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Debt crisis handicaps EU foreign affairs

(People's Daily Online)

15:18, November 27, 2012

The European Union has held its summit meeting on Nov. 22, discussing about the medium-term budget between 2014 and 2020. However, the meeting may be hard to go on due to serious differences among the E.U. countries. The prolonged debt crisis not only enlarged EU's internal differences and reduced cohesive force, but also had a significant impact on the E.U.'s foreign relations and international influence.

On the one hand, the E.U. changed its diplomatic strategy from active expansion of international influence to negative coping with other countries. Owing to the debt crisis and diversification of interests, the E.U. has weakened its "voice" on some hot issues, including climate change, financial system reform and anti-terrorism, and shows a more cautious attitude. Its international influence has also been weakened due to internal difficulties.

On the other hand, the United States and the E.U. are becoming more and more estranged from each other. The international crisis and debt crisis intensified the competition between U.S. dollar and euro, the two international currencies. Under the banner of "financial system reform," the E.U. tries to challenge the dominant status of U.S. dollar while the United States takes the opportunity to curb the rise of euro's influence and ensure hegemony of U.S. dollar. The irreconcilable conflict of core interests brought a severe test to U.S.- E.U. relations.

Germany began playing an increasingly prominent role under the European debt crisis, having a decisive impact to the E.U.'s internal construction and external relations.

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