Fall 2005

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Letter from the Publisher

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Don’t Wait for the Last Judgment

Jacqueline GrapinEuropeans and Americans are in a waiting mood. After years of hyperactivity, in which the European Union progressively expanded across the Old Continent and Washington performed a variety of international actions to transform the world, leaders on both sides of the Atlantic now seem to aspire simply to managing current affairs in the hope of minimizing problems. Europe and America still face all sorts of mounting challenges, including upheavals in the Middle East, budget deficits and irritated public opinions. But the apparent trend is merely to cope with these difficulties in order to escape them, rather than cure them, until better times come.

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France Agonizes over its European Future

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Since the French rejected the European constitutional treaty by a majority of almost 55 percent in May, 2005, Europe has become the central topic of political debate in France. This should not come as a surprise, but it needs to be explained.

Immediately after the vote, some observers compared it to the rejection of the plan for a European Defense Community by the French Parliament in 1954, an early watershed in the history of European integration. For roughly twenty years after that, the building of a European community simply disappeared from the French public’s radar screen. President Georges Pompidou resurrected the issue in 1972 by calling a referendum to ask the French people whether Britain, Ireland and Denmark should join what was then known as the Common Market.

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Malta Is Expanding the EU’s Mediterranean Dimension

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Lawrence GonziWhen Malta was negotiating to join the European Union, so-called Euro-realists sometimes asked what an island mini-state could contribute to the Union. European Commission officials who favored Maltese membership always gave the same reply: Malta would enhance Europe’s engagement in the Mediterranean, including its Southern shore, not least in the economic sphere.

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The EU Needs a U.S. Input on Iran

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Cooperation between the European Union and the United States to resolve the nuclear threat posed by Iran is unusual in that Europe has for once adopted a proactive approach, rather than limiting itself to supporting or criticizing American policies, and that Washington has accepted that Europeans define their own approach. One reason why Transatlantic collaboration on Iran is easier than in other policy areas is that the United States and the European Union share a common goal, namely to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, an aim also approved by the United Nations and its nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

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“Grand Coalition” Must Create a Vision of a Modern Germany

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Alexander C. DibeliusThe difficult birth of the “grand coalition” linking Germany’s two greatest political adversaries, the center-right Christian Democrats and the Socialists, under the leadership of Angela Merkel, shows that it will not be easy to govern Germany in the period ahead. Many supporters of economic reform, both inside and outside Germany, had hoped for a clear victory for the two Christian Democratic parties (the CDU and its Bavarian counterpart, the CSU) with a firm mandate for change for Ms. Merkel, the CDU leader.

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