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from Global News Journal:

Does Washington care about the EU?

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Try as it might, the European Union's efforts to act like a bigger player in world affairs keep running into obstacles.

The latest setback is a report that President Barack Obama won't be able to make it to the annual EU-U.S. summit this year, pencilled in for Madrid in May. A hectic domestic agenda and the fact the U.S. president made 10 foreign trips last year -- more than any other president in his first year in office -- means staying at home is the priority and the Europe Union will have to wait.

President Obama, apparently not pointing in Europe's direction

President Obama, apparently not pointing in Europe's direction

Spanish officials -- Spain holds the rotating six-month presidency of the EU and is hosting the summit -- say the White House has not officially withdrawn his attendance. As far as they are concerned Obama is still coming, even if the dates for the meeting have not yet been finalised. 

But doubts about the trip have been sewn and soul-searching has begun in Brussels about whether Washington even cares about Europe.  If Obama doesn't come, goes the thinking, it's a blow to those who believe the 27-country EU, with its impressive economic power, might one day stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Washington in international affairs, and act as a counterweight to a rising Beijing.

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