"Common values, overlapping interests, and shared goals are the foundation of what is often described as the transatlantic partnership between the United States and Europe. By almost any measure, the institutional pillars of the Euro-Atlantic community - NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] and the European Union (EU) - have proven successful in promoting prosperity, security, and stability in Europe. The U.S. Congress and successive U.S. Administrations have strongly supported both institutions as means to foster democratic states, reliable military allies, and strong trading partners. Many observers stress that in terms of security and prosperity the United States and Europe have grown increasingly interdependent. Both sides of the Atlantic face a common set of challenges, including economic concerns, terrorism, weapons proliferation, energy security, climate change, environmental degradation, and the destabilizing effects of failing and rogue states. Both sides are proponents of democracy, open societies, human rights, and free markets. A full survey of global issues that are important for U.S. and European interests would also include relations with countries such as China, India, and Turkey; concerns about stability in the Balkans and the countries of the former Soviet Union; unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, including the NATO operation in Libya; the Middle East peace process; development assistance and humanitarian aid to the countries of Africa and elsewhere in the developing world; and many more. Supporters of close U.S.-European cooperation argue that neither the United States nor Europe can adequately address such an agenda alone, and that the track record shows the two sides can accomplish much more when they work together."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22163