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EU-US Summit Not at the Best Time or Location

November 19, 2010

Today, the American and European will turn their attention to Lisbon, Portugal, as the city will host both a major NATO summit and the EU-US summit.  These event should be a boon for the city, as foreign journalists flock to the city to cover these summits.  However, Portugal is also in the news today for a less positive reason—its finances are very closely behind Ireland in terms of needing a bailout.  As a result, all of this attention on Portugal might not actually be good for the country’s image.

The EU-US summit was not even suppose to be in Lisbon in the first place, as Spain wanted to hold the summit in Madrid while it was still the rotating EU president back in May.  However, President Obama vetoed this idea.  So instead the EU and US leaders are now meeting while the American President is in town the NATO summit, which most Americans would consider more important than the EU to the US.  In fact, this US-EU summit is not receiving much press in the US, with the New York Times call it a “brief summit meeting…apparently to address European worries that the White House sees Europe as less significant than Asia in his foreign policy.”  After all, this NATO summit includes the approval of the organization’s first new “Strategic Concept” in more than a decade, which will be redefining its mission.

As a result, EU leaders find themselves briefly meeting with the American President as side bar to the main event in a country that may soon be asking these same European leaders for a bailout.

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