A US president taking a unilateral decision that affects European interests. European policymakers outraged at US interference in their affairs. European businesses fearing losing access to some international markets. Sound familiar? This is the story of a crisis that took place in 1982 regarding the Siberian gas pipeline project; its outcome should inspire optimism in the Europeans’ capacity to counteract Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Iranian nuclear deal.
This is not the first time that the United States has antagonised Europe. And Europe can provide an effective response to such external challenges when it stands united.
This chapter argues that summits tried to foster trust both “internally” and “externally”: summitry aimed at developing not only trust among the leaders, but also crucially trust with regard to the Western (economic) system. These two ambitions represented a vital transformation of the international system in the 1970s and 1980s.