"In 1989, Europe changed suddenly and immeasurably [with the collapse of the Soviet Union]," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon stated in his recent testimony to the U.S. Congress. "Today, Europe is almost fully democratic, largely unified, and is America’s essential global partner."
America's ability to resolve daunting international challenges is increased by working with European allies that are militarily-capable, democratic and prosperous. Assistant Secretary Gordon listed three priorities in engagement with Europe:
First, Europe is indispensable in helping to resolve major global challenges - from the war in Afghanistan, to the Iranian nuclear challenge, to the new operation in Libya, and missile defense. "We are vastly stronger, in terms of legitimacy, resources, and ideas," Assistant Secretary Gordon said, "when we join forces with Europe on the global agenda."
Second, the United States is working with Europe to extend stability, security, prosperity and democracy to the entire European continent, including countries of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership - Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.
"The extraordinary success that the United States and Europe have had together in promoting European integration, in consolidating and supporting the new democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and integrating them into Euro-Atlantic institutions demonstrates the promise of this enterprise," Assistant Secretary Gordon said. "But our work is not done. And so the effort continues in the Balkans, in Europe’s east, and in the Caucasus."
Third, the United States and Europe are seeking to set relations with Russia on a more constructive course. The United States and Russia have brought the New START Treaty into force to promote strategic stability by limiting and verifying deployed strategic nuclear weapons and launchers at significantly lower levels.
The United States signed an agreement for the transit of troops and materiel across Russia in support of efforts in Afghanistan, and secured cooperation with Russia to curtail Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs. "Our goal has been to cooperate with Russia where we have common interests," Assistant Secretary Gordon said. "Where we have concerns, such as on Russia’s human rights record, or on Georgia, we will continue to raise them and foster connections with civil society."
"I am confident that the partnership between the United States and Europe, which has achieved so much in the last 60 years," Assistant Secretary Gordon concluded, "will achieve even greater things in the decades to come."