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Zbigniew Brzezinski: EU-US trade pact can halt Western decline

Published: April 21, 2013
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Source: EU Observer

BRATISLAVA - US academic and former statesman, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has said Western democracies need to create a trans-Atlantic free trade area to remain relevant in world affairs.

The 85-year-old, who was a US national security advisor at the height of the Cold War, spoke at the Globsec conference in Bratislava on Thursday (18 April) to an audience of central European VIPs.

He recalled drinking a beer in the Slovak capital with Czech intellectual Vaclav Havel shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain and having “a kind of exuberant feeling” about the future of Europe and the emergence of the US as a benign superpower.

But he said Europe failed to fulfil its promise, while the US undid itself by invading Iraq.

“Europe’s main problem is that today’s European Union is a Europe more of banks than of people, more of commercial convenience than an emotional commitment of the European peoples,” he said.

He criticised the UK for putting the interests of The City above all else. He said some eastern countries treat the EU as “a piggy bank” of subsidies, while “complacent” and “self-indulgent” southern countries’ main priority is getting bailouts from the north.

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