America 'won't change' under Obama

Hopes are high for a real change in US foreign policy under Obama
Hopes are high for a real change in US foreign policy under Obama

The likelihood for change in America has been downplayed by European minister Denis MacShane at a conference in Westminster today, in an effort to promote a stronger and more independent Europe.

Europe must "shape its own armed forces" and rely less on the United States, Mr MacShane said at the America Votes, Europe Responds Fabian Society conference.

He encouraged the audience to remember America's conservative leanings, saying: "Don't expect president Obama to be European."

While he argued America values continuity over change, he also claimed: "The greatest worry for Europe would be an America that took its baseball bats home," because doing so could expose the world to "rising powers and ideologies with their contempt for democracy, freedom of expression, women's and other core human rights."


Downplaying the possibility of a foreign policy revolution in the US under Obama, Mr MacShane puts the responsibility of creating an effective 'Euroatlantic', multilateral, and secure diplomatic system - with the inclusion of Asia and Latin America - into the hands of Europe.

"So Europe needs to make greater efforts on the security and diplomatic fronts to speak with one voice. If not, America will again decide there is no-one to answer the telephone in Europe when they want a partner to speak to."

A more assertive Europe, especially with regard to security issues, will mean a more mutually respectful partnership between Europe, American, and their allies.

"That way the next American president will have a partner of preference and power. And Europe can make its values and voice heard in Washington in a way that does not yet exist. Ask not what the US can do for Europe. Ask rather what the EU can do to make America an effective partner," Mr MacShane added.

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