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Last updated at 16:04 GMT, Monday, 21 January 2013

What does Europe want from Obama?


21 January 2013

According to one survey, 75% of Europeans would have voted for President Obama if they could, compared to only 8% who would have chosen the Republican Mitt Romney. But what does Europe want from Obama's second term?


Christian Fraser

Sunrise over Capitol Hill

A new dawn, or more of the same from Obama?


Click to hear the report


In President Obama's second term there are two longer-term developments that will affect the relationship with Europe. The first is the US budget deficit, the second the so-called "pivot" - or the rebalancing of focus towards Asia.

America's finances will mean, now even more than in the first term, the US will be what some have called a "frugal superpower" - leading from behind as they did in Libya, and as they look to be doing in Mali.

But then that frugal nature is not altogether bad news. The US remains by far the biggest customer for European exporters.

Generally the Europeans are content with the status quo. The last thing they need at a time when Europe is so embroiled in its own internal debates, is the external distraction of a change in guard across the pond.


Click here to hear the vocabulary


budget deficit

the amount of money a government needs to clear its debt


careful with spending

leading from behind

playing an important part without being seen to be making all the decisions

look to be

seem to be



by far

by a great amount

status quo

the current situation

embroiled in

involved with something difficult or complicated

change in guard

change in leadership

across the pond

on the other side of the Atlantic (used by the UK and US to refer to each other)

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