Blogactiv’s own Stanley Crossick was published in full on

US President Barack Obama has already taken substantial steps to improve the United States’ relations with its Western partners, seek dialogue with the Muslim world and address hotbeds of tension, Stanley Crossick, the founding chairman of European Policy Centre, told EurActiv in an interview.

Like Franklin Roosevelt, US President Barack Obama has had to deal with a major economic crisis during in his first 100 days in office. Do you think Obama’s urge to seek bipartisan approval is allowing him to move fast enough?

Theoretically, this may slow up the passing of legislation. However, implementation is likely to be easier with consensus. Remember that full Democratic support cannot be guaranteed in Congress.

The market reacted well to the G20 summit in London. Many seemed to believe that the world’s leaders, prodded by Obama, could fix the global economy. Do you think he can fix it?

Certainly not alone, as he himself clearly stated. By definition, a global economy cannot be repaired by one country, however big. It needs effective cooperation, at least with the EU and China.

Obama’s vision of a world free of nuclear weapons was greeted by some, but criticised by Republicans as naïve, especially after North Korea had fired a ballistic missile. Do you think Russia and the US can converge and influence rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran?

Russia and the US cannot bend North Korea or Iran without China’s support. Obama seeks to reduce existing stocks in all nuclear countries and plans to convene a conference in Washington later this year. But Israel’s cooperation is not assured. For its part, Russia may demand a reduction in non-nuclear forces at the same time, which will not make things easier.

Some found the results of the NATO summit in Strasbourg disappointing. EU member states cobbled together about 5,000 more troops for the Afghan war. But 3,000 of these will only be sent temporarily, to provide security during the Afghan elections in August. The US, by contrast, is sending 21,000 more troops. The result is that the war in Afghanistan will increasingly be led and fought by Americans.

Was the summit successful or not?

The NATO summit was a success because agreement was reached. The meeting ending in disarray would have been a disastrous blow to the organisation. However, agreement was only reached because Obama had lowered his demands. The Europeans must decide whether or not they really support the new US policy. If they do, then they must make a greater commitment.

To read the full text of the interview, please here. Should you wish to comment on the interview or Stanley’s analysis, please use the box below.

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