Washington, 28 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. President Bill Clinton urged Americans and Europeans to a joint effort to create a Europe where all nations speak the language of democracy and where no nation is ever excluded from joining what he called "our alliance of values."
He called on the successful nations of Western Europe to work with the United States in strengthening the economic and political systems of the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Clinton spoke in the Hague in the Netherlands in a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-funded Marshall Plan, a recovery program that helped rebuild 16 Western European nations after World War II. He said the United States and Western Europe must complete what he called a noble journey by carrying out the spirit of the Marshall Plan in the former communist countries.
The president did not propose any new aid programs for the region. Instead, he called for continued government and private sector support for free market programs and democratic institution programs.
Clinton said the dawn of a new democracy is lighting the way to a new Europe in a new century, and he said the United States and Europe must make sure that no one is left behind.