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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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President Bush becomes first American to win Schuman Medal

Photo by Tanner Garza
Former President George H.W. Bush receives the Schuman Award on Monday.
 
Photo by Tanner Garza Former President George H.W. Bush receives the Schuman Award on Monday.  

Unifying Europe by carefully maintaining relationships and picking up the phone just to have a conversation with his foreign counterparts was a skill that former President George H.W. Bush practiced throughout his presidency, and is what made him the first American recipient of the Schuman Medal.
“You need the right man at the right moment, and George Bush was the right man in the right moment,” said Elmar Brok, head of the European Parliament foreign affairs committee and presenter of the award.
The award was presented on Monday at “The 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Liberation of Eastern Europe Conference,” hosted by the Scowcroft Institute. Four hundred and fifty students, scholars and policymakers came to witness Bush receive the medal and discuss the events that surrounded the fall of the wall.
The conference was focused on recounting and analyzing the events of 1989. Policymakers of that era gave accounts of their actions of the time, while scholars looked back into history through archives and historical documents to analyze the events.
“We have a unique opportunity to be in the situation to compare the latest scientific analysis with the living memory of political figures that were here at the time,” said Jan Phillip Burgard, discussion facilitator and fellow of RIAS Berlin, a European broadcasting system.
Ryan Crocker, Bush School dean, said the variety of viewpoints was a strength of the conference.
“Different perspectives, backgrounds and nationalities gives students the ability to see how it looked from both sides of the ocean,” Crocker said.
Andrew Natsios, director of the Scowcroft Institute and an executive professor at the Bush School, said the next generation will have an impact on the international affairs of the future.
“It all depends on what the young people do after this,” Natsios said. “I think there has been some insight that policymakers in Washington might take very seriously.”
This event drew many Bush School students, such as international affairs graduate student Nate Haight, who said some of the speakers shared common sentiments about the importance of communication.
“The biggest thing, in multiple panel discussions when they talk about what it would take to improve relations between the United States and Europe in general,” Haight said. “Multiple people have given the one word answer — ‘Talk.’ We need better communication.”

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