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

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 7, 2006

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For IMMEDIATE Release

What Next for the U.S.-European Relationship?
Gallegly Schedules Wednesday Oversight Hearing 

BACKGROUND - The United States and Europe share a long and intertwined history.  Even with the end of the Cold War, many observers stress that the security and prosperity of the United States and Europe remain inextricably linked.  Both sides of the Atlantic face a common set of challenges and have few other comparable partners.  The United States and the European Union (EU) also share a huge, mutually beneficial, increasingly interdependent trade and investment relationship, and U.S.-EU cooperation has been critical in making the world trading system more open and efficient.  Despite this close relationship, numerous trade and foreign policy disputes have recently challenged the partnership.  Although not monolithic in their views, many European countries object to at least some elements of U.S. policy on a range of issues, including the Middle East, the treatment of terrorist prisoners, climate change, and aircraft subsidies.  Some analysts argue that personality and style differences among U.S. and European leaders have driven these transatlantic frictions, while others stress that the recent tensions are deeper and structural.  One such structural factor affecting U.S.-European relations is the EUís evolution.  Since the end of the Cold War, EU members have moved beyond economic integration, toward political integration with decisions to develop common foreign and defense policies.  The EU has established new political and defense decision-making bodies, and has succeeded in forging consensus on common policies on the Balkans, the Middle East peace process, and Iran.  The EU has also led several crisis management missions in the Balkans, Africa, and elsewhere.  As a result, the EU has a new self-confidence, and EU members increasingly assess foreign policy decisions with an eye toward establishing a larger role for Europe on the world stage. Washington does not exert the same influence over the European allies as it once did, and EU members are perhaps quicker to challenge U.S. policies with which they do not agree. 

WHAT:                               Subcommittee Oversight Hearing: 
                            The U.S.-European Relationship: Opportunities and Challenges

                            Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats
                            U.S. Rep. Elton A. Gallegly (R-CA), Chairman

WHEN:                               1:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, 2006

WHERE:                             2255 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESS:                          The Honorable Daniel Fried,
                                            Assistan
t Secretary,
                                            Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs,
                                            U.S. Department of State.

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