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First unless you are German speaker you might want to take out your headphones and be prepared. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It's my pleasure to introduce my very good friend Liz Mohn, the Chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Liz. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, it is my pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the partners of the transatlantic forum to our opening dinner. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Welcome to Brussels. Just now we have made an unequivocal commitment to the partnership between Europe and the U.S. and Prime Minister Verhofstadt and Senator Bennett have put into words what most people in Europe and America wish for. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â People do not want to have less, but rather more cooperation between Europe and the U.S. The Bertelsmann Stiftung has just concluded a survey with 12,000 people in the U.S. and in 11 EU countries. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And the result is clear, Europeans and Americans see a lot of possibilities to shape the world together. On many things we have got our own opinions and experiences. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And we've got our long tradition. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â But Europeans like Americans agree on the most pressing tasks we need to tackle. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And that is climate protection, preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and securing our energy supply. These are all challenges that we need to solve together. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And we can only succeed when we treat one another in a trustful way. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â For me trust encompasses respecting other cultures and not uprooting them, to openly address differences, and to be able to rely on one another. Ladies and gentlemen, let us prove today and in the coming days that Europeans and Americans do not only have a number of projects that they can cooperate on, let's really prove that we trust each other. One man who has worked like no other to strengthen this trust is with us today, Javier Solana. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Mr. Solana has the great gift of bringing people together, of empathizing and winning them over. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He believes in dialogue and he always sees conflicts also as an opportunity of understanding between people, between nations, and between cultures. For him as for most of us here in this room, there is no alternative to the cooperation between the U.S. and Europe. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Today he gives a voice and a face to European Foreign policy. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It is his voice and his face that help to shape Europe's role in the world. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â For this achievement he will receive this year's International Charlemagne Prize in the City of Aachen. I am very happy that Mr. Solana will speak to us and discuss with us later this evening. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ladies and gentlemen, my international work in many countries of this world and my encounters with many cultures have shown me again and again first one gets to know people, then you respect them, and then this can develop into trust. And this again can lead to friendship and love, maybe even this evening. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â So let us now raise our glasses to transatlantic partnership and friendship. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I wish all of us again a pleasant evening, and a successful forum. Salut. Thank you very much for those wonderful words to set the stage. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â For those of you that were here last year, as I mentioned, we were in a bubble, it was very tight, and there was massive flower displays in the middle. And our next speaker gave, I think, one of the most memorable welcomes that evening to the assembled crowd. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Even though we're doing a longer conversation with Javier Solana later this evening where he and David Ignatius will get into a variety of important topics, I wanted to invite him to come up now and give a brief welcome and remarks on the beginning of this Brussels Forum, not the least of which is because in many ways he was the person that was the originator of this idea. A number of years ago Karl Bell, Russ Jackson, a number of other people were sitting in his office, and this idea of having some kind of new forum that would bring together the United States and Europe was raised. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And he's been one of the main promoters and certainly one of the main intellectual guides of this event ever since. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â So Javier Solana, please. Thank you. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Thank you very much. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â My dear friends, thank you very much for your kind words about me. And I'd like to thank the participants here today. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I know how much you love this Forum. You are participating in it. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Not only that, you are the people that support it, and support it in a very efficient manner. I don't have much to say. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â My temptation really at this moment is to ask some questions to David Ignatius. I would like to make three points. The first thing that I would like to say is that this initiative, the Brussels Forum, is a great initiative. I am sure it is going to have many years in front of us to continue meeting. I think it is timely what we are doing, because the transatlantic relationship has evolved, it has been changing, it has to change, it has to evolve. I think last year, in the first session that we meet, we already had a discussion in the beginning about that. How we can adapt the transatlantic link to the new reality of the world. I think during this period of time, from last year to this year, some important decisions have been taken that were discussed here last year. For instance, the idea that we should not talk so much about ourselves, we began to say let us stop talking about ourselves, there are many problems out there which are much more important than discussing about ourselves. And we began, and I think we did it fairly well during the year, to make some changes to try to make this world, if I may say, a better place together. I think that was a good consequence of the meeting last year, among many other initiatives that have taken place during the year. The second thing that I would like to say this year is to go a little bit further, and I think maybe a little bit provocative. I think that we have to realize this year and I think the program makes that very clear. Whatever good is the relationship between the Americans and the Europeans this not enough to make all the efforts and to resolve all the problems in the world that exist today. So we have to construct a sort of a core and other important players in the world, so that the world can really evolve in the direction that majority of us would like to do it. I think that the subjects that we are going to deal with in the session this year, the people who are invited, it begins to give the sentiment that we aware that w need all, not only the Americans and Europeans, to work together, but we have to enlarge our community to go to do the good things, to make the world a better place, and try to resolve that amount of suffering that is still taking place in the world. The third idea that I would like to share with you is that the transatlantic relationship cannot be stopped with eight, it is not something that is started with the end of the second World Word. I think we have to incorporate the younger generations of Europeans and Americans to understand what we are doing, why do we do it, what do we have in common, why do we have to continue to work together. And I think that many of us, who are here, we have that sentiment routed in our heart because in our youth we had a bilateral relationship with Europeans, the Americans, with theÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Americans and Europeans. Myself, I was a Fulbright scholar and from there on it is very difficult that that relationship is broke,. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I have the impression that that has to be continued and has to be continued with the Europeans and with the Americans in both directions. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â And I think this Forum can help us to continue to pass this message to the next generation. You know that Europe is going through a moment in which internal reflection is taking place and the internal reflection probably is taking place because the generation of the founding fathers that lived the terrible periods of the war and decided that in Europe it was absolutely fundamental to never again have a war among Europeans. Now the new generations of Europeans accept that as a fact of life. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â We have to convince them that as Europeans, that we the Europeans united, we have to continue fighting for peace, not peace among ourselves, because it is a fact; but cooperating with others to make peace outside our borders and we have to do it. And sometimes we have difficulty to convince the new generations of Europeans that the European values, the core values of the European Union, the project of peace has to continue. The same can be said about the transatlantic relationship. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â It's taken for granted and sometimes taken too much for granted. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â We have to work for it and the generations of Europeans have to work for that and we have to make that there to do it. Therefore, I think that the Brussels Forum, which I like that it is called Brussels Forum, because in Brussels are the institutions of the European Union, but I would not like to have the Brussels Forum, as a meeting of people from Washington and people from Brussels. It has to be from people from the United States, which is not only Washington, and not only people from Brussels, because the European Union is broader and greater than and much more diverse than Brussels only. So I think I would very much to see today not only the faces of the people that come to Brussels just once every six months, but also those who belong to the European Union, who feel European, and who want to contribute to the new European structure, which is about to be created. Now these are three ideas that I would like to pass to you and I hope that David will be able to answer these three questions. ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Thank you very much. Enjoy your meal and after dessert we'll move up to the bar area and you can see David Ignatius can answer the three questions.