CPD Advisory Board Member Markos Kounalakis says First Lady Barbara Bush made a difference and shares some thoughts on ways Melania can too.
"I really want to see the Tatras," said Aistė Černauskytė, a political science student from Lithuania, after having laid her eyes on the landscape of Slovakia during her bus trip to Bratislava. Aistė is one of the international students who arrived to spend a semester in Bratislava. She spent 21 hours on the bus from Vilnius, across Poland, right to the Slovak capital. "Central Europe isn't very well-known to me," says Aistė Černauskytė, who appreciates the strategically good location of Bratislava for traveling.
Central Europe continues to actively court Chinese investment. But increased coziness with Beijing comes with tradeoffs, including a loss in influence for the region’s traditional ally, the United States. [...] The question is: How much is Chinese investment worth, in terms of domestic politics and international goodwill?
Twenty-five years ago the Berlin Wall fell, and most Central European states went on to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Now that we are addressing urgent challenges in the Middle East, Ukraine, Africa, and Asia, shouldn’t U.S. public diplomacy efforts be transferred from Central Europe to these hotspots?
With scarce PD resources, can the U.S. afford to invest in Central Europe? It can't afford not to, argue Caitlin Bergin and Mieczyslaw Boduszynski.
The fifth volume of Open Europe: Cultural Dialogue Across Borders edited by Barbara Curylo, Joanna Kulska, and Aleksandra Trzcieliñska-Polus, includes a number of papers that explore the rise of new diplomatic actors, new tools used in diplomacy, and their role in humanizing international relations in Central Europe.