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U.S. Department of State

Department Seal

Thomas R. Pickering,
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

Remarks at Europe Magazine Forum, Washington, DC,
May 22, 1998

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My warm thanks to Europe magazine, its editor, Bob Guttman, and its publisher, Willy Helin, for hosting this event. I also salute Ambassador Hugo Paemen for supporting these opportunities to promote better understanding between the U.S. and our EU partners. This is the 13th time that Europe has set up a program like this, but even so, I'm feeling lucky today. Coming on the heels of one of our most productive U.S.-EU Summits, this session offers a particularly opportune moment to reflect on where the transatlantic relationship is headed.

U.S.-EU London Summit

As President Clinton noted in Monday's post-summit press conference, we have arrived at "an important new stage in our partnership." We have contained our protracted dispute over U.S. sanctions legislation. In so doing, we agreed to strengthen our cooperation on a range of shared objectives of vital importance to our security and well-being.

These include:

We also agreed on new steps to strengthen the economic partnership between the U.S. and the E.U., which constitutes the largest single trade and investment relationship in the world. Our new "Transatlantic Economic Partnership" launches a pragmatic, broad-based effort to reduce barriers on billions of dollars in trade and promote global liberalization. It does so while maintaining a commitment to the highest labor, health and environmental standards. We signed the U.S.-EU Mutual Recognition Agreement which will eliminate duplicative product testing on $60 billion in traded goods.

In addition we agreed to work together with Russia to strengthen nuclear safety, especially with regard to nuclear waste removal and storage in northwest Russia. We will act together to encourage Ukraine to embark on bold economic reform and speed the closure of Chornobyl. Together, we launched an information campaign to combat trafficking in women, particularly from Ukraine and Poland.

We honored 50 exceptional individuals and groups from Europe's new democracies for their work in helping freedom take root across the continent. Finally, we took a hard look at a number of pressing international problems, including heightened tensions in Kosovo, India's unacceptable resumption of nuclear tests, and the outbreak of violence in Indonesia.

In short, the United States and the European Union again rose to the occasion, dealt decisively with our differences, and set new goals for an even more productive Euro-American partnership.

Achieving our Goals in a Changing World

For the past 50 years, our relationship has been built on three main principles: promoting security, economic prosperity, and democracy. These are the enduring objectives that will remain the pillars of our partnership for the next 50 years and beyond, for the benefit of peoples on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world.

What has changed radically in recent years is the environment in which we pursue these goals. Most of the traditional Cold War existential threats have subsided. They have been replaced by a dangerous and volatile mix of perils - some new, some ancient. These range from poison gas to global warming, from ethnic violence to the apprehension of war criminals, and from weapons of mass destruction to disruptions in the global economy.

The dramatic spread of democracy and open markets, hand in hand with the explosion in technology and communications, constitute revolutionary changes that make the world a better place. But they also challenge traditional foreign policy mechanisms. Instant communication breaks down barriers that totalitarian governments erect around their people; it also creates the demand for an instant response, which leads to instant policy-making -- which is about as satisfying as instant tea.

None of these challenges can be met by either the United States or Europe acting alone. They all require concerted international effort. So we find that diplomacy must change if we are to successfully confront the different threats we face. There will be a growing premium on international partnerships and cooperative action with those with whom we share values and interests.

Euro-Atlantic Institutions

That is why we have worked so hard in the post-Cold War period, together with our European allies and partners, to adapt our institutions into a flexible, interlocking architecture that uses NATO, OSCE, and the U.S.-EU partnership to their best advantage. Since 1994 we, together, have made tremendous progress in realizing a new architecture for a new era.

The President's key May 13 Berlin speech lays out how we see the road ahead. In his words, the U.S. approach to Europe is based on one immutable premise: "America stands with Europe." The partnership is one in which you can count on us and we on you. It is one that faces two sets of challenges.

The first is within Europe: To complete the integration of a peaceful, prosperous, democratic Europe; a Europe united for the first time in history as the President has said, not by the force of arms but by the possibilities of peace. The second is beyond Europe: To address the risks and threats to our common interests that emanate from around the globe and that can best be confronted together.

We therefore believe the foundations of our partnership should remain as they have been: ensuring the security of our nations, promoting prosperity, and safeguarding democracy. The key issue is how we can achieve these objectives in light of the new challenges we face. We see 1999, the eve of a new century, as providing a unique opportunity. There will be a NATO summit on the 50th anniversary of the Alliance, an OSCE summit, and two U.S.-EU summits. The President's Berlin speech should be viewed as a call to our European allies and partners to join us in an effort to use these sessions to chart our course into the next century together.

NATO

While guarding our borders against a direct military invasion remains NATO's core function, tomorrow's NATO must also defend our enlarged Alliance against threats to our security from beyond our borders. With the consent of the Senate to enlargement ratification, we have taken another step toward welcoming the first new democracies as members of NATO. The door to the Alliance must remain open to further enlargement, and our programs with the partners must make that commitment credible.

NATO remains the institution of choice when the U.S. and our European allies and partners want to act together militarily. We must all take a fair share of the responsibility to be sure we have credible means to accomplish the missions we agree we must face.

A key NATO task is to enhance and further develop our partnership with Russia, Ukraine, and the other nations across the continent who share our interests in promoting mutual security.

U.S.-EU Partnership

The New Transatlantic Agenda, or NTA, adopted by our leaders in 1995 has served us well and continues to do so -- as demonstrated earlier this week in London. It has provided an effective framework for managing and enlarging our cooperation. It helps us set a positive, forward-looking agenda, aids us in resolving disputes, and drives us toward concrete decisions at the semiannual summits.

The NTA stems from our support for a strong, outward-looking Europe capable of joining the United States as an effective partner in and beyond Europe. It is also a demonstration of our confidence in Europe's ongoing integration process.

America has a longstanding record of support for Europe's march toward integration. We admire the determination that brought about Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and welcome a single currency that is underpinned by sound macro-economic and structural policies.

We encourage steps by the EU to enlarge and embrace central Europe and Turkey.

Our future economic relationship should also reflect a spirit of openness. The "Transatlantic Economic Partnership" announced at the May 18 Summit represents an important step toward a broader vision of free and open transatlantic commerce with high standards for health, safety, and environmental protection. It launches a pragmatic, broad-based effort to reduce barriers on billions of dollars in trade.

We should consider intensified cooperation to combat international crime, alien smuggling, and drug trafficking. We have already developed useful models, including a joint U.S.-EU initiative to help Caribbean island governments combat drug trafficking and an innovative project in Ukraine and Poland to discourage trafficking in women. But much more can be done, and we should look creatively for other opportunities.

OSCE

Today's OSCE is an important tool to strengthen the hand and extend the reach of democracy. With its broad membership and moral authority, the OSCE is putting the original Helsinki Principles into practice from the Balkans to Belarus in order to deter and defuse crises that threaten our values and security.

We need to expand the OSCE's engagement in areas where democracy's roots are still fragile, including the Balkans, the Caucasus, and central Asia. We also want to develop practical new tools for the OSCE to support peacekeeping and train police, and expand the kind of activities OSCE missions can perform.

Russia, Ukraine

The American image of a secure, free, and prosperous Europe very much includes Russia. Russia is a key partner in so many of the instruments of cooperation we have with Europe. We must deepen Russia's participation in OSCE and partnerships with NATO, the EU, and U.S., and support the new Russian revolution wherever we can.

We can do no less for Ukraine, where success in building a market economy and developing democratic institutions affects both American and European interests.

Conclusion

In a fast-moving, interconnected world, international cooperation is ever more important to ensure that change constitutes progress, not disorder. Aptly applying the tools of diplomacy is critical to safeguarding and promoting our interests. Diplomacy is the means through which we bring solutions to problem areas and construct or adapt international institutions to meet changing needs.

Our best defense against the threats that face us today, from regional conflict to terrorism, proliferation, and narcotics, is the willing partnership of responsible nations that work in the interests of their citizens to secure the blessings of prosperity and freedom. Our progress toward these goals is the measure of whether or not we have seized the opportunities and dealt with the critical issues of our time.

[End of Document]

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