Winter 2003

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Letter from the Publisher

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"Counteractions" in Power Politics

 A new theory is gaining ground among political analysts in Europe and elsewhere: "counteractions" in power politics are becoming as important as actions, if not more so. In other words, policy and strategic initiatives by the United States may generate reactions that work against the goal of the initiatives, which is to maintain security, prosperity and power for America. The theory is particularly applicable at a time when the United States, as the sole superpower, is subject to criticism from many directions. It reflects a way of looking at the world in terms of the long-term effects of policies and actions, and the reactions they provoke, rather than in the light of short-term political calculations.

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A Bigger EU Must Be More Effective and More Democratic

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On January 1, 2003, Greece assumed the Presidency of the European Union for what will certainly be a challenging six months at the helm. The European Union is at a critical juncture: It faces enormous challenges emanating from its own environment and dynamics, as well as from the wider international system. Combating terrorism and organized crime, if by far the most demanding, is only one of the international tasks ahead of us.

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At 40, the Franco-German Couple Shows New Signs of Life

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The intimate relationship between France and Germany, which has driven European integra-tion for much of the past half cen-tury, has been pronounced dead many times over the years. Those obituaries have proved premature. Once again, with the European Union about to expand to 25 or more members, and a recent history of political conflict between Paris and Berlin, the relationship faces unprecedented challenges. But a sudden string of important agree-ments may be breathing new life into the old partnership.

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Yes to Enlargement - But the Worst Problems Are Still Ahead

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If ever there was an occasion for political hyperbole, the EU summit meeting in Copenhagen in mid-December certainly qualified. The confirmation given there by the 15 heads of state and government that ten countries - eight of them from Central and Eastern Europe - were now fully entitled to join the European Union from May 2004 was a triumphant moment in European history.

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Patten vs. Perle: Is the U.S. a Unilateralist Hegemon?

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A debate on the State of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership was held at a meeting of the European Group of the Trilateral Commission in Prague on October 18-20, 2002. The lead speakers were Chris Patten, member of the European Commission for External Relations and a frequent critic of U.S. policies under President George Bush, and the equally outspoken Richard Perle, Chairman of the U.S. Defense Policy Board and a consultant to Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The following are edited excerpts of the debate. Mr. Patten starts by urging the United States to continue on the multilateralist path it has followed since World War II; but he worries that influential neo-conservatives in Washington are putting U.S. national interests first and are not really interested in a multilateral order governed by the rule of law.

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