The Case For A Union Of The West
Roundtable discussion co-sponsored by the Streit Council and the Council on Foreign Relations - September 10, 2008
This event was part of a three-day visit to Washington by Former Prime Minister of France Edouard Balladur. A roundtable discussion followed Mr. Balladur's presentation of the main points of the proposal articulated in his recent book:
1. A transatlantic Executive Council, formed by upgrading the US-EU Summits to four times a year, developing ministerial substructures, and establishing a secretariat and other support bodies for it.
2. A dollar-euro exchange rate stabilization system similar to the 1986 Louvre accords, but made more enduring by institutionalizing it as the EMS had been, with the Fed and ECB controlling the margins of fluctuation. This system would include coordinated economic and budgetary policies.
3. A common transatlantic market, to be created gradually, capping the existing program set by the US-EU Summit in 2007 (a Transatlantic Economic Council, to harmonize regulations and "complete the trans-Atlantic market") by adding a customs union, and the adoption of neighborhood policies for fiscal, legal and trade matters.
4. Closer foreign policy coordination across the full range of global issues.
5. An updated NATO mission statement and strategic concept.
Participating in the discussion were individuals from:
The Streit Council
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Center for Strategic & International Studies
Centre for European Reform
German Marshall Fund
US Institute of Peace
Embassy of France
The George Washington University
Council for the United States and Italy
Committee on Eastern Europe & Russia in NATO
American Institute for Contemporary German Studies