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Regional Outlook : Drinking a Toast to Europe's Future : Leaders of 34 nations will meet in Paris next week. Times correspondents in key capitals report on their hopes and fears for the Continent.

November 13, 1990|ROBERT C. TOTH

WASHINGTON — The United States has only limited goals for CSCE: It wants to establish a structure for the organization but does not want to give it any significant power.

Instead, the Bush Administration wants CSCE to serve as a regional forum for Europe, much in the same way that the Organization of American States now does in the Western Hemisphere. Its secretariat will be limited to about a dozen employees. Its decisions will be by consensus.

And its founding principle will be "collective security." What that means, a State Department official said, is that "if someone invades you, you can call a meeting and complain"--a sharp contrast to NATO, where members are obliged to come to each others' defense.

The Administration believes that a new Europe-wide organization is needed to bring the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe--and, more importantly, the Soviet Union--into the new post-Cold War order following the disintegration of the old Warsaw Pact. But it does not want CSCE to detract from NATO, through which Washington exerts its greatest influence on the Continent in political and economic affairs.

It also wants to tie a newly united Germany ever more strongly to the fast-evolving political, economic and security structures of the new Europe by providing yet another organization to help cement Germany's role.

While it endorses the establishment of a new, formal structure for the CSCE, and continued biennial review conferences, Washington also sees the new CSCE as a forum for more private political consultations that member governments can use to address mutual concerns.

About the only unresolved issue is the objection of the U.S. Congress to the new CSCE parliamentary body, to be called the Assembly of Europe. Some Europeans want to base the new parliament on the Council of Europe, located in Strasbourg. But U.S. lawmakers, unimpressed by the Strasbourg parliament, want the new assembly to be independent.

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