Europe and Eurasia
Europe and Eurasia is a region simultaneously transforming and supporting the transformation of other parts of the world. European allies and institutions (the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)) play an essential role in helping European countries like Georgia and Ukraine complete and consolidate their own democratic advances. Just as importantly, established European allies are critical partners in supporting transformation in the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
U.S. Priorities beyond Europe: Our top priority is to realize the President's and the Secretary's transformational goals beyond Europe. In Western and Central Europe, about 75 percent of our work focuses on engaging allies to support U.S. priorities beyond Europe. Thus, Europe, including NATO, OSCE, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the EU agenda, is a platform for global transformational diplomacy. For example, our work on Iran would be impossible without Europe. European partners are critical to sustaining our work in Iraq and Afghanistan, as those countries account for 80 percent of non-U.S. coalition forces and are taking a lead in military operations in the south of Afghanistan through NATO. The EU and its member states have provided billions of dollars in reconstruction support to Afghanistan and Iraq, and NATO has expanded its work to new areas like Darfur. Europeans are also strong partners in dealing with Israel-Palestine and the broader Middle East, North Korea, Somalia, Haiti, Burma, Venezuela, and Colombia. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 1, 2, and others)
Transformational Development in Europe: Our second priority is completing transformational work at Europe's and Eurasia's "frontiers of freedom." Consolidating democratic reforms; securing a place in the Euro-Atlantic community for the countries of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the South Caucasus; anchoring Turkey in Europe; and peacefully resolving the lingering post-Soviet separatist conflicts are our unfinished business. While these countries have made strides towards democracy, they still confront the post-communist pathologies—including corruption, high unemployment rates, and, in some of them, widespread declines in health and education. Strengthening security forces and law enforcement (e.g., Kosovo) and border security (e.g., Georgia), as well as making investments in security cooperation (e.g., Ukraine) are important to lay the foundation for transformational development. Energy reform and independence, and business and investment climate reforms, including improving competition policy, taxation, and labor reforms, and protection of intellectual property rights, are essential steps required for former socialist countries to attract foreign direct investment. Ensuring successful transition to market economies with viable social systems supports democratic progress, creates jobs, protects vulnerable populations, and strengthens regional integration—all key underpinnings of a stable democratic society.
We seek to consolidate new democracies in Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova by fighting corruption and assisting economic reforms. As these countries break with their Soviet past and move closer to European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, we need to continue to provide our support, encouragement, and technical advice. Elsewhere in Eurasia, people yearn for the hope kindled by the "color revolutions" of 2003 - 2005, while the dictatorial regime in Belarus faces unprecedented pressure from both the West and Russia. To promote reform and democratic development, we are sustaining support for civil society and independent media, bilaterally, in conjunction with the EU, and through multilateral fora such as the OSCE.
We continue to focus on the unfinished business of stabilizing the Balkans and anchoring them in Euro-Atlantic institutions. Supporting a final Kosovo settlement will entail infrastructure development, institutional reform, and debt relief, as well as additional reform and development assistance in neighboring areas. We intend to remain heavily engaged in Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia, and Macedonia to mitigate spillover effects of the Kosovo outcome, and to promote accountability for war criminals, cooperation with international and domestic tribunals, and arrests of all indictees.
The transition countries of Europe and Eurasia face serious threats to stability and development because of decaying and inefficient health, education, and other social services. These sectors are often ill-equipped to deal with new challenges, such as shrinking populations, poorly functioning labor markets, soaring rates of new HIV/AIDS infections, or a major outbreak of avian and pandemic influenza. In addition, transnational threats like organized crime and trafficking in people and drugs hold these countries back, and unsecured nuclear, radiological, and biological materials in and transiting through these countries contributes to regional insecurity. Effectively investing in people, law enforcement, and rule of law reinforces sustained political and economic reform. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 1, 2, and others)
Relations with Russia: We pursue our third priority under increasingly difficult circumstances. We aim to work with Russia on issues of common interest such as cooperation on counter-terrorism and non-proliferation, but increasing centralization of power, pressure on NGOs and civil society, a growing government role in the economy, and restrictions on media freedom have all emerged as clear and worrisome trends. Russian weapon sales to such states as Iran, Syria, and Venezuela are also cause for great concern throughout the international community. Russia's policy toward its neighbors is another major challenge, especially Moscow's support for separatist regions in Georgia and Moldova, its political and economic pressure against Georgia, and its monopolistic use of energy to pressure neighboring states and gain control of infrastructure and strategic assets. Diversifying energy sources, increasing transparency, and improving the efficiency of energy usage will bolster regional energy security. Notwithstanding these challenges, we also have a strong interest in reinforcing positive trends wherever we can, including helping Russia work toward inclusion in rules-based organizations and integration into the global economy, and the emergence of a middle class supportive of democratic institutions and the rule of law. The United States wants to see Russia become an open, democratic, and stable geopolitical partner; we can try to encourage such development through a wide range of economic, social, scientific, and political ties. We will engage with Russia where we can do so productively, while continuing to stand firm—with the support of our European and other allies—for the values of democracy, human rights, and freedom, and to push back on negative Russian behavior. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 1, 2, and others)
A democratic, responsible international community is a bold goal that we do not undertake alone. Coordination with like-minded partners will continue to be critical to spreading freedom and consolidating democracy in the Europe and Eurasia region and worldwide. As President Bush has said, "All that we seek to achieve in the world requires that Europe and America remain close partners."