- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 25, 2003

A group of European politicians, government officials and journalists have called for a closer trans-Atlantic partnership in the fight against terrorism after months of tensions between the United States and Europe.

“The best thing to do for the moment would be to forget what happened,” said Konrad Schuller, foreign policy correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper, at a round-table discussion Friday about the health of the trans-Atlantic relationship, organized by the U.S. government-owned Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“We have to work together to solve this problem [of terrorism],” said Stavros Kalafatis, a member of the Greek Parliament.

The group of 16 European politicians, government officials and journalists are on a three-week visit sponsored by the State Department to gain a better insight into U.S. foreign policy challenges.

Mr. Kalafatis said Europe has experienced terrorism since the late 1970s, but technological advances in the past 25 years have made terrorist attacks more complex, necessitating new approaches to fight the menace.

Georgios Koumoutsakos, a research analyst from Greece, said the United States and Europe need to find new ways to work together. The United States will have to concede that the European Union would like to wield more global influence, he said.

A strong partnership requires that both parties can have different opinions, said Mario Schmidt, a reporter for a German TV station. “In partnership, you need dialogue, … you don’t need a briefing by one side,” he said.

“We have to agree not only on the aims, but also on the means [to achieve them],” Mr. Schuller said.

To influence international affairs, Europe needs to speak with one voice, Mr. Schmidt said. But Elisabetta Gregoric, a consultant at the Council of Europe, said EU countries are more likely to act independently after 10 more members join the union in May 2004.

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