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Europe Policies at the Center of German Foreign Policy (October 24, 1966)

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To sum up, what are the consequences of this necessarily summary and somewhat sketch-like analysis for German policies, specifically for Germany’s policy toward Europe?

1. In terms of economic policy, the European Economic Community is an essential achievement, which must be further developed through all available forces. The problems of the sister communities are problems with their treaties and their fusion.

2. The integration of the six is not an obstacle to reunification, but instead the prerequisite, with no alternatives. The same applies for other goals of German policies: security, peace, and a role for Germany throughout the world as a respectable ally and partner.

3. The so-called political union is not achievable at the present time but remains a medium-term objective of Germany’s policy toward Europe. It is not the condition for, but rather the result of economic policy integration, which is already the social and economic partial-realization of the political integration of Europe.

4. The political linchpin of successful, long-term integration continues to be Franco-German relations. Consequently, they must be worked on, despite all adversity. Dialogue with Paris must never be broken off. London is unsuited to serve as a referee between Bonn and Paris, just as Bonn is not an appropriate referee for London and Paris. That is not to say anything against the mutual Franco-German efforts regarding the issue of Great Britain joining the European Communities.

5. Integration in the EEC is an essential precondition for constructive Ostpolitik [policies toward Eastern Europe], which in turn is one of the conditions for a realistic reunification policy. I understand this to mean an Ostpolitik with which the results of Yalta can perhaps be corrected, step-by-step, in a long-term, evolutionary process.

6. NATO remains crucial for the security of Western Europe and the Federal Republic, especially since the French position unfortunately rules out joint defensive efforts on a European scale for the foreseeable future.

7. The European Economic Community has not been completed. There are many problems that still need to be resolved, and Franco-German tensions tend to make it even more difficult. But all these problems can be solved if the stable policy toward Europe of past years is continued. Among those problems is also the geographical expansion of the Community.

So, policy toward Europe is today perhaps the most likely means by which to serve all Germany’s legitimate national interests. In any case, Germany’s policy toward Europe cannot be separated from reunification policy or Ostpolitik or security policy. And for that reason, a constructive policy toward Europe should be a main focus of German policies.

Source: “Die politischen Bedingungen der deutschen Europapolitik von heute” [“The Political Conditions of German Foreign Policy toward Europe Today”] (October 24, 1966); in Thomas Oppermannn, ed. (with assistance from Joachim Kohler), Walter Hallstein. Europäische Reden [Walter Hallstein. European Speeches]. Stuttgart, 1979, pp. 641-49.

Translation: Allison Brown

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