Central Europe

  • Dinner Discussion with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák

    On July 25, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations program held an off-the-record dinner discussion with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák. Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson moderated the discussion, which drew on Minister Lajčák’s extensive expertise on the Balkans, and examined the options for moving that region forward toward a more stable Euro-Atlantic future, especially given the persistent tensions in Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as in other countries. The dinner was graciously hosted by former US Ambassador to Slovakia Vincent Obsitnik.
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  • Euro-Realism 2: How Safe is My Money?

    Lucullus, in Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens (spot the irony) warns, “This is no time to lend money, especially upon bare friendship without security.” As a Dutch tax-payer that warning carries little irony as billions of our hard-earned tax Euros have already vanished down the black hole of a failing currency – either in direct transfers or by printing money that we will forever have to underwrite.
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  • In Spain, Germany Is Villain, Not Savior

    What brought me to Spain during the most threatening week of the country’s recent history was an invitation to speak about one of Europe’s darkest hours a half-century ago, pegged to the Spanish-language publication of my book Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth.
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  • Europe's New German Question

    Almost sixty years ago to the day, the European Defense Community (EDC) Treaty was signed in Paris. Under pressure from an America facing a possible war on two fronts – Korea and Europe, the aim was to create a European Army that would see West Germany re-armed to provide manpower for the defense of Europe only twelve years after Nazi troops had marched down the Champs Élysée.
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  • Germany: Economic Powerhouse, Second-Rate Military Power?

    "Germany today is an economic powerhouse, but a second-rate military power," declares a new Atlantic Council report which warns, "Europe’s future relevance as a global strategic partner of the United States is contingent on Germany taking its full place as a much stronger political and military leader within Europe and the transatlantic Alliance."
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  • Slovakia Can Help with Transition to Democracy

    When Damon Wilson, US security expert and executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, visited Bratislava in 2005, he was working to prepare the Bush-Putin summit that the Slovak capital hosted that year. Seven years on Wilson returned to discuss security challenges at the Bratislava Global Security Forum held in mid April. 
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  • Roundtable with US Ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein

    On March 8, 2012 the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations Program hosted the US Ambassador to Poland, Lee Feinstein, for an off-the-record roundtable. Ambassador Feinstein addressed Poland’s evolving role in the transatlantic relationship, particularly in the build up to the Chicago NATO Summit.


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  • The Transatlantic Bargain in 2012: Still a Good Deal?

    On January 24, the Atlantic Council hosted the Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic, H.E. Alexandr Vondra. He offered a central European perspective on the future of the transatlantic partnership and the key issues facing the alliance in the run-up to the NATO Chicago Summit.
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  • Why Britain Can Never Accept German Leadership

    Britain will never accept German leadership even though Germany will emerge from the economic crisis as Europe’s leading power. History is still far too close for that ever to happen.

    When I made that assertion in my in my blog of last week from the No Snow Meeting in Lithuania, with its heavy Churchillian overtones, some of you rightly gave me flak (excuse the pun) over that statement because in isolation it came across as German-bashing. So let me expand on my analysis but put it in a more positive context and explain why a new political partnership between Britain and Germany is vital for both Germany and Europe. Indeed, with another Eurozone kerfuffle about to happen it is important that Berlin accepts and understands that any attempt to shackle Britain will fail.


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  • Saving the Euro - and the European Union

    Germany ought to be able to debate its eurozone partners on the shape of needed economic reform without conjuring up historical fears of hegemony.
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