Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, March 12, 2003

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Priorities for U.S. Policy in Europe
Rep. Bereuter Schedules Thursday Oversight Hearing

BACKGROUND -- For six decades Europe is where core U.S. national interests and fundamental values have been most engaged. The majority of our closest allies are there, the bulk of our international trade and investment is with Europe and our national security is integrally linked with the welfare and stability of that continent. But the continuing diplomatic standoff with France and Germany at the United Nations over the issue of Iraq highlights other, separate longstanding issues confronting the transatlantic relationship. Differences and disagreements continued to nag the relationship over the Middle East, the environment, steel, and other trade-related issues. Europe’s fixation with multilateralism and the European Union’s (EU) march toward regulatory overload continue to present institutional challenges to the transatlantic relationship. With Russia, the U.S. continues to spar over issues such as Chechnya, press freedom and technology transfers, especially to Iran. Although 95 percent of all trade between the U.S. and Europe works fairly well, disputes over steel, food safety, beef hormones, genetically-modified organisms, and foreign sales corporations top the list of disagreements. Meanwhile, U.S. policy continues to support political integration on the continent, expansion of the European Union and NATO, increased defense capabilities among European members of NATO and support for the EU’s own defense initiatives.

WHAT: Oversight hearing, "United States Priorities in Europe"

Subcommittee on Europe, U.S. Rep. Doug Bereuter, Chairman

WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 13, 2003

WHERE: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES: A. Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State; J.D. Crouch II, Assistant Secretary, International Security Policy, U.S. Department of Defense

Questions to be raised during this hearing:

bulletWhat is the true state of the transatlantic relationship given the diplomatic standoff between the U.S., France and Germany over Iraq?
bulletIn light of concerns expressed by Europeans about U.S. actions in Iraq, what is the role for NATO in the future? What is the inevitability of a reduced role for the U.S. military in Europe?
bulletWith Russia siding with France and Germany on the issue of Iraq, are we witnessing a significant change in the U.S.- Russia relationship?
bulletDescribe the law enforcement and intelligence cooperation between the U.S. and Europe over the war on terrorism?