Europe Whole and Free: Vision and Reality
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.
With this in mind, we have invited prominent authors to take part in preparing a book that would commemorate this vision and induce a discussion about its relevance today. The volume is co-edited by TLN President Daniel S. Hamilton and Sławomir Dębski, Director of The Polish Institute of International Affairs. The book was released in September 2019.
Two chapters of the book are available online now as an exclusive preview: