Fall 2000

Letter from the Editor

EU Enlargement is for Real

There should no longer be much doubt that the European Union is to be enlarged to take in 12 new members - nearly all in Central and Eastern Europe - in an unprecedented step that will radically change its character. But there is still a big question mark over when.

As Günter Verheugen, the European Commissioner responsible for enlargement, writes in this issue of European Affairs, "the process is already irreversible. There is no going back."


We Must Keep Transatlantic Defense Cooperation Afloat

U.S. Secretary of Defense

On a recent trip to Stockholm, Bjoern Von Sydow, the Swedish Minister of Defense, took me on a tour of the Vasa Museum. It occurred to me that the Vasa is a great metaphor for how we approach discussing the European Union's efforts to create a common European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and NATO's bid to improve its capabilities under the Alliance's Defense Capabilities Initiative (DCI).

The Vasa was a ship built during the 17th century that was monumental in size and ambition. Unfortunately, it capsized and sank as it left the harbor on its maiden voyage. It lay at the bottom of the sea for 300 years before some brilliant scientists and explorers decided to raise the ship and refurbish it.


Europe's Future: Two Steps and Three Paths

European Commissioner for regional policy and the Intergovernmental Conference

Anyone who can generate a public debate on important European issues, and get things talked about, deserves our admiration. The worst thing that could happen to Europe, after all, would be if no one said anything or cared about where it goes next.

We can't go on protecting the idea of European integration by presenting it as though it were an esoteric subject reserved for the chosen few. That would only expose it to all the perils that come with lack of understanding. We must explain what is at stake and what it all means, clearly and objectively. And if the question is to be debated openly and reasonably, we need to set out the options - all the options.


U.S. and Europe Agree on Basics, Not Always on Specifics

Minister of Defense of France

Europe and the United States share fundamental geopolitical interests and a common destiny. Globalization is reinforcing this solidarity.

That does not mean our interests will always be the same on specific issues - indeed there will often be legitimate differences. It does mean that we must face our common challenges together.

Those challenges are to be found in areas, either in Europe or close to it, that are still potentially unstable. New dangers that concern all NATO members are emerging in the Balkans, in Russia, in the Caucasus, and in the Middle East.


A Bigger EU Will Be Good For America, Too

European Commissioner for Enlargement

The enlargement of the European Union to take in as many as 13 new members is the biggest challenge facing the EU at the dawn of the new millennium.

For us Europeans, enlargement is a political imperative and part of our European vocation. But, it could also redefine the transatlantic agenda in the coming decade and bring great benefits to the United States as well.