(Washington, D.C.) The Hungarian American Coalition continues to be involved in issues relating to NATO and its enlargement. Board member Frank Koszorus, Jr., who spearheaded the organization’s efforts in Washington on NATO expansion, participated as a panelist in a seminar titled “The New Diplomacy: Lessons Learned from the Campaign for the First Round of NATO Enlargement.” The seminar, hosted by the United States Information Agency and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, was held on the campus of the university on November 12, 1998. It asked “practitioners, at various levels, to look at the campaign for NATO enlargement for lessons learned for the foreign affairs agencies.”
The panelist included, among others, Steve Flanagan, Senior Director for Central and Eastern Europe, National Security Council; Steve Erlanger, Chief diplomatic Correspondent, The New York Times; Penn Kemble, USIA Deputy Director; Jeremy Rosner, former Special Advisor on NATO Enlargement Ratification; Michael Haltzel, Minority Staff Director, Subcommittee on European Affairs, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Ken Meyers, Legislative Assistant for National Security and Defense for Sen. Richard Lugar; and Sally Painter, U.S. Committee to Expand NATO. Participants included officials from various foreign affairs agencies, scholars from universities and think tanks, members of the diplomatic corps, and private sector representatives.
Mr. Koszorus’ presentation focused on four points. First, he suggested that the lessons for foreign policy practitioners are that in this post Cold War and communications era, they cannot ignore the public, including groups who have unique knowledge about a particular policy issue, and they will have to continue to engage the public in building coalitions to support the policy objective in question. Second, he outlined the role of ethnic organizations, such as the Coalition and the Central and East European Coalition, in moving the expansion process forward at a time when the Administration had not fully embraced NATO enlargement and in providing grass roots support when ratification was before the Senate. Third, Mr. Koszorus reviewed the extensive debate that surrounded NATO. Finally, he reiterated the CEEC’s position of supporting the “open door” policy.