(...) Today, I have come to the center of Europe to speak of
the future of Europe. Some still call this "the East" -- but Warsaw is
closer to Ireland than it is to the Urals. And it is time to put talk of
East and West behind us.
Yalta did not ratify a natural divide, it divided a living civilization.
The partition of Europe was not a fact of geography, it was an act of violence.
And wise leaders for decades have found the hope of European peace in the
hope of greater unity. In the same speech that described an "iron
curtain," Winston Churchill called for "a new unity in Europe, from which
no nation should be permanently outcast."
Consider how far we have come since that speech. Through trenches and
shell-fire, through death camps and bombed-out cities, through gulags and
food lines men and women have dreamed of what my father called a
Europe "whole and free." This free Europe is no longer a dream.
It is the Europe that is rising around us. It is the work that
you and I are called on to complete.
We can build an open Europe -- a Europe without Hitler and Stalin, without
Brezhnev and Honecker and Ceaucescu and, yes, without Milosevic.
Our goal is to erase the false lines -- our goal is to erase the false
lines that have divided Europe for too long. The future of every
European nation must be determined by the progress of internal reform,
not the interests of outside
powers. Every European nation that struggles toward democracy
and free markets and a strong civic culture must be welcomed into Europe's
All of Europe's new democracies, from the Baltic to the Black Sea and
all that lie between, should have the same chance for security and freedom
-- and the same chance to join the institutions of Europe -- as Europe's
I believe in NATO membership for all of Europe's democracies that seek
it and are ready to share the responsibilities that NATO brings. (Applause.)
The question of "when" may still be up for debate within NATO; the question
of "whether" should not be. As we plan to enlarge NATO, no nation
should be used as a pawn in the agendas of others. We will not trade
away the fate of free European peoples. No more Munichs. No
more Yaltas. (Applause.) Let us tell all those who have struggled
to build democracy and free markets what we have told the Poles:
from now on, what you build, you keep. No one can take away your
freedom or your country. (Applause.)
Next year, NATO's leaders will meet in Prague. The United States will
be prepared to make concrete, historic decisions with its allies to advance
NATO enlargement. Poland and America share a vision. As we
plan the Prague
Summit, we should not calculate how little we can get away with, but
how much we can do to advance the cause of freedom. (Applause.)
The expansion of NATO has fulfilled NATO's promise. And that promise
now leads eastward and southward, northward and onward.
I want to thank Poland for acting as a bridge to the new democracies
of Europe, and a champion of the interests and security of your neighbors,
such as the Baltic states, Ukraine, Slovakia. You are making real
the words: "For your freedom and ours."
All nations should understand that there is no conflict between membership
in NATO and membership in the European Union. My nation welcomes
the consolidation of European unity, and the stability it brings. We welcome
a greater role for the EU in European security, properly integrated with
NATO. We welcome the incentive for reform that the hope of EU membership
creates. We welcome a Europe that is truly united, truly democratic,
and truly diverse -- a collection of peoples and nations bound together
in purpose and respect, and faithful to their own roots.
The most basic commitments of NATO and the European Union are similar:
democracy, free markets, and common security. And all in Europe and
America understand the central lesson of the century past. When Europe
and America are divided, history tends to tragedy. When Europe and
America are partners, no trouble or tyranny can stand against us.
Our vision of Europe must also include the Balkans. Unlike the people
of Poland, many people and leaders in Southeast Europe made the wrong choices
in the last decade. There, communism fell, but dictators exploited
a murderous nationalism to cling to power and to conquer new land. Twice
NATO had to intervene militarily to stop the killing and defend the values
that define a new Europe.
Today, instability remains and there are still those who seek to undermine
the fragile peace that holds. We condemn those, like the sponsors
of violence in Macedonia, who seek to subvert democracy. But we've made
progress. We see democratic change in Zagreb and Belgrade; moderate
governments in Bosnia; multi-ethnic police in Kosovo; the end to violence
in southern Serbia. For the first time in history, all governments in the
region are democratic, committed to cooperating with one another, and predisposed
to join Europe.
Across the region, nations are yearning to be a part of Europe. The
burdens -- and benefits -- of satisfying that yearning will naturally fall
most heavily on Europe, itself. That is why I welcome Europe's commitment
to play a leading role in the stabilization of Southeastern Europe. Countries
other than the United States already provide over 80 percent of the NATO-led
forces in the region. But I know that America's role is important, and
we will meet our obligations. We went into the Balkans together,
and we will come out together. And our goal must be to hasten the arrival
of that day. (Applause.)
The Europe we are building must include Ukraine, a nation struggling
with the trauma of transition. Some in Kiev speak of their country's
European destiny. If this is their aspiration, we should reward it.
We must extend our hand to Ukraine, as Poland has already done with such
The Europe we are building must also be open to Russia. We have a stake
in Russia's success -- and we look for the day when Russia is fully reformed,
fully democratic and closely bound to the rest of Europe. Europe's great
institutions -- NATO and the European Union -- can and should build partnerships
with Russia and with all the countries that have emerged from the wreckage
of the former Soviet Union.
Tomorrow, I will see President Putin, and express my hopes for a Russia
that is truly great -- a greatness measured by the strength of its democracy,
the good treatment of minorities and the achievements of its people. I
will express to President Putin that Russia is part of Europe and, therefore,
does not need a buffer zone of insecure states separating it from Europe.
NATO, even as it grows, is no enemy of Russia. Poland is no enemy of Russia.
America is no enemy of Russia. (Applause.) We will seek a constructive
relationship with Russia, for the benefit of all our peoples.
I will make the case, as I have to all the European leaders I have met
on this trip, that the basis for our mutual security must move beyond Cold
War doctrines. Today, we face growing threats from weapons of mass
destruction and missiles in the hands of states for whom terror and blackmail
are a way of life. So we must have a broad strategy of active non-proliferation;
counter-proliferation; and a new concept of deterrence that includes defenses
sufficient to protect our people, our forces, and our allies; as well as
reduced reliance on nuclear weapons.
And, finally, I'll make clear to President Putin that the path to greater
prosperity and greater security lies in greater freedom. The 20th
century has taught us that only freedom gets the highest service from every
citizen -- citizens who can publish, citizens who can worship, citizens
who can organize for themselves -- without fear of intimidation, and with
the full protection of the law.
This, after all, is the true source of European unity. Ultimately, it's
more than the unity of markets. It is more than the unity of interests.
It is a unity of values.
Through a hard history, with all its precedents of pain, Europe has
come to believe in the dignity of every individual: in social
freedom, tempered by moral restraint; in economic liberty, balanced with
humane values. (...)