2003: Transatlantic Separation or Common Strategy

Transatlantic Separation or Common Strategy

Speech at Union Club, Philadelphia, PA, September 2003, by Ambassador Michael Breisky, Austrian Consul General in New York

Ladies and Gentlemen!
I consider it a great honour to address this distinguished audience in Philadelphia, a city breathing not only business but also history, a matter so close to the heart of Europeans; they are well aware that was here where our Transatlantic values were put on paper for the first time. I thank my friend and collegue Harry Schaub for introducing me so kindly to you.

As the theme of my address suggests, the question of Transatlantic separation has come up again. Let me come without further ado to the heart of the matter and answer this question once and for all by a quote from the 42nd US-President when he remarked – in a different context, I admit: “It’s the economy, darling”. And economy says simply: you cannot separate. Just think of it: All of Japan’s investment in the US is less than the EU’s investment in the state of Texas alone, and Texas is for the EU by no means a special target-state. US investment in Europe is equally pre-eminent by volume and importance. So the transatlantic community can be compared to Siamese twins with only one heart – the economy. It is true, even Siamese twins squabble between themselves sometimes and in some rare cases may even think of combining surgical separation with organ-transplant – Transatlantic twins should know, however, that in foreseeable future no other heart on earth will be big enough to keep them alive. (more…)

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