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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2003 > November

Remarks Honoring 50 Years of U.S. - European Union Cooperation

Secretary Colin L. Powell
U.S. Mission to the European Union
Brussels, Belgium
November 18, 2003

Thank you very much for that kind introduction. And I hope that you have a very speedy recovery for the slightly dislocated shoulder - that youíre covering so exquisitely with that scarf. But we do hope that you have a speedy recovery.

Itís a great pleasure to be back in the Tri-Mission region, and especially when I have the opportunity to mark the 50th anniversary since the U.S. sent its first diplomatic representative to the European Coal and Steel Community. Iím pleased to be joined today by Ambassador Schnabel, of course, and Ambassador Burns. And Alma, who is traveling with me as we visit Brussels today for European Union meetings, and then on to the state visit in London later today to join the president.

We all know of course that the European Coal and Steel Community was more about coal and steel-- much more than about coal and steel. Monnet, Schumann and Adenauer - the greatest architects of post-war Europe- knew that fundamentally the European Coal and Steel Community was about forging habits of cooperation, habits of cooperation between age-old enemies and for the purpose of laying the foundation of a Europe united in democracy, united in prosperity and peace.

The United States, at that time and ever since, embraced the Europe that these architects envisioned. We embrace it today. We embrace the European Union as a global partner. Together we are a global force for peace and security. As the EU has grown in size and stature, so too has the breadth and depth of the U.S. relationship with the EU.

These magnificent photographs that you see here this morning bear witness not only to how far the EU has come, but the degree to which the United States has been there with it Ė side-by-side, step by step.

That is, because at our core, we are partners. Whether itís combating terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, fostering global growth, good governance or whether its stemming infectious disease, no nation can meet the challenges of our young century alone. And the worldís best hope for meeting these challenges still rests, in large part, on a deep, broad, and lasting partnership between Europe and the United States.

We havenít always agreed on every issue, but even when we disagree strongly, we remain a community. A community of free nations, that will always be held together, drawn more tightly together, by history and by choice and by our choice of a common value system that we all treasure.

The U.S. and the European Union should take great pride in what we are doing together. We have dismantled trade barriers that have stimulated our economies and created jobs. We have developed joint strategies to combat terrorism and to cut off financial lifelines to terrorists. We are establishing new forms of law enforcement cooperation that will help us take on terrorists as well as take on organized crime.

In the Balkans, in the Middle East and in regional conflicts all across the globe, we are working to bring hope to millions of men, women and children who have regularly known nothing but despair. Time and again, the values and interests that bind Europe and America have proven stronger than the issues that from time to time divide us.

And for fifty years, you assembled here today - the men and women who serve in our missions in Brussels - have deepened that bond. I know that representing the United States abroad has never been easy. It isnít easy now. But even when itís hard, you are busy building a common future for Europe and for America.

I want to thank all who are represented here -- Foreign Service, Civil Service, Foreign Service Nationals, military and all the other U.S. government agencies that come together in these missions to carry forward the American value system, to carry forward the presidentís agenda. I also want to thank the great unsung heroes of American diplomacy Ė our families who serve alongside the principals who are here. All of you represent the best of America, and we owe you a great debt of gratitude.

And now Iíve the great pleasure Ambassador Schnabel, if you could accept along with me on behalf of your entire mission the plaque that will be commemorating 50 years of partnership with the European Union, which the U.S. Mission to the EU has done so much to foster.

Thank you very much.


Released on November 18, 2003

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