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Old and New Europe (February 2003)

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Emancipation from Washington comes with a concept for Europe – one that not everyone between Helsinki and Lisbon would venture to pursue. Some would prefer a modest union, which Le Monde now criticizes from a very French perspective: “A large internal market with the protection of NATO. That is the image of the EU that people have in Prague, Warsaw, or, say, Budapest. That is opportune for the United States, since that's its idea of Europe as well.”

The governments in Paris and Berlin, on the other hand, are striving for a Europe that has more political weight and more scope for independent strategic action than it is permitted to have now as a nominal member of a withered NATO. In those places where unity among the many EU members is visibly struggling, according to calculations, the entente between Berlin and Paris could point to a way out. That would really be a New Europe. But things haven’t come that far yet. Of course, all of this is already problematic for the worldview of the Bush administration. And for the self-image of some in the Old World.

Source: Joachim Fritz-Vannahme, “Falke, Hahn, Taube. Washingtons Schmähung trifft die Europäer im Augenblick der größten Uneinigkeit” [“Hawk, Rooster, Dove. Washington’s Invective hits Europeans at the Moment of their Greatest Discord”], Die Zeit, February 2003, no. 6.

Translation: Allison Brown

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