2003 May 10 Saturday
Fight For Eastern European Loyalties Favors EU

Jeffrey Gedmin, director of the Aspen Institute in Berlin, explains why the United States faces an uphill battle to try to retain the loyalties and support of Eastern Europeans who have far more interactions with the European Union.

In any case, Paris and Berlin have their own influence. There are the endless subsidies after which EU applicants salivate. There are the more than 80,000 pages of regulations and "harmonization" that countries have to swallow before they are permitted full membership in the club. And it is plain now that there is a heavy price to be paid for "immature" behavior -- Chirac's word -- over Iraq. "We've made clear to (the East Europeans) that this will never happen again," says an adviser to the coalition government in Berlin, a reference to the letter of the "Vilnius 10" pledging solidarity with the United States before the war.

Germany have more cards to play for the fight over Eastern European loyalties. They also have physical proximity and fewer other foreign policy issues to distract them. The EU may well become a competing power to the United States and current Eastern European government support for US foreign policy is no reason for complacency.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 May 10 11:52 AM  Europe and America


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