As the 21st century unfolds, cooperation among the democracies and market economies of the West becomes ever more crucial in dealing with the security issues and economic problems of global politics. One of the salient features of contemporary European politics, however, is its tendency to focus insufficiently on America and on the Transatlantic Relationship.

In fact, research and teaching on contemporary US and Latin American politics, security in the Atlantic, or transatlantic innovation policy do not reflect the importance of the US to Europe in solving global challenges such as democratization, terrorism, trade, proliferation, financial regulation, or the drug trade, to name but a few.

Since progress on these issues requires intensive cooperation among the Western democracies, with the US-European relationship at the core, a particular effort is called for. We at IE have launched the Transatlantic Relations Initiative (TRI) to foster applied and interdisciplinary work on the Atlantic world, its many challenges and the numerous opportunities available for cooperation.


The TRI fosters debates on European affairs, American politics, and broader Ibero-American issues. It is within this framework that the IE School of Global and Public Affairs has launched three new Observatories chaired by Distinguished Fellows of the TRI. Each Observatory periodically organizes roundtables with experts with the aim of exploring key topics and challenges in the European and Ibero American spheres.

The Observatory on the European Union

The Observatory on Latin American Politics

The Observatory on German Politics and Economics