Azerbaijan International

Winter 1999 (7.4)
Page 21

Europe as Idea, Not Place

Bill Clinton, President of US
"The United States is not a member of the European Union but I have constantly urged European integration to move further and faster, and that includes Turkey.

"There are still those who see Europe in narrower terms. Their Europe might stop at this mountain range or that body of water or, worse yet, where people start to worship God in a different way. But there is a growing and encouraging consensus that understands Europe as an idea as much as a place. It's the idea that people can find strength and diversity of opinions, cultures and faiths, as along as they are commonly committed to democracy and human rights - the idea that people can be united without being uniform. If a community we loosely refer to as 'the West' is an idea, it has no fixed frontiers; it stretches as far as the frontiers of freedom can go.

"Ten years ago this month, the Berlin Wall tumbled, a curtain lifted across Europe. The best way to celebrate that anniversary is to rekindle the feeling of liberation for a new generation."

Bill Clinton, U.S. President, addressing the Turkish Grand National Assembly on November 15, 1999, in anticipation of the OSCE Summit that opened in Istanbul three days later.

From Azerbaijan International (7.4) Winter 1999.
© Azerbaijan International 1999. All rights reserved.

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