Europe at the end of 1992: coping with a sense of failure

by Marten van Heuven

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At the end of 1992, Europeans are coping with a sense of failure. The continent is now entering a period of profound and lasting change. The United States can help, even if its presence and role are diminishing. Europe again faces the issue of its own identity. Right now the mood is one of pessimism. As European patterns are breaking apart and will re-form, the final shape is not yet discernible. A major task will be to manage the resources transfer from the rich west to the poor east. France is searching for a new role in Europe. Germany faces domestic stress. Britain struggles to define its relations with the European Community (EC). Eastern Europe is tackling reform with various degrees of difficulty. The EC has been arrested in its reach for the goals of the Maastricht Treaty. The violence in the former Yugoslavia shattered many illusions about the European peace system. Europe will not meet Serbian expansionism with force. Any European security system that is to be successful needs to include France.

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