During his Brussels visit 21-22 February 2005, President Bush explained why he backs a strong EU: "It's in our interests that the European Union work out whatever differences there are and become a continued, viable, strong partner."
On the crucial Middle East peace process, Bush expressed the belief that "Peace is in reach. Therefore, I want to work with the European Union to achieve that objective."
On Iraq, Bush expressed gratitude towards the NATO partners saying that "26 nations sat around the table saying, let's get the past behind us, and now let's focus on helping the world's newest democracy succeed. And I appreciated the contributions. And the NATO training mission is an important mission, because, after all, the success of Iraq depends upon the capacity and the willingness of Iraqis to defend their own selves against terrorists."
On the Kyoto protocol, which the US has refused to sign, Bush said: "We must work together on the way forward. Emerging technologies such as hydrogen-powered vehicles, electricity from renewable energy sources, clean coal technology, will encourage economic growth that is environmentally responsible."
During the visit President of the EU council Jean-Claude Juncker underlined that Europeans and Americans "share the same ambitions for the world", and cited the fight against terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the fight against poverty and underdevelopment.
At the EU foreign affairs ministers council on 21 February 2005 the EU also backed an integrated rule-of-law mission for Iraq. It will consist of integrated training in the fields of management and criminal investigation for senior officials and executive staff from the judiciary, the police and the prison services.
At the end of the Bush visit Commission President Barroso said Europe and the United States had reconnected. “I believe that transatlantic relations have turned a corner,” he said. “A new listening partnership is emerging.
Speaking at at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques - Science Politique, Paris, in February 2005, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said: "Our work together has only begun. In our time we have an historic opportunity to shape a global balance of power that favors freedom -- and that will therefore deepen and extend the peace. And I use the word "power" broadly, because even more important than military and indeed economic power is the power of ideas, the power of compassion, and the power of hope."
"The agenda of US-EU cooperation is wider than ever, and still growing, along with the European Union itself. We agree on the interwoven threats we face today: Terrorism, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and regional conflicts, and failed states and organized crime. We have had our disagreements. But it is time to turn away from the disagreements of the past. It is time to open a new chapter in our relationship, and a new chapter in our alliance."
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell said in December 2004: "We are reaching out to Europe and we hope that Europe will reach out to us. Whatever our differences about the past and about Iraq, we are now looking forward."
Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, January 2005, Commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero Waldner, said: "We are deeply committed to the success of multilateral international institutions, starting of course with the United Nations. President Bush’s recent comments on the importance of effective multilateralism are particularly welcome in this context."
"Everyone in Europe wants Iraq to be a democratic, peaceful, and stable country. That is why we have been ready to contribute substantially to Iraq’s reconstruction both politically and financially...The truth is, there are very few areas where we do not share the same goals, and where we would not both benefit from a greater degree of collaboration".
After the Bush visit French Foreign minister Michel Barnier, said to Le Monde: "George Bush came to Europe shortly after his re-election. That is an important gesture. We now talk more often and more normal. The meeting between the Council and the US president seemed like a natural framework for transatlantic dialogue at its highest level. Without formalising it too much, we should make such meetings more frequent".
Karsten Voigt, co-ordinator for German-American relations of the governing SPD-party(German social deomcrats) said to Deutschlandfunk in February 2005: "During the Cold War we were consuming sucurity, now we are being asked to produce it. During the Cold War Germany was placed in the centre of a global crisis and we were therefor entirely dependent on the US. In terms of security policy Germany must think global, and also act globally", says Voigt and mentions that even if Germany has not send trops, it is helping to train Iraqi policymen and soldiers, and it has also allowed US airplanes to fly over Germany during the war, and US troops are stationed in Germany.
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, London, writes: "Bush’s second term could turn out more multilateralist than the first, for many of the problems he faces cannot be easily tackled without the help of allies and international organisations...In due course, as Turkey moves closer to the EU, the Caucasus states will become neighbours of the union. Russia still sees these countries as its backyard: it overtly supports anti-democratic forces in Ukraine and Belarus and it illegally
keeps armies in parts of Moldova and Georgia. The US and the EU share a common interest in collaborating to nurture the independence of these countries, as well as democratic standards within them."
A CIA report on the shape of the world in 2020 sees trouble ahead for EU's ambitions to become a global player: "The current welfare state is unsustainable and the lack of any economic revitalization could lead to the splintering or, at worst, disintegration of the European Union, undermining its ambitions to play a heavyweight international role. The EU’s economic growth rate is dragged down by Germany and its restrictive labor laws. Structural reforms there—and in France and Italy to lesser extents—remain key to whether the EU as a whole can break out of its slow-growth pattern."
A Post-election survey by the German Marshall Fund for the United States reveals that 62 percent of French citizens "disapprove very much" of Bush's foreign policies. Fifty-nine percent of Germans felt the same way. Only 4 percent of French and 3 percent of German participants "approve very much". However, Americans, French, and Germans are in agreement on that the United States could do to improve relations by being more committed to diplomacy and not so fast to use the military. When asked what Europeans could do to improve relations, Americans chose building stronger European military capabilities over contributing troops in Iraq.
Commentator Fred Kempe writes in the Wall Street Journal , January 2005: "Circumstances at the moment favor the trans-Atlanticists. Democratic success in Ukraine provides momentum. Seldom has Washington worked so closely with Brussels on an issue. The Ukraine experience also showed that the EU has grown more hospitable to democratic evangelists: Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski, a close American ally and EU member only since May 2004, provided Europe's backbone in Ukraine along with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana...Yet the EU's newest members wonder how seriously they can take Mr. Bush's promises to promote democracy if he looks the other way while his friend Mr. Putin drags Russia in a decisively undemocratic direction."
In his book, Of paradise and power: America versus Europe in the new world order, Robert Kegan, deputy chair of the Project for a New American Century, promotes the notion that Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus". Kegan is of the opinion that Europe is committed to a world view of “self-contained law and rules of transnational negotiation and co-operation”. This generally non-belligerent approach is constructed not by learning from the lessons of World War I and II (as the EU claims), but rather results from Europe’s profound military weakness, argues Kegan.