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Remarks at the Departure Ceremony for European Community Leaders Anibal Cavaco Silva and Jacques Delors

April 22, 1992

Mr. Prime Minister, this year my country celebrates the Iberian spirit of discovery. Half a millennium ago, Portugal and Spain helped chart a course towards a new world. Five hundred years later, European unity guides the way towards a new world order. Those early pioneers believed their mission was to probe the secrets of the world. Now we must explore the frontiers of common interest and common ground. The next horizon: a strengthened partnership between the United States and the European Community.

Prime Minister Cavaco Silva, EC President Delors, and I and our top officials have discussed areas where we may deepen cooperation: peace efforts in the Middle East, coordination of aid to Central and Eastern Europe, the struggle of the emergent C.I.S. and international assistance, the agenda of next month's EC conference in Lisbon. We also talked about Yugoslavia, where, tragically, old hatreds are opening new wounds. The U.S.-EC partnership is working tirelessly to create conditions for a lasting democratic peace.

No topic on our agenda is more crucial than the Uruguay round of trade negotiations. We are committed to achieving an early agreement, one that will spur economic growth not just in America but in Europe and all around the world. It will create jobs not just for our generation but for generations to come. For Americans, agreement will mean more than free trade abroad; it will mean for Americans good jobs here at home and a better standard of living at home.

We had an extensive exchange of views on the outstanding issues, and some new ideas on how to conclude this Uruguay round were advanced by both sides. We are convinced, absolutely convinced, that the EC leaders are committed to an early agreement. And I hope they know that I am committed to such an early conclusion. We agreed to continue this process. We had some serious discussions, and the process will go on.

Forty-one years ago almost to the day, the countries of Europe began their quest for unity. Over the ruins of war they laid a blueprint for peace and began building the foundations for economic and political cooperation. They sought unity not out of convenience but out of conviction, a vision of economic interdependence that would inflate the costs of war and expand the dividends of peace. The wisdom of their actions has brought us today to a new Europe where peace has paid off.

Now, this new Europe has now joined its strength with the United States to support the spread of political and economic freedom in the lands only recently liberated from Soviet communism. Those that we helped four decades ago are now able to shoulder a larger part of these new challenges.

Jean Monnet, the grandfather of European unity, once asked: "If you are in a dark tunnel and see a small light at the end, should you turn your back on that light and go back into darkness, or should you continue walking toward it even though you know it's far away?" Five hundred years ago, a European mariner followed the light of his imagination to illuminate a new world. For almost 50 years, the West carried freedom's torch to protect the free world. Today, we stand at the shores of a new world order where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom and prosperity. A strong and united Europe offers the best hope for this united purpose and the best alliance for the United States.

I salute our two distinguished guests today, and now would like to ask Prime Minister Cavaco Silva to say a word.

Note: The President spoke at 1:33 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to French diplomat Jean Monnet, a founder of the European Community. Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva of Portugal was President of the European Council, and Jacques Delors was President of the European Commission.

George Bush, Remarks at the Departure Ceremony for European Community Leaders Anibal Cavaco Silva and Jacques Delors Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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