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A Transatlantic Partnership for the 21st Century
Ambassador Coats
Atlantik Bruecke, Freiberg
April 21, 2004



I would like to thank you for the invitation to speak to you tonight. As we look forward to European enlargement, it is appropriate that I should speak to you here in Freiberg, a city not that far from the frontier of the ten accession states, and one with historic ties to the U.S. Freiberg is known worldwide for its mining academy, which attracted students such as Frederick G. Corning, a major figure in U.S. mining, and James Grant, a future governor of Colorado. Mary Hegeler, another American, was the first woman to graduate from the Freiberg Bergakademie in 1885. And exactly fifty years ago, Guenter Blobel completed high school here in Freiberg. He later became a professor at Rockefeller University in New York, where he won the Nobel Prize. In his commitment to the Frauenkirche in Dresden and to the Mining Academy here in Freiberg, Professor Blobel has done much for Saxony and for German-American ties.

Marsha and I, plus daughter and family, personally experienced the charm and hospitality of the border region when we visited Seiffen over Christmas.

I would especially like to thank the Atlantik Bruecke for organizing this event. For over fifty years, the Atlantik Bruecke has been building links of friendship between Germans and Americans through dialogue and exchanges. This kind of initiative at the non-governmental level – among organizations, businesses, universities, artists and individuals – has played a critical role in shaping transatlantic relations, in keeping them vital, and in helping us meet new challenges.

I understand that the Atlantik Bruecke has worked closely with Freiberg since the wall came down to promote German-American relations and better understanding of each other. Our Embassy, together with our Consulates in Leipzig and Hamburg, have developed a number of new programs that also focus on building bridges between America and the five new Laender.

One of our programs is to arrange discussion between Americans and German students. Our most prominent participant in this program was Secretary of State Colin Powell. When he was in Berlin to attend the Afghanistan conference earlier this month, he took the time between meetings to meet with a group of students at a high school in eastern Berlin. He talked with them about the enormous changes that had taken place since the end of the Cold War. Driving down a busy and bustling Unter den Linden, the contrast to the chilling times of the Cold War was obvious to Secretary Powell, a former U.S. soldier stationed in Germany. Germany is now a unified nation at peace.

Exciting New Time in Europe

The U.S. has been a strong supporter of European unity since the years following World War II. We applaud the initial vision of the architects of Europe – Monnet, Schumann and Adenauer. We share a strong history of common values: democracy, human rights, desire for a prosperous life for our citizens, as well as a sense of responsibility towards fostering development, democracy and prosperity elsewhere. The U.S. has been a partner with the European Union from its inception because we recognized that a strong, free, and prosperous Europe was not only in our best interests but also in Europe’s. Together the U.S. and Europe can be a powerful force for peace and security.

It is important that we not forget the broader context of postwar European history. In den Woerten von Kanzler Adenauer: “Nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg hatten alle in Deutschland begriffen, dass Europa seine Sicherheit nur gemeinsam finden, seine Freiheit nur gemeinsam verteidigen und nur als Ganzes in der Welt von heute einen Platz finden könnte.”

President Truman often said that the creation of the Atlantic Alliance was the proudest accomplishment of his presidency. And as President Bush said in Warsaw in June 2001, “All of Europe's new democracies, from the Baltic to the Black Sea and all that lie between, should have the same chance for security and freedom -- and the same chance to join the institutions of Europe.” The historic accession of ten new states from the Baltics to the Mediterranean is a most important step in reaching this goal.

We join with Europe in welcoming the accession of its ten new members on May 1. The acceptance of these new members attests to the European Union’s institutional strength and to its confidence in itself. It also testifies to the essential role the Union plays as a force for democracy, prosperity, and for stability throughout Europe and well beyond. We also applaud the steps the accession countries have taken to institute sound free market economic principles, to strengthen the rights of minorities and to broaden democratic freedoms in order to prepare for entry into the Union.

I am aware that there are many people throughout the current EU member states who have concerns about the changes enlargement will inevitably create. Here in Saxony, the German state that has the longest border with the new eastern member states, I know that many citizens are concerned about enlargement’s effects, particularly on employment and wages. The ten new Members will equally face the challenge of having to compete in the EU’s internal market. This is no easy task. But while change always brings disruption and uncertainty, most analysts believe that the final effect will be greater trade and more jobs for both the current and new EU members.

Tonight I would like to highlight five areas where the U.S. – EU partnership is especially important – addressing global health challenges, especially the plague of HIV/AIDS, working for peace in the Balkans, promoting international trade, encouraging stability and democracy in the Greater Middle East, and fighting terrorism.

Global Health Challenges

Despite the miracles of modern medicine and international efforts at all levels of government and across all sectors of society, eight thousand people will die today because of AIDS. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a critical global problem requiring urgent attention that goes beyond our moral obligation to help. In some parts of Africa, 25% of the population is infected. The problem of AIDS is not just a health issue -- it is also an important foreign policy and security challenge. Without swift action on the part of the world community, AIDS will decimate populations in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, leaving in its wake the risk of failed or collapsed states where lawlessness and anarchy reign -- conditions ripe for violence, smuggling, and terrorist activity. We need to think as well about the human costs, about what this disease does to the individuals infected and those left behind – the children, for example, orphaned in Africa.

On May 11, 2001, President Bush made the first pledge to what would become the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The European Commission and Germany individually have also been extremely generous donors to the Global Fund. The Fund embodies a new way of doing business, bringing together diverse partners, including the public and private sectors, donors and recipients, and non-governmental organizations and affected communities, to mobilize resources for combating these diseases quickly and effectively.

The President announced even more direct action in his 2002 State of the Union Address. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, as it is called, brings unprecedented resources to bear against the disease. Utilizing $15 billion over 5 years, the President’s commitment is the largest in history by a single nation for an international health initiative. Clearly, HIV-AIDS is a major challenge for the global community and can only be addressed through cooperative agreement and substantial support from the world’s developed nations.

The Balkans

In the last decade, conflicts and crises in the Balkans resulted in a combined U.S.-European response. The U.S. and the Europeans’ joint commitment to cooperate and coordinate in the region was first spelled out in the December 1995 Joint U.S.-European Action Plan. It has continued through the deployment of NATO-led international peacekeeping forces, through the establishment of a UN presence, through the return of refugees and the establishment of an international police force. With the launching of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, the U.S. and the EU are helping the peoples of the Balkans establish a more prosperous and stable region. To improve the climate for increased trade and investment, we have established a network of 21 free trade agreements. An “investment compact” has brought focus to key economic policy measures needed to attract investment, and a regional anti-corruption office is being established. Our work together in the Balkans has stabilized a most volatile region, and brought the hope of freedom to millions in this troubled part of Eastern Europe.

International Trade

A key area of U.S.-EU engagement is trade and investment. Today, the U.S. and EU have among the most integrated and interdependent economies on earth. We enjoy the world’s largest bilateral trade relationship, with over a billion dollars flowing each way every day over the Atlantic.

In 2002, Saxony alone exported 2.54 billion euros worth of goods and services to North America, almost twenty percent of its total exports. Imports from North America to Saxony were worth 1 billion euros. The U.S. and the EU are also the largest investors in each other’s economies, investment that has created over four million jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here in Saxony, the U.S. is also the largest single foreign investor. More than 100 U.S. firms in Saxony have invested over 8 billion dollars and have created or secured some 15,000 jobs. AMD’s decision to add a new chip manufacturing plant outside Dresden will add thousands more jobs to that total. And U.S. investments are spread throughout Saxony, from Chemnitz to Zwickau to Goerlitz to here in Freiberg. Muldenhuetten Recycling and Environmental Technology, a U.S. firm based in Freiberg, shows German-American business and technical cooperation at its best.

In the multilateral arena, the U.S. and the EU are working together to promote open markets and increased world trade. We were disappointed when the Cancun Ministerial meeting ended in an impasse. However, it is important that both the U.S. and the EU remain committed to ensuring that the multilateral trading system continues to move forward.

One of our first priorities is to present a clearly articulated case in favor of the benefits of a multilateral approach to world trade. Reducing trade barriers and improving market access will yield significant economic benefits for the U.S., Europe, and the world community of nations. The World Bank reports that free trade in goods and agriculture would boost the income of developing countries by 540 billion dollars annually, and lift 300 million people out of poverty. In Germany alone, the Kiel Institute for World Economics estimates that a fifty-percent, across-the-board reduction in tariffs would add 1l.5 billion euros to the German economy as well as 55,000 jobs.

Greater Middle East Initiative

The United States and the EU are pledged to promote political, economic, and social reform in the greater Middle East. We are not seeking to impose our will on these countries, but to support the democratic aspirations of the people themselves. This is a multi-generational challenge of supporting Middle Easterners to replace stagnation and resentment with freedom and hope. Disagreements over the most effective strategy to enforce the 17 UNSC resolutions on Iraq eroded the perception of a shared community of European and American values. The differences of last year have however given way to a conviction on both sides of the Atlantic that we must and can succeed together in Iraq, as we do when we close ranks to address other challenges to our shared values. While virtually all of the EU nations agree that we must succeed in Iraq, not all have agreed to directly participate in the effort. We are hoping with transfer of authority and a greater UN role, more nations will commit to this goal.

With the scheduled June 30 restoration of sovereignty to Iraq and plans for national elections, it continues to be critical that we confront those organizations and those elements that want to use mob violence and intimidation against the Iraqi people. As we get closer and closer to handing over governance to the people of Iraq, it is clear that those who are not interested in a democratic form of government in this country, those who are not interested in providing and allowing for a free press, those who are not interested and who have everything to fear from individual rights, from individual voting, from free and open discourse will go to no end and use any tactic they can, whether it's combat, whether it's intimidation or terrorism to try to derail the process. It's critical that we confront these organizations and individuals now rather than after June 30th.

President Bush spoke in November of the urgent need for a strategy for freedom in the Middle East. “The stakes could not be higher.” he said, “If the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flower, it will remain a place of stagnation and anger and violence for export…If the Greater Middle East joins the democratic revolution that has reached much of the world, the lives of millions in that region will be bettered, and a trend of conflict and fear will be ended at its source.”

In February, German Foreign Minister Fischer proposed an “EU-NATO Initiative for the Middle East” to enhance cooperation and “develop a closer partnership in the fields of security, politics, economics, law, culture and civil society.” Participants would include NATO and EU member states, as well as Israel and several Arab states.

As Secretary Powell noted at a press conference with EU officials on March 1, “All of us seek to expand political, economic and educational opportunities there and to support indigenous voices for reform. We see opportunity for cooperation on a Greater Middle East Initiative in the G-8, US-EU, and NATO Summits this June.”

Both the United States and the EU understand that the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians is an important factor affecting stability in the Greater Middle East. It is wrong, however, to insist that solving that dispute will somehow magically make the entire region democratic and free, or that it even needs to be the first step. Working together, we can address complex problems on many fronts at the same time.

We remain closely and consistently engaged with a wide range of Israelis and Palestinians in the region and remain in regular communication with regional and international leaders. The Quartet – the EU, the United Nations, Russia and the United States -- will be meeting at the beginning of May to discuss the way forward on the roadmap.

Both Israelis and Palestinians still have important obligations under the roadmap -- to fight terror, to embrace democracy and reform, and to take steps toward peace.
Israel plans to remove certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and certain military installations and settlements from the West Bank. President Bush described these as historic and courageous actions. I would say they are also bold actions. They offer a chance to break the deadlock and create a new opportunity for progress towards peace in the Middle East.

As President Bush noted after meeting with Prime Minster Sharon last week, “This opportunity holds great promise for the Palestinian people to build a modern economy that will lift millions out of poverty, create the institutions and habits of liberty, and renounce the terror and violence that impede their aspirations and take a terrible toll on innocent life.”

Fighting Terrorism

The attacks of September 11 gave us painful insights into the new kind of threat we face in the new century. The threat comes from those willing to target and kill innocent human beings in the name of a perverse interpretation of the teachings of Islam.

Terrorism is not just an American problem. Since September 11 there have been numerous terror attacks around the world. Hundreds of Australian and other holiday-makers killed in Bali, foreigners targeted in Saudi Arabia and East Asia, British interests in Istanbul and, just last month, Spanish commuters massacred in Madrid. And let us not forget the German tourists who died in Tunisia. Muslims as well as Westerners have been killed in these attacks. Taking advantage of global travel, communications and dependencies, terrorists live, move, and strike on a global basis.

The United States is taking the lead in fighting terror on a global scale. But we are under no illusion that we can do so successfully without the strong support of other nations.

The National Security Strategy of the United States and the Security Strategy of the European Union have both mapped out major policies to address the challenges of the 21st century. Many of these new policies have already been deployed. Today we are engaged in unprecedented cooperation in the sharing of intelligence, law enforcement, and security improvements of our transportation, information and financial systems.

More than anything else, our mutual desire for prosperous and secure societies unites us. When these are threatened, we instinctively pull together. Our common values of democracy and respect for human rights will be crucial to both sides as we move forward in this struggle.


Today we stand on the threshold of a new era. The EU has taken an historic decision to expand and adapt to meet new challenges. In this new era, the United States will work actively to build on the success that our cooperation and common purpose have achieved. Together, we must remain steadfast in working to complete the task that has been our guiding principle for the past decade: that of erasing the dividing lines and stereotypes of the Cold War and achieving a Europe “whole, free and at peace.”

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