Courtesy Reuters

Atlantic Policy


THE discord among the Atlantic nations arises from a basic issue: how to organize the West. What form shall Europe take? How shall it be related to the United States? For a decade and a half, the shared goal has been to build a strong integrated Europe linked in partnership with the United States for the pursuit of common purposes. A great deal has been achieved; but deep cleavages now put the prospects in doubt.

Much hangs on the outcome. The security and prosperity of the Atlantic nations depend on working together. Their concerted help is essential to provide the capital and markets desperately needed by the modernizing societies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. And only if faced with unified Western policies will Soviet coexistence gradually evolve into genuine efforts for secure peace.

The direct cause of existing divisions is mainly General de Gaulle and his actions. But he has also intensified and capitalized on serious strains arising from other sources within the Alliance and within Europe. For an adequate diagnosis, it is necessary to put these deeper causes into perspective before examining de Gaulle's impact. Within that framework, one can consider what to do.

The European Community developed from the conviction that only a new Europe could transcend the tragic past. The soil for it was prepared by despair. On the Continent, the ordeal of World War II and its aftermath undermined faith in the nation-state and nationalism, and nurtured the sense of common European destiny. But the Community was born of hope. Three aims inspired its creators: 1, to reconcile France and Germany and bury the past; 2, to open a wider market in Europe as a basis for rising living standards and growing industries; and 3, to restore Europe's role in a world of superstates.

This new Europe, they were convinced, could not rest merely on coöperation among sovereign states. That classic method was the basis of the Organization for European Economic Coöperation, of

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.