This paper scrutinizes three common assumptions about Europe: that a European identity exists and can be defined, that European institutions give shape and voice to this identity, and that mutual commitments among European states give strength and substance to the European identity. In truth, Europe is currently being redefined in both geographic and philosophical terms, independent states rather than international organizations remain the key building blocs of Europe, and Europe has entered upon a process of wholesale recalculations of mutual commitments. The implication of this conclusion for the United States is that Washington must continue to do core business in the capitals of Europe as well as address the issue of relations with and within European organizations such as NATO, the WEU, and the EU.
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