In the postD9/11 era of heightened security awareness, conflicting strategies for containing and combating security risks have strained relations between the United States and the European Union despite common goals. These differences between the U.S. and the EU do not signal that the alliance should be discarded, as many fundamental U.S. and European interests are reconcilable_and an uncertain and disunited Europe, distracted and alienated by its internal differences, could become even more problematic for Washington. Instead, to maintain dependable partners within the EU, America should focus greater attention on its new allies in central and eastern Europe (CEE), who will be a guiding force in the continuing development of U.S.-EU relations. The CEE countries have generally exhibited a more pro-U.S. approach than many of their western European neighbors; however, public opinion and political positions are shifting, and in several states opinions are converging with opinions in the older EU countries. Looking toward the UK as a role model, other CEE countries have sought to emulate London's position by avoiding stark choices between the United States and Europe and by successfully combining both orientations in their foreign policies. A dividing line may be emerging between the wider Baltic region and the central European region, a line that is most evident in perceptions of instability along the eastern borders of central and eastern Europe and a sense of a growing threat from Russia. The U.S. must resist the temptation to focus its diplomatic efforts on bilateral agreements with those European countries in closest alignment to it, and instead use these dependable and durable partners among the CEE states to develop more predictable and productive relations with the EU for the sake of long-term stability. To accomplish this strategic objective, Washington needs to refocus the NATO alliance, ensure U.S.-EU complementarity, jointly pursue the expansion of democratic systems, reward its new allies, intensify economic and social interchanges, promote military rebasing, improve public diplomacy, defuse any current or latent controversies, and more effectively engage emerging allies throughout central and eastern Europe. Published in cooperation with the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Insightful and comprehensive, Atlantic Bridges is an indispensable guide to the foreign policies of the emerging democracies of East Central Europe. It should be required reading for all specialists on the region.
This timely and indispensable study by two highly respected experts is of vital importance not only to specialists on the region but also to policy-makers dealing with the evolving and critical issue of the new Central and Eastern European democracies' role in both transatlantic relations and European security. It examines the wide range of threats and opportunities confronting these nations as they find themselves caught between the often-conflicting goals of the US and the EU. In advising the US to replace its current policy of considering each country bilaterally with a more nuanced, multilateral approach that focuses on the nations' relations with the EU, the authors are as authoritative as they are innovative.
Charles A. Kupchan
Atlantic Bridges is a major contribution to ongoing debate about the future of transatlantic relations. Bugajski and Teleki make a compelling and timely case that a strong and coherent Europe, far from undermining the Atlantic link, is key to its durability and relevance.
Spring 2008 Slavic Review
The book is very information and its quite detailed coverage describes recent developments very thoroughly, especially the effect of the war in Iraq and the expansion of NATO and the EU.
The relationship between the US and her allies in Central and Eastern Europe has evolved from 'politics of gratitude' into 'real politk' and American foreign policy will pay a price if it does not notice the change. This is the convincing message of this well researched and clearly argued book
Janusz Bugajski is director of the New European Democracies Project and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. His books include Cold Peace: Russia's New Imperialism (2004), Political Parties of Eastern Europe: A Guide to Politics in the Post-Communist Era (2002), and Toward an Understanding of Russia: New European Perspectives (2002). Ilona Teleki is deputy director of the New European Democracies Project and a fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.
Chapter 1 Introduction. New Allies, New Challenges Chapter 2 Chapter 1. Strategic Choices: NATO and EU Membership Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Transatlantic Connections Chapter 4 Chapter 3. Poland: The Key to Central Europe Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Holding the Center: Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Baltic Bonds: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Balkan Partners: Romania and Bulgaria Chapter 8 Chapter 7. Conclusions and Recommendations