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Research Report

The Post 9/11 Partnership:: Transatlantic Cooperation against Terrorism

David L. Aaron
Ann M. Beauchesne
Frances G. Burwell
C. Richard Nelson
K. Jack Riley
Brian Zimmer
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2004
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 43
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. v-vi)
    Henry E. Catto

    Since the attacks of September 2001, the United States and the European Union have worked to build effective cooperation in fighting terrorism, especially in law enforcement, border and transportation security, and terrorist financing. This has not always been easy, as demonstrated by disputes over the screening of shipping containers, and information about airline passengers. But despite these differences — and the severe tensions in transatlantic relations generally — the effort to build cooperation against terrorism has been widely regarded as one of the success stories of the U.S.-European partnership.

    The key question now before the United States and the European...

  2. (pp. 1-3)

    On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, many Europeans watched their televisions in horror as the second plane flew into the World Trade Center in New York, and then, a few minutes later, another plane flew into the Pentagon in Washington. By the time casualty lists were finalized, between 80-90 Europeans would be among the dead. Many Europeans recognized very quickly that this was an assault not simply on the United States, but on the West and non-Islamic world, including themselves. Although several European countries already had extensive experience with terrorism, it was clear that this attack was of another...

  3. (pp. 4-8)

    Transatlantic cooperation in fighting terrorism began immediately after September 11. Aside from the invocation of NATO’s article 5, the common defense clause, most European allies quickly made clear their support for anticipated U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. As for the EU, from the beginning its efforts to strengthen its own ability to respond to this new threat was linked with the recognition that it was not only desirable, but essential, to cooperate with the United States. A joint U.S.-EU ministerial statement on combating terrorism was issued only nine days after the attacks, pledging a transatlantic partnership to “mount a comprehensive,...

  4. (pp. 8-14)

    Despite the many positive statements and pledges of cooperation, and frequent meetings among officials from both sides of the Atlantic, the progress of U.S.-EU cooperation on combating terrorism has not always been smooth. Implementation of promises made has sometimes been tortuously slow. The mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties were still not in force one year after they were signed, as some EU member states had not yet completed implementing agreements with the United States, thus delaying ratification of the MLATs and extradition accords in the United States and in some member states. The sharing of information between U.S. and...

  5. (pp. 14-26)

    In many ways, the past three years of transatlantic cooperation against terrorism should be viewed as an initial phase in a much longer and more significant effort. Attention must now turn to implementing the agreements that have been reached and ensuring that joint declarations and statements become much more than just words. And as demonstrated by the June 2004 summit declaration — which provides an ambitious laundry list of ideas — new proposals for cooperation will continually emerge. But as U.S.-EU collaboration is extended into more and more areas, it will bump up against established policies and practices and affect...

  6. (pp. 26-28)

    If the United States and the European Union are to maintain and even expand their cooperation against terrorism, they must create a constituency for that effort both among the relevant professionals and the wider public. One of the biggest differences between the policy environment in the United States and that in the EU is the overwhelming priority of anti-terrorism in the U.S. law enforcement, security, and judicial communities. In Europe, those countries with recent experience with terrorism are similarly motivated, albeit on a national level. But within the EU, the emphasis has been on building cooperation on law enforcement and...