By Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives
BACKGROUND: The transatlantic relationship linking North America and Europe is perhaps the world’s most important, consequential and complicated. Europe is where core U.S. national interests and fundamental values are most engaged. The majority of U.S. allies in the world are in Europe. The bulk of U.S. international trade and investment is with Europe. And, U.S. national security is integrally linked with the welfare and stability of the European continent. Together, the United States and Europe are the main engine of world economy, and the Euro-Atlantic economy is a central and irreversible reality of that global economy. Two-way trade totaled $557 billion in 2000, an estimated 40 percent of total world trade. However, as the nations of Europe move toward wider expansion and deeper integration of their Union, their core national interests and fundamental values have become more Euro-centered. New disputes are surfacing over issues of agriculture trade, environment, the death penalty, child custody laws, and increasing suspicions in Europe of American military power; the use of force in Iraq; and a growing sense in the U.S. that Europe is failing to rise to the challenge of global security threats and terrorism.
Questions raised during this hearing:
- How seriously did the debate over Iraq damage overall transatlantic relations?
- Some have suggested that the Bush Administration is now trying to drive a wedge in transatlantic relations between those who supported us and those who did not. Have Europe and the United States parted ways?
- Are the values and interests that unite Europe and the U.S. infinitely deeper than the differences and rivalries that separate us?
- How important are good working relations with Europe, including institutional ties, to American interests?
- Is it possible to put the transatlantic community on a sounder basis, and if so, what are America’s strategic options?
- What policy paths and actions should the U.S. take to carry out these strategies?
- French Foreign Minister De Villepin has stated, “Our relationship with the United States is irreplaceable.” Can we be comforted by that statement over the long term?
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN BEREUTER
STATEMENT BY REP. ROBERT WEXLER
PREPARED STATEMENT BY DR. SIMON SERFATY
Director, Europe Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS); Professor, US Foreign Policy, Old Dominion University (ODU), Norfolk, Virginia
PREPARED STATEMENT BY MR. CHRISTOPHER J. MAKINS
President of the Atlantic Council of the United States
PREPARED STATEMENT BY DR. DANIEL HAMILTON
Richard von Weizsaecker Professor ; Director, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
PREPARED STATEMENT BY MR. JOHN C. HULSMAN, PH..D.,
Research Fellow for European Affairs, the Davis Institute for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation.