The breakup of the Warsaw Pact and the collapse of the Soviet Union did away with issues that had long challenged Europe and Russia but also created new ones. The centrifugal forces that pulled apart the Soviet Union left in its place fifteen newly independent states. The 1990 reunification of Germany anticipated the unification of Europe itself. But the seemingly unstoppable momentum toward European unity hit a major roadblock in mid-2005, when voters in France and the Netherlands voted down a proposed European Union (EU) constitution. Their emphatic rejection silenced, at least temporarily, most talk of further European convergence.
This symposium was made possible through the generous support of the European Commission, CFR's Program on International Institutions and Global Governance, and the Robina Foundation.
Symposium Summary Report (85K)
This symposium was made possible through the generous support of BP.
Symposium Summary Report (PDF, 98K)
This symposium was made possible by the generosity of the European Commission and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
The goal of the America, Europe, and the World roundtable series is to examine how America and Europe can move forward with a constructive transatlantic agenda for managing problems that arise outside of North America and Europe.
This series provides a forum for policy experts, U.S. and foreign government officials, and journalists to discuss specific items on the G8 agenda and to assess the progress being made in achieving the goals set forth at the June 2004 summit meeting.
This roundtable seeks to identify key "over-the-horizon" issues related to the upcoming EU and NATO enlargements and explore both the anticipated as well as potentially unanticipated consequences of them, each of which will dramatically increase the institution's size and scope. The first two sessions, held in March and April of 2003, laid out the general issues at stake in each enlargement, while subsequent sessions will examine issues such as the future of the Euro, the effect of the enlargements on countries further to the East, and European demographic trends.
The Roundtable on Nationalism in Europe was established in January 2002 to examine critical issues regarding trends in an evolving Europe and to understand their relevance to transatlantic relations. Specifically, the series discusses new forms of nationalism in Europe, and in particular, the various national aspirations and strategies that are emerging as enlargement of the European Union proceeds. During the spring, the roundtable series held three sessions discussing Russia, the Balkans, and Central and Eastern Europe. In fall, the focus will broaden to include Western Europe. Among the topics are the radical right and its agenda in Europe and "European" nationalism, which includes prospects for the Euro as a major world currency.
The war on terrorism opened a huge opportunity to put Russian-American relations on a different and more constructive long-term footing. This was the subject of the Council on Foreign Relations-Harriman Institute Roundtable in 2001-2002.
In 2002-2003, the project directors focused the group more closely on an area that seemed poised for new progress under President Putin: Russia's integration into the international economy. Sessions have addressed the question of a Russian-American energy "alliance"; Russian accession to the WTO and relations with the European Union; and the domestic political backdrop of Putin's strategy. A session held in early May assessed the impact of Iraq on Russian-American relations and Russian foreign policy more broadly.
In 2003-2004, sessions focused on the coming Russian election cycle (Putin faced re-election in March), while using the occasion to examine how Russian developments have and have not met expectations since 1991.
The roundtable's current focus is on the evolution of Russian domestic politics in the wake of President Putin's re-election, the YUKOS affair, and the higher priority assigned to democratization by the United States.
The Kennan Roundtable is an on-going series of meetings that focus on the major policy questions posed by changing U.S. relationships with Russia and the former Soviet states of Eurasia. Whether measured by the near-alliance between Presidents Bush and Putin, the establishment of bases in Central Asia, or Ukraine's decision to seek NATO membership, there has been significant enhancement of these relationships since September 11. Understanding their durability and direction is the principal aim.
Meetings examine areas of expanding cooperation, such as Moscow's unfolding energy strategy and the security of sensitive nuclear materials. We will also look at emerging areas of discord. In the case of Russia, these include the tensions associated with its recurrent pressures on Georgia; in the case of Ukraine and Central Asia, the continuing emphasis placed by U.S. policy on democratization and human rights.
This project helps to foster the study of and debate about an American grand strategy for the twenty-first century. The group examines contending visions of order and seeks to promote a more fertile discussion of desirable outcomes and how policymakers can achieve them.
The first book generated by this study group was The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century, by Charles A. Kupchan, the project director. The study group played a key role in providing feedback on the book during the drafting of the manuscript. The book addresses how the United States can manage peacefully the transition to a world of multiple centers of power.
The current phase of the study group focuses on understanding the sources of stable peace -- how groupings of countries can form lasting partnerships and eliminate geopolitical competition. A book on this topic, along with several articles, will be the main published product. The book will examine a number of historical case studies of rapprochement, security communities and unions, exploring how zones of peace form and when and why they sometimes unravel. The book will draw policy conclusions relevant to preserving current zones of peace -- such as the Atlantic community -- as well as building new ones -- such as in East Asia.
The Contending Paradigms Study Group is made possible through the generosity of John McCloy.
For more information on the David Rockefeller Studies Program, contact: