Sustaining the Promise of Mainz

Published in: Europe Whole and Free: Vision and Reality, Chapter 2: Institutions, pages 171–180 (2019)

Posted on RAND.org on February 02, 2022

by Stephen J. Flanagan, Sławomir Dębski, Daniel S. Hamilton

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This chapter offers an American perspective on the progress, shortcomings, and possible initiatives to revitalize key elements of President George H.W. Bush's vision of building a Europe whole and free—and at peace. Most of President Bush's specific proposals in his May 1989 speech to the people of Mainz were realized or advanced during his tenure in office: strengthening and broadening the Helsinki process to promote free elections and political pluralism; ending the division of Berlin; pan-European action to address environmental problems; and dramatic reductions in the levels of conventional armed forces. Great progress has also been made since 1992 in achieving his broader goal of healing Europe's divisions, most concretely through the enlargement of both the European Union and NATO.

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