Spring 2003

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Letter from the Editor

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Rebuilding Atlantic Relations

 Reginald DaleThe war in Iraq has exposed deep-lying political divisions across the Atlantic and among European governments. Outspoken opposition to the U.S.-led military intervention from much of the European general public and some governments has demonstrated the extent of anti-American feeling, or at least dislike of the Bush administration, in Europe. At the same time, support for the U.S. position expressed by 18 governments has revealed the depth of the split inside Europe on issues of war and peace and the desirability of a strong partnership with the United States.

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New EU Members Still Have Much to Do

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The Accession Treaty providing for the entry of ten new member states into the European Union, signed in Athens on April 16, is an enormous economic and political milestone. But it is far from the end of the story.

The acceding countries Ð Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta Ð have covered a remarkable amount of ground in drawing closer to the European Union economically over the past decade. For all of them, the European Union is now by far the most important trading partner, and their entry will have positive economic effects throughout the Union.

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Belgium Bucks Its Atlantic Traditions

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What was plucky little, Atlanticist Belgium doing alone in the company of France and Germany, the two main European opponents of the United States in the run-up to the war in Iraq? The answer is that the American saying that "all politics are local" does not just apply to the United States. Belgium's policy in NATO and the European Union on the war became a casualty of pre-electoral political infighting. The result is that Belgium now finds itself quasi-isolated, and not even in line with the French-German axis with which it sided in the bitter NATO dispute over military aid to Turkey earlier this year.

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After Iraq, the EU Can Learn from its Disarray

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The Iraq crisis has posed some fundamental questions about the European Union's common foreign and security policy (CFSP) as well as about the future of the United Nations and NATO. Some commentators have been quick to write off the CFSP as a bad joke. Others have suggested that it should be delayed for several years. And others have proposed that it should only operate in the European Union's immediate neighborhood, notably the Balkans.

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NATO Is Strong Enough to Survive Iraq

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George RobertsonThe crisis over Iraq is, by any standards, one of the most difficult issues with which the Transatlantic community has had to grapple in many years. It has put pressure on long-standing relations between countries, across the Atlantic and within Europe. It has caused enormous debate within venerable international organizations, such as the United Nations, the European Union, and NATO Ð debate that has played itself out very publicly. And it has spawned innumerable newspaper editorials claiming that the Transatlantic relationship will eventually crack under the weight of this crisis.

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