Task Force on US Foreign Policy towards Central and Eastern Europe
May 2009 - July 2009

The time has come for Central and Eastern Europe to redefine its strategic position in the post-cold war 21st century. In the Policy Brief published on July 13, 2009 by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Task Force urges CEE and US cooperation. The Policy Brief was reedited as an Open Letter to the Obama Administration and was signed by several Presidents and Foreign Ministers from the region. The objective of the Open Letter was to provoke a public debate besides the already ongoing scholarly talks and to shake up the higher levels of the American and European politics.

The members of the Task Force met over the shared concern that the Central and Eastern European states are subsiding into irrelevance in terms of Euro-Atlantic relations and hoped to be instrumental in finding common ground for a renewed strategic partnership between Central and Eastern Europe and the US.

Project Description
The Task Force was composed of experts and former ministers from the region, namely: Ivan Krastev (Bulgaria), Adam Daniel Rotfeld (Poland), Kadri Liik (Estonia), Pavol Demes (Slovakia), Aleksandr Vondra (Czech Republic), Ronald Asmus (US), and Istvan Gyarmati (Hungary). The group met three times in different European cities (Budapest, Warsaw and Brussels) to discuss the topic and to edit the text of the policy brief.

The positive feedback moved the group to reedit the text as “An Open Letter to the Obama Administration from Central and Eastern Europe”. Signatories included Valdas Adamkus, Martin Butora, Emil Constantinescu, Pavol Demes, Lubos Dobrovsky, Matyas Eorsi, Istvan Gyarmati, Vaclav Havel, Geza Jeszenszky, Rastislav Kacer, Sandra Kalniete, Karel Schwarzenberg, Michal Kovac, Ivan Krastev, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Mart Laar, Kadri Liik, Janos Martonyi. Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Adam Rotfeld, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Alexandr Vondra, and Lech Walesa. The Open Letter was dominantly positively received on the other side of the Atlantic and provoked an unexpected media debate over the issue of the US-European relations.

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