Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 26, 2003

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U.S. Aid to Central, Southeastern Europe
Rep. Bereuter schedules hearing to examine priorities,
effectiveness of SEED Act and Freedom Support Act

BACKGROUND: Enacted in 1989, the Support for East European Democracy Act (SEED) has helped stabilize the countries of central and southeastern Europe by providing U.S. assistance to promote the political and economic transformation of formerly communist states. U.S. assistance has bolstered democratization, economic growth, free market institutions and principles, the rule of law and human rights, and has helped combat transnational problems, including weapons proliferation, trafficking in persons, narcotics and organized crime. Enacted in 1992, the FREEDOM Support Act (FSA) reflects concerns in the U.S. over potential instability in the countries formed from the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was designed, like the SEED Act, to promote democracy, free markets, the rule of law and human rights. The hearing gives the subcommittee an opportunity to assess: the current status of these numerous programs; the rationale and objectives of current assistance; the current recipients of the assistance programs and the amounts of funding for each in FY 2004; a "cost-benefit" analysis of the progress being made in each country currently in the programs; and any changes being implemented or recommended for the future of these programs.

WHAT: Oversight hearing: U.S. Assistance Programs in Europe

Subcommittee on Europe, U.S. Rep. Doug Bereuter, Chairman

WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 27, 2003

WHERE: 2200 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES: Thomas Adams, Acting Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Kent R. Hill, Ph.D., Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, U.S. Agency for International Development

Questions to be raised during this hearing:

bulletWhat is the rationale for continuing financial assistance to eastern and central Europe?
bulletHow effective have some of these programs been in countries that emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union?
bulletOverall, U.S. assistance to eastern and central Europe is declining. Is this appropriate? Is it premature?