Henrikson, Alan. (1997) "Atlantic diplomacy transformed: From the 'Transatlantic Declaration' (1990) to the 'New Transatlantic Agenda' (1995)". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)
From the 1990 Transatlantic Declaration (TAD) to the 1995 New Transatlantic Agenda and Joint Action Plan (NTA/JAP), this paper argues that nothing short of a revolution occurred in the nature of the dialogue between the United States and the European Community. The change was from a high-ideological political manifesto to a common program for practical action, embodied in the JAP's 150 action items--from a summons to transatlantic solidarity in the aftermath of the Cold War to what former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker has described, with mixed admiration and disapproval, as a "laundry list." Three main explanations for this major transformation of the Atlantic dialogue are offered. The first is "the failure of grand designs"--the inability of American and European statesmen to find a replacement project for the formerly supreme task of winning the Cold War. The second is the increased prominence of the business community, notably the members of the new Transatlantic Business Dialogue, in determining even U.S. and European officials' work agenda. The third is the rapid, vast spread of information technology, notably use of the Internet, which has so broadened the transatlantic dialogue today as to risk taking it largely out of the hands of diplomats. The NTA/JAP, in short, is a powerful engine of diplomatic change. In promoting it, U.S. and European Union government officials may have helped to promote themselves out of a job. The NTA/JAP can now grow almost organically, from the bottom up. If it does continue to proliferate and flourish, the political leaders of the Atlantic world may find that they have expressed themselves in a way that defines the limits of their own leadership, and opens space for a new idea of Atlantic citizenship.
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