June 4, 2006
The year 2006 marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the French-American Foundation. In the 30 years prior to the founding of our organization, every schoolchild in America and Western Europe knew that the Atlantic Alliance was essential to safeguarding world peace, individual liberty and Western civilization.
That is not at all obvious today, especially not to the generation that has come of age since the end of the Cold War. In a globalized world there is every risk that our countries could dissolve into a values-free void where nations are respected only for their competitive advantage and
individuals esteemed only for their marginal utility. The humanist principles of Western civilization must be articulated and defended. A strong France in a strong Europe must recapture the attention and energy of the United States; together they must reassert the universal values that France and America do fundamentally represent; and together they must take on the global challenges of the 21st century, enhancing the unity of the West and its leadership in world affairs. The French-American Foundation has an increasing role to play, not only through our programs but also through the projection of our own voice, visibility and influence, in promoting the unity of the West through a vibrant trans-Atlantic partnership anchored by a thriving French-American relationship.