It may not yet have the coherence one finds in the United States, but there is a growing sense among both young and old of what it means to be European and for what Europe, as a political concept, stands. For those outside Europe, and especially in the United States, this new sense of “Europe-ness” can disappoint and even aggravate. Indeed, this emerging commitment to an independent “European path” in international affairs may cause serious problems for the transatlantic relationship. But given the history of tension and conflict throughout the continent, the world, nevertheless, is better off because of this growing sense of unity.
Paula Jon Dobriansky
Former US undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs during President George W. Bush’s administrationThe day the Berlin Wall fell, news reports that throngs of people – young, old, German, international – were at the Berlin Wall, painting it with word “Freedom” and tearing down bits of the old Cold War concrete and iron edifice, were most memorable to those of us watching and listening in the West. For me, what happened in Berlin that day was also something profoundly personal. It was the end of a journey, which began with my father’s lifelong struggle for human dignity and freedom, begun in the 1950s. My father, Dr. Lev Dobriansky, a wellknown Ukrainian-American leader and author, was, of course, desirous of seeing an independent Ukraine take its rightful place among the European family of nations. He was a patriot of freedom and human dignity and had instilled in me both an unshakable conviction that human beings desired above all else to be free and that this profound yearning for freedom and dignity will triumph over tyranny. Over the decades, both before the Wall fell and thereafter, common American and European values have provided a strong foundation on which we have built effective and durable structures to give substance to our cooperation. Freedom triumphed. We have been and remain crucial partners in establishing a Europe that is whole, free and at peace. While the end of the Cold War was a major step toward that goal, subsequent history has shown us that it was not the final step. We continued to work together to secure peace in the Balkans. Significantly, our partnership extends well beyond Europe. We are allies every day in the fight against terrorism and are cooperating globally in areas ranging from humanitarian assistance to international trade to climate change to nonproliferation. We also share the world’s largest economic relationship. If greater integration has been the hallmark of developments in Europe during the past 10 years, greater integration has also been the hallmark of relations between the US and the EU. The goals agreed to in the New Transatlantic Agenda of 1995 remain constant – promoting peace, democracy and development throughout the world, expanding world trade, responding to global challenges and building bridges across the Atlantic. In the twenty-first century, our relationship will not only continue to endure but grow. I know the importance of our strong and historic bond of shared values and objectives, which underpin our transatlantic relationship, and am committed to its future.
Europe’s common quest