Courtesy Reuters

Germany's "Westpolitik"

After President Nixon and I met at Key Biscayne on December 28 and 29, 1971, a commentator pointed out that the joint statement issued on our talks seemed more like an American-European than an American-German communiqué. This, he felt, showed itself even on the surface in that the terms "European" or "Europe" appeared 11 times whereas German" or "Federal Republic of Germany" were only mentioned twice.

The talks at Key Biscayne did indeed center on the American-European partnership rather than on German-American relations. This will not surprise anyone who knows to what extent bilateral relations between West European countries and the United States are overlaid by a network of multilateral relations which is steadily getting more dense. In the Federal Republic of Germany there is not a single question of any importance that could be treated outside the context of American-European relations. This applies to international currency and trade affairs as well as to security police and above all to efforts to decrease tensions between East and West.

In the European Community we have not yet reached the point where the head of a member state is authorized to speak for his European colleagues. All the same, we have at least come to the point where none of us-be it the President of France, the British Prime Minister, the Prime Minister of Italy or the West German Chancellor-could or would refrain from bringing joint European interests into play. Each one of us tries in his own way not only to look after his own nation's interests but also to articulate European considerations. This is true even in cases where one or the other might feel tempted to extract some special advantage from talks with the Americans.

Relations between Western Europe and the United States have reached a kind of in-between stage. Some symptoms of this lie in the area of currency and trade affairs; others in the desire of the United States to lighten its burden; others in the wish of West European nations to

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