America and Europe face political, economic and demographic challenges to their longstanding primacy. This is a delicate moment for a power transition, given the host of emerging global threats: global warming, nuclear proliferation, macroeconomic imbalances, terrorism, the need to reform global governance and so on. The question is, can the United States and the European Union continue to exercise leadership on these issues? The answer, at best, is, "not for long."
The signals of a decline in Western influence are getting hard to ignore. The Center for Transatlantic Relations reports a mixed bag. On the one hand, in 2006 the United States and European Union were responsible for less than 30 percent of world exports. On the other hand, the two regions accounted for more than 75 percent of outward foreign direct investment. As Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski recently put it, "talk of decline of the West is as old as the West itself." EU-Digest: EU-US = We are the champions !