The New Europe and the World

The New Europe and the World

The New Europe and the World

The New Europe and the World

Excerpt

Still another historic epoch has rolled over the European continent and impacted the world. The dissolution of the Soviet Union has released Europe from the constraints under which it was forced to labor for most of the twentieth century. Europe today stands poised to again make its mark on history. The events which sapped the energy of the Europeans earlier in this century, and provided the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with opportunities to influence the destiny of nations, have now run their course. The world is currently witness to expressions of revitalized European power that are as reassuring as they are foreboding. In the high drama of the moment, Europe represents the building of an extensive, voluntary community, dedicated to the proposition that cooperation and shared experience transcend an otherwise disparate and combative past. But there is also the reality of divisiveness in the European character, the historic confrontations between peculiar and exclusive cultures, the sustained difficulty in overcoming primeval fears, and the awesome material disparities within and between societies.

Some years ago 1992 was established as the target date for the creation of an integrative western Europe. Essentially a response to the Cold War, no one before the close of 1989 could have forecast that by 1992 the Cold War would be over, that the superpower most identified with having unleashed it would be gone, and that that other portion of Europe, long prevented from representing its interests, would seek membership in the expanding European Community. Nor could any-

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