America’s Best Friends in Europe: East-Central European Perceptions and Policies toward the United States

  • Jacques Rupnik
Part of the The CERI Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (CERI)


On the eve of its long-heralded unification, Europe has been deeply divided. Less by the merits of the Iraqi crisis per se than by the perceptions of and policies toward American power. The transatlantic divide became an intra-European one with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe tipping the balance in favor of the American leadership. The letter entitled “United We Stand,”1 a British-Spanish initiative signed by the leaders of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, became the symbol of that divide. It stressed the primacy of the “transatlantic bond guaranteeing our freedom.” It was followed on February 5 by the letter of the “Vilnius Ten” (from Albania to Estonia) pledging their readiness to contribute to an international coalition to enforce the disarmament of Iraq.2


Mass Culture Soviet Bloc International Scene American Leadership American Bloc 
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  1. 1.
    The letter was signed by five leaders representing member states of the E.U. (Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Denmark) and three candidate countries: Poland (Leszek Miller), Hungary (Peter Medgyessy), and the Czech Republic (Vaclav Havel). The Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2003.Google Scholar
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    Thus, the American edition of a 1980s study of the phenomenon was published under the title, The Rise and Fall of Anti-Americanism, edited by D. Lacorne, J. Rupnik, and M-F. Toinet, (New York: St Martin’s, 1990) and would now have to be revised as “the rise and fall and the rise again ...”Google Scholar
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    “Car la francophobie, ça existe. C’est la médiocrité planétaire voulant se venger de la suprématie culturelle française qui a duré des siècles. Ou bien, peut être, est-ce, au-delà de notre continent, une forme de rejet de l’Europe.” Milan Kundera as cited in Paris-Prague; les intellectuels en Europe, edited by F. Mitterrand and V Havel (Prague: Institut Français, 1994), p. 94.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tony Judt and Denis Lacorne 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Rupnik

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