The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), representing over 20 million Americans of central and eastern European heritage, is writing to express our concern over the prospect of withdrawing large numbers of American troops from Germany. Such a move would directly weaken the security of frontline states like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland – and of the United States and the rest of NATO by extension; reduce U.S. influence in Europe; and embolden Russian President Putin to continue or increase his aggressive policies that threaten European democracy and transatlantic security.
These U.S. forces in Germany are what give operational credibility to American and NATO forces operating out of Poland and the Enhanced Forward Presence battalions in the Baltic nations. Many members of our communities have served in the U.S. armed forces, often in the European theater, and understand that Germany holds a unique position in the transatlantic alliance. Cleary, it has not yet increased its defense spending to the 2% threshold members pledged over ten years at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales. At the same time, the German government has allowed the U.S. and other allies to build bases, airfields, hospitals and communities, and host tens of thousands of servicemembers and their families, on German soil. This is an indispensable contribution to the success of NATO and the deterrence the alliance has enforced since 1949. The infrastructure and force presence established in Germany cannot be reduced or replicated elsewhere without compromising the military power they have come to represent.
NATO’s continued success depends on solidarity and strengthening the trust and relationships built among its allies over seven decades. Withdrawing U.S. forces from Germany would gravely undermine that trust and those relationships. The CEEC calls for U.S. policy and action that uphold the long history of American leadership in NATO to ensure that transatlantic security remains strong and effective. To this end, we ask that U.S. force levels in Germany remain at their current levels or higher.
The CEEC was established in 1994 and represents more than 20 million American voters whose heritage lies in this region. Its member organizations cooperate in calling attention to issues of mutual concern, especially as regards United States policy toward Central and East Europe. The CEEC regularly shares its concerns and ideas with the United States Congress and Administration.
We thank you for your consideration on this vitally important issue to U.S. national security. Please contact the undersigned at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
On behalf of the CEEC,
Karin A. Shuey
Commander, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Washington, DC Director
Estonian American National Council
Cc: Secretary of Defense
Secretary of State
Chairman and Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
Chairman and Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee
Statement regarding the E&C Joint Subcommittee Hearing on Disinformation
Washington, DC (June 22, 2020) ---- The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) welcomes and strongly supports the June 24 discussion on online disinformation, announced by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The CEEC stresses that fighting disinformation and promoting media literacy is crucial in the fast-changing media environment. CEEC members share much experience with dealing with and identifying the distorting effects of Russian disinformation.
In fighting disinformation, coordination and information-sharing is key, because many of the tactics and tools are similar across the world, no matter the geographical borders. That is why the CEEC encourages exchanges of best practices and even stronger cooperation between the United States and NATO, including efforts, for instance, within the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, based in Riga, Latvia.
We encourage strong U.S. cooperation with European allies where we have seen good examples of work in exposing Russian disinformation and false narratives. For instance, the European Union's External Action Service Task Force, dedicated to exposing Russian disinformation, provides new information and analysis on a regular basis.
In fighting disinformation, accountability of social media platforms is also crucial. Therefore, the CEEC supports a unified response within the U.S. and its transatlantic allies in NATO and Europe, in terms of coordinating the actions towards holding social media companies accountable, from both a legal framework and practical approach. A common Code of Practice against disinformation, currently in place within the European Union, could be one of such examples for cooperation.
May 6, 2020
CEEC Advocacy Day
June 13, 2019
The Central and East European Coalition is holding an advocacy day to meet with Senators and Representatives from DC, Maryland and Virginia. Local DC area community members are encouraged to join us as constituents to discuss issues important to U.S. policy for the CEE region.
CEEC Advocacy Week - September 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 8, 2018
Washington, DC (CEEC) – During the week of September 17th, The Central and Eastern European Coalition (CEEC) will hold a timely in district advocacy week. This endeavor is especially critical considering the recent NATO Summit.
NATO remains salient to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to deter threats from the Russian Federation. CEE members in NATO provide key support and a rising number (Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania) are providing 2% of their GDP towards defense spending to address the new realities. The Eastern flank of Europe remains nevertheless exposed to the Putin regime’s continuous aggressive disregard for international law and attempts to disrupt the post-WWII liberal international order.
The CEEC encourages the active participation of all our communities in promoting the need for greater U.S. foreign policy engagement in Central and Eastern Europe. This advocacy week will provide an opportunity for members of our communities to meet and advocate issues of mutual interest.
For further information, please contact the CEEC via email at email@example.com or by calling (301) 340-1954.
Central and East European Coalition Questions Controversial Concert
Central and East European Coalition
Russia on NATO’s Doorstep:
The West's Response to the
to examine the execution, outcomes and aftermath of Russia’s large-scale
Zapad 2017 military exercise
Ambassador Kurt Volker, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations
Stephen Blank, American Foreign Policy Council Senior Fellow for Russia
John Lenczowski, President, Institute of World Politics
Coalition Moderator: Mamuka Tsereteli, Georgian Association in the U.S.A.
CEEC and it's organizations have often met with Sen. McCain over the years.
July 27, 2017
In light of the unexpected recent news about his health, the Central and East European Coalition wishes Sen. John McCain well in his fight with cancer. We express thanks to the Senator for his dedicated support for allies in Europe. A great friend to the region, and an outstanding public servant, his record upholds American values, and he serves as a role model for all.
The Central East and European Coalition
[The CEEC has submitted the following questions to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in advance of the January 11, 2017 nomination hearing of Mr. Rex Wayne Tillerson
Questions for the Senate Hearing to Confirm the
Nomination for Secretary of State
2. What is your position on the sanctions against Russia with respect to both Ukraine and Crimea?
3. How do you view NATO’s role in countering Russian aggression? What is your position on maintaining U.S./NATO equipment and troops permanently in CEE? Please provide specifics.
4. Where do you stand on NATO enlargement, to include countries such as Georgia and Ukraine?
5. What is your position on the Visa Waiver Program’s expansion to include other CEE countries, such as Poland? How would you make that happen?
6. Considering Russia's long history of using gas and oil as means of political and economic pressure, what is your position on U.S. assistance to ensure energy security and independence in the CEE region?
7. What should the Administration's priorities be on countering and exposing foreign disinformation, cyber-, and information warfare? How can the U.S. be more effective in fighting on this front? What interagency efforts are needed to be more successful?
8. What is your position on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? Are you in favor of moving forward with these negotiations? If so, what do you think are the key provisions that would benefit the U.S.?
9. Do you consider Russia’s policies toward Central and Eastern Europe as being inimical or at least potentially inimical to U.S. national interests? If so, what concrete Russian policies do you consider as being contrary to U.S. geo-political interests in the region. How will the Trump administration address Russian policies in furtherance of its plans to make America great again?
10. Do you believe that U.S. interests are best served and cement long-standing friendships when Washington publicly lectures Central and Eastern European NATO allies about their internal matters, as the current Administration has done?
11. As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States plays a critical role in maintaining stability in the South Caucasus region through its mediation of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. While OSCE Co-Chairs have determined there is no military solution to the conflict, Azerbaijan continues to violate the 1994/5 cease-fire agreements and has committed ISIS-style atrocities. How will you hold Azerbaijan accountable for its actions and ensure a peaceful and just resolution to this conflict?
12. 2015 marked the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, which was condemned as a crime against humanity by the Allied Powers as it occurred, but which Turkey denies to this day. Pope Francis publicly affirmed the Armenian Genocide stating it is an open wound that must be healed. What steps will you take to end its denial and reaffirm the proud chapter in U.S. diplomatic history to help save the survivors of the first genocide of the twentieth century?
The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), representing more than 20 million Central and Eastern European Americans, strongly backs the United States' continued unconditional commitment to upholding the NATO Treaty as well as U.S. support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all Central and Eastern European nations. Our organization stands firm in its belief that America's close cooperation with all NATO allies and partners is fundamental to ensuring U.S. and European security. The CEEC urges both the current and future Administrations to continue developing allied relations with all NATO members and transatlantic partners, and to take such action as deemed necessary to maintain security of the Alliance, including the European Reassurance Initiative.