In 1990, Charles Krauthammer published his famous essay on the "unipolar moment", about the United States' future power to shape the world at will. He wrote: "The true geopolitical structure of the post-Cold-War world ... is a single pole of world power that consists of the United States at the apex of the industrial west."
In a multipolar world order so enamored of by the Europeans, hint of any leadership will be abhorred. Strength will only offend others less powerful.
Europe will opt for partnership; thats safe, political correct territory the Europeans has found suitable to their temperament after WWII. Even though its workability depends crucially on the equally good intentions of other 'partners'.
For now, despite vocal protests to the contrary, they will deign to tolerate the US's leadership.