U.S. Engagement With Europe

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 19, 2011

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip H. Gordon spoke before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 18, 2011. In his remarks, Assistant Secretary Gordon identified three basic objectives in U.S. engagement with Europe.

First, we work with Europe as a partner in meeting global challenges. On every issue of global importance, Europe's contributions are crucial to solving major international challenges. No matter what the issue is -- from the war in Afghanistan, to the Iranian nuclear challenge, to the new operation in Libya -- Europe is indispensable. We are vastly stronger -- in terms of legitimacy, resources, and ideas -- when we join forces with Europe on the global agenda.

Second, we are still working with Europe on Europe, that is to say working to complete the historic project of helping to extend stability, security, prosperity and democracy to the entire continent. The extraordinary success that the United States and Europe have had together in promoting European integration, in consolidating and supporting the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and integrating them into Euro-Atlantic institutions demonstrates the promise of this enterprise. But our work is not done. And so the effort continues in the Balkans, in Europe's east, and in the Caucasus.

Finally, we have sought to set relations with Russia on a more constructive course. President Obama recognized that he had inherited a relationship that was in a difficult place and that this situation did not serve the interests of the United States. Therefore, our goal has been to cooperate with Russia where we have common interests, but not at the expense of our principles or our friends. As such, where we have concerns, such as on Russia's human rights record, or on Georgia, we will continue to raise concerns with government and foster connections with civil society.

Our engagement with Europe begins with the idea that the United States faces a daunting international agenda and that our ability to deal with it is immeasurably increased by working with strong allies and partners. In meeting these challenges, we have no better partner than Europe, where we work with democratic, prosperous, militarily-capable allies who share our values and share our interests. In the words of President Obama, Europe is "the cornerstone of our engagement with the world."

You can read Assistant Secretary Gordon's testimony, as prepared, here.

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