The ‘Washington consensus’ and the EU-US relationship

Emilios Avgouleas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The echo of the headline-grabbing news that emerges from the trials and tribulations of the Euro-Atlantic relationship over a number of issues, ranging from NATO’s intervention in Kosovo to the recent Iraq crisis, often makes us forget that the US and the European nations were the founders of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and of the World Bank (hereinafter the ‘Bretton Woods twins’). Even when the headlines, and, as a result, the attention of politicians from both sides of the Atlantic turn to economic issues, the agenda tends to be dominated by the threatening noises surrounding the perennially ‘imminent’ trade war between Washington and Brussels, or the painful negotiations, in the context of the Doha round for the amendment of the WTO Agreements. It has widely escaped the agenda of the EU-US relationship that the Bretton Woods twins were intended to be at the heart of the UN system, and that the US and the EU (along with Japan) are not only their main providers of funds and loans, but also dominate their executive bodies. EU and US policymakers include them, particularly the IMF and its governance structures, in the agenda of their meetings, only in the wake or aftermath of an international economic crisis, in order to evaluate the means used by the IMF for the alleviation of a monetary crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEU-US Relations
Subtitle of host publicationRepairing the Transatlantic Rift: Kastellorizo Papers
EditorsNikos Kotzias, Petros Liacouras
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780230503670
ISBN (Print)9781403935205
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • International Monetary Fund
  • Washington consensus
  • state asset
  • Doha round
  • borrower country


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