"Europe's Role in the World"
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried's Speech at the Europe Forum Program, Berlin
Berlin, May 9, 2007
Thank you Hans [Buerger, Deputy Chief Editor of ORF-TV], it is a
pleasure to be in Berlin. And this is my 5th trip this year , which says
a lot about the depth of European and American ties, one of the subjects
I will be speaking about today.
I have been asked me to speak on "Europe's Role in the World" and you
have sought an outside perspective, albeit that of a close Ally.
Now how close is that? Let me assure you that there is no closer
partnership in the world than that between the United States and Europe.
The U.S. and Europe do not constitute a single polity. But we do form a
single community of values, interests, and responsibilities. Our roles
in the world are not the same, but they are inextricably close, by
choice but also by our very natures.
We may play different positions, but we do play the same sport, and we
are on the same team.
Our identities are bound up by our commitments to human rights, ruel of
law, freedoms of religion and the press, and to market economics. The
United States and Europe are centers of power and wealth and, as such,
have special responsibility to help our fellow human beings and, yes,
help shape the world.
This is not simply altruism. An open, prospering world, increasingly
characterized by the rule of law and deepening democracy, is better for
us all, and far better than a closed world of hostile ideologies and
spheres of influence. We have learned this the hard way.
We have also learnedm, we the U.S. and the Europeans, the hard way that
events in far off corners of the world, in failed states, will affect
There is little that we can do by ourselves. There is much we can do
together. Where we cooperate and collaborate, we generally succeed.
This is the case from Kosovo to Afghanistan. And I sleep better at
night when I know America embarks on a mission with Europeans at our
This optimistic picture of transatlantic relations flies in the face of
conventional wisdom about transatlantic rifts. But there is more
popular support for the transatlantic alliance than the punditry in
Europe and America often realize or are willing to admit. Poll after
poll reveals a popular mandate for Europe and America to work together
on the major issues confronting our societies.
Let me cite a German poll , that of the Bertelsmann Foundation, that has
just come out, which shows that vast majorities on both sides of the
Atlantic want transatlantic cooperation on issues as far ranging as
democracy promotion, proliferation prevention, climate change, and
A large majority in Germany - 73 percent - want to see both us working
together to prevent countries such as Iran from developing nuclear
weapons. That figure rises to 74 percent in Spain-and to 79 percent in
Finland. American support for that is 81 percent.
When it comes to the supposedly controversial subject of promoting
democracy worldwide, 84 percent of Germans want to work together with
America to this end. That's ahead of the 72 percent support in the U.S
but behind that of Spain at 85 percent.
Germans, Spanish and Americans have statistically identical views on the
need for transatlantic cooperation to promote energy security - 80, 83,
and 81 percent respectively.
And huge numbers, 78 percent of Americans and 73 percent of Europeans,
support cooperation on climate protection.
Across eight European countries, only an average of 4 percent said they
did not want, and did not support, closer cooperation between the United
States and Europe.
Bertelsmann's own conclusion was that "there is a clear mandate among
the citizens of Europe and the USA for close transatlantic cooperation.
Both parties see the other side as a vitally important partner."
I take pleasure in this endorsement for the core of my own country's
foreign policy toward Europe today, which calls for cooperation in
resolving common problems we face throughout the world.
This mandate was endorsed last week by our leaders, at the EU-U.S.
Our leaders agreed to:
Support determination of final status of Kosovo - supervised
independence -- where we both have troops under NATO.
- Coordinate security and civilian support for Afghanistan, were we also
have troops under NATO.
- Consider additional sanctions in Sudan, to put pressure on that
government so that it ends the genocide in Darfur.
- Promote the rights of the Cuban people, who deserve democracy no less
- Advance cooperation on energy security and climate change.
A Framework for Transatlantic Economic Integration;
- A U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement; and
- An agreement on exchange of classified information between the U.S.
and the European Union.
The Framework is ambitious and substantive, and it is the original
initiative of Chancellor Merkel. It will greatly reduce regulatory
obstacles to building a genuine transatlantic economy, already the most
robust in the world.
The Air Transport Agreement will allow every U.S. and EU carrier to fly
between every city throughout the European Union and the U.S.
Our declaration on energy security and climate change paves the way for
concrete practical cooperation that can help reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, an environmental crisis of our time.
We have made progress because we have made efforts. From the start of
his Second Term, President Bush has reached out to Europe. Europe has
reached back, and our relations are again on a strong footing.
In the time remaining to the current American Administration, we will
work with Europe together on many challenges: Iran, Lebanon,
Israel-Palestine, and more.
I want to discuss today two longer term challenges.
One is conceptual and organizational: we need an integrative approach
to global crises, one that brings together military capabilities and
reconstruction and development.
- The second is strategic: we need to find a framework for working with,
and dealing with Russia, a great nation that deserves respect and with
which we seek cooperation, but about whom we have concerns and with whom
we have some differences.
On the first challenge, I am not talking about a division of labor
between soft and hard power. Like talk of Mars and Venus, this tends to
draw divisive lines. In fact, we all need to exercise both powers.
The world remains a dangerous place. We have to sharpen all tools at
our disposal and learn to work in an integrative, comprehensive fashion.
The use of force is no virtue, but it may be our necessity. Force by
itself will not bring success. But those who pretend we can dispense
with force altogether are deluding themselves.
Let us recall a field where our forces and our civilian agencies are
equally involved: Afghanistan. We need military means to confront and,
yes, take out the Taliban. Success does not come from battles, however,
but from schools and roads and good governance and jobs. We need
teachers. But we need security forces to protect the teachers from the
Taliban who could descend into town under cover of darkness and kill
Challenges Europe and the United States face in the early 21st century
may well include those in which insecurity and dysfunctionality are
linked, and we need integrated tools of security and development to meet
We have to think of this conceptual framework - and apply the real world
lessons we are learning in Afghanistan - as we sort through the
institutional questions of NATO, the European Union, the UN, World Bank
and the other organizations we turn to and work with and are part of.
We must overcome habits of mind and policy and bad habit. To be blunt,
we need to overcome the stigma that many in Europe attach to the use of
force, and we need to see it as sometimes integral to our efforts to
support human development. And to be equally blunt, America must
recommit to what some in my country still refer to derisively as "nation
And we must do away with rivalries that have kept our best instruments
>from working together. The inability of the Euoprean Union and NATO to
work together is no longer just a nuisance: it costs lives and
threatens our success where we cannot afford failure.
I hope that at the end of the current American Administration, we can
resolve to put aside institutional theology in favor of integrated
Can we agree, for example, on the following?
Total, unrestricted cooperation on the ground between EU and NATO
operations and activities. Our principles should be transparency,
coordination, and integrated action, not institutional separation.
- Greater strategic coordination among NATO and European Union leaders -
after all, 21 countries are in both organizations. Our Foreign
Ministers have a strategic discussion over dinner every three to four
months. Why not Foreign Aid Ministers, Defense Ministers, or even Prime
Ministers? And can we support Javier Solana and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
leading this effort, instead of imposing limits upon them?
- And finally, we need regular, practical coordination between NATO and
EU staffs in Brussels - and not, please, under cover of darkness, but as
an authorized activity backed by both organizations.
Now let me turn to Russia, even more on our minds this week than usual.
Russia and the West have dealt with one another - sometimes well, more
often uneasily - since at least Peter the Great. It would be hubris to
proclaim some policy to resolve overnight the relationship between
Russia and the West.
We've had some spectacular differences with Russia recently: CFE,
Estonia, Missile Defense; and persistent differences, increasingly over
democracy. And more differences may arise, possibly over Kosovo, for
But let us be steady. It is long-term partnership with Russia that we
seek, and not simply management of difficulties. Let me suggest some
principles for relations with Russia through what will be a complicated
period as Russia moves toward an expected transfer of power this year
and early next.
One is tactical: the United States and the European Union should
cooperate with Russia when at all possible; push back only when
necessary; and at all times be realistic about Russia.
In this regard, encouraged by the wise advice of Chancellor Merkel, the
United States is intensifying strategic dialogue with Russia, including
on CFE, missile defense, and post-START arrangements. Secretaries Rice
and Gates have agreed to a "two-plus-two" format with their
counterparts, suggested by the way by the Russians, to consider these
issues. We seek common approaches on missile defense, not rhetorical
A second principle is values based: we should be clear about what sort
of Russia we want to see emerge from its unfinished transformation. We
do not want a weak Russia. This does nothing for America or, I dare
say, nothing for Europe. But a strong Russia must be strong in 21st
century, not 19th century terms.
In this century, a strong state must include a strong civil society, an
independent media, a strong independent judiciary, and a market economy
regulated by independent state institutions. On this basis, a nation
may build the rule of law, which makes a good life possible. A strong
center is part of this healthy mix, but a strong center in a state of
weak institutions, is not.
We should be realistic about Russia. This starts with the understanding
that Russia even today is freer than under the Communists, and arguably
freer than at any time under the Tsars.
But Russia is a great country and it can do better than that low
We have a stake here, we Europeans and Americans. History suggests a
link between a nation's internal arrangements and values on one hand,
and its external behavior on the other. Democracies have their flaws,
but are apt to be better neighbors and better actors generally.
A third principle is that we should approach Moscow as friend and
potential ally everywhere in the world, but we should not pay a price
for cooperation, nor indulge Russia when it behaves as if a residual
sphere of influence over its neighbors is its due.
Europe and the United States should continue to speak out honestly and
if necessary frankly about the use of political and economic pressure
against smaller, vulnerable neighbors, such as Estonia and Georgia.
Countries like Estonia and Georgia have their own responsibilities to
build better relations with Russia, to be sure. Estonia should continue
to reach out to its Russian community, not because it is pressured to do
so, but because Estonia is a democracy and respects the rule of law, and
such outreach is the right thing to do. President Ilves has made clear
his commitment to such a positive approach.
Georgia should avoid the temptation of adventurism, and continue to work
toward peaceful, responsible resolution of the separatist conflicts on
Georgian territory. President Saakashvili has recognized his
responsibility in this regard. We should all support Georgia as it
deepens its reforms at home and, on that basis, seeks to draw closer to
the transatlantic family and our institutions.
Russia has its own responsibilities, including the recognition that the
countries that emerged from the Soviet empire, such as Estonia and
Georgia, are truly free and sovereign.
And we - Germany, Europe as a whole, and America -- have
responsibilities of our own to recognize that there is no grey zone in
Europe, no implicit sphere of influence for Russia, no outside veto over
the fate of these newly free countries. They must be free and
responsible to write their own history, for good or ill, whether with
us, based on their own readiness to share our values and join our
family, or otherwise.
Today is May 9, when Russia celebrates Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.
That victory was heroic, purchased at terrible price. The United States
recognizes Russia's strong feelings about it. My country will always
remember its wartime alliance with Moscow and we honor the courage and
sacrifice of Soviet soldiers in defeating Nazi Germany. But Russia must
find ways as well to recognize that while Russians' feelings are strong
and have validity, so do the feelings of some others, especially those
whose liberation from the Nazis did not mean freedom.
Relations with Russia are likely to remain a complex mix of partnership,
some friction, some perceived competition, but hopefully growing
partnership for some time to come. We cannot resolve all our
differences in the next 20 months. But we can, perhaps, put relations
with Russia on a productive, frank, and, given my country's electoral
calendar, bipartisan footing.
There is much the United States and Europe can and must do in the world.
In all our endeavors, neither the United States nor Europe can go it
alone. Unilateralism, isolationism, appeasement - none of these
approaches ever works to the long-term good. The sterile indulgence of
Euro-bashing or, its twin, anti-Americanism, should join other "-isms"
in the dustbin of history.
America in the world needs Europe and, may I suggest, Europe needs
America. Our task is not to put our relationship on the Freudian couch
and anxiously take its temperature every few weeks, but to put it to
work in the world to resolve the problems only we can resolve together:
peace and security; the advance of prosperity; the common challenge of
climate change and energy security; the fight against disease and
poverty, and misery.
So let us do so. Thank you.
Quelle: Newsletter der US-Botschaft in Berlin
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