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Europe 'less important' for US presidents

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Europe 'less important' for US presidents
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What will the outcome of the US presidential race mean for Europe? During Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House the economic crisis ensured that he remained engaged with the EU.

Mitt Romney has worried some European observers with hostile comments towards Russia and China, a hardline stance over Iran, and a pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian approach.

Europe is not listed among the Republican candidate’s foreign policy priorities on his website.

Dr Ted R Bromund of the conservative think-tank the Heritage Foundation told euronews that Europe’s importance had declined.

‘‘I think Mitt Romney would focus a little bit more on Europe than President Obama has done, but I think the era of the US focusing on Europe as the most important part of the world has gone, regardless of whether Mitt Romney or Barack Obama is in the White House next year. That was a different era in US policy; Europe is at peace; it is losing economic importance vis-a-vis Asia. And naturally the United States is going to look at where there are foreign policy crises and where the economy is growing, instead of places where this is not true,’‘ he said.

Mitt Romney’s foreign trips have been noted for their gaffes: criticising London’s Olympic preparations, and describing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Yet some point out that campaign comments are often aimed at a domestic audience. Once in power US presidents tend to be reined in by practical reality.

Obama or Romney: some believe the winner’s identity is less important for Europe than the performance of the American economy.