In May 1989, in a speech delivered to the people of Mainz, Germany, President George H.W. Bush evoked a vision of “Europe whole and free” and set forth a path for Europe to follow to realize that dream. Shortly thereafter, the collapse of communism in Central Europe opened new possibilities for peoples, once oppressed, to integrate under the ideas of democracy, unity and freedom from outside domination. The vision paved the way for the enlargement of democratic Europe and the transatlantic community.
Three decades later, this vision remains incomplete. Once again a divide has appeared in Europe, this time between two models of development: a democratic one, rooted in European and transatlantic integration; and a oligarchic and quasi-autocratic one, whose essence is a tight penetration of politics, business and crime. Russian aggression against Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine since 2014, together with significant remaining challenges in other Eastern Partnership countries and in the western Balkans, and disruptive politics in a number of central and western European countries, are testing President Bush’s vision for Europe’s future.
Europe Whole and Free is co-edited by Daniel S. Hamilton, President of the Transatlantic Leadership Network, and Sławomir Dębski, director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs.
The goal of a Europe whole, free and at peace remains as vital today as it did in 1989. This important book brings together policymakers and experts from both sides of the Atlantic for a timely discussion of how to achieve that goal for the 21st century. – Former US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
A great book about Europe‘s finest years, a convincing but unfinished strategic architecture. – Volker Rühe, former German Defense Minister
This volume of essays is essential reading for those who wish to understand the last 30 years; three decades of European history which, whatever the setbacks and disappointments, have transformed our continent and the lives of those who are its citizens. – Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Minister and Minister of Defence in the United Kingdom