President Bush is preparing for his first official trip to Europe-a whirlwind tour that will include stops in Poland and Spain, a meeting with European Union leaders in Sweden, the NATO summit in Belgium, and his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Slovenia.
The trip comes against a backdrop of several policy challenges for the Bush administration: a slowdown in the world economy, his controversial proposal for a national missile defense, and a lack of consensus on global warming. In his visits with European leaders, Bush will confront all of these issues, as well as the state of U.S.-European relations, clouded by the recent vote to oust America from its seat on the UN Commission on Human Rights.
The Brookings Institution will convene a panel of resident experts to assess the president’s trip as well as its implications for U.S. domestic and foreign policy and relations with western and eastern European countries.
Member - Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Former Brookings Expert
Mary and David Boies Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy - Council on Foreign Relations
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European leaders were clear in their joint call for journalistic freedom, a credible investigation [into Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged killing and dismemberment by Saudi operatives] and accountability for any wrongdoing. In stark contrast, the American president chose to parrot Saudi denials and pitch an unsubstantiated and improbable explanation.