[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book I)]
[January 9, 1994]
[Pages 14-15]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks to the American Diplomatic Community in Brussels
January 9, 1994

    The President. Thank you very much. Thank you for coming. Thank you 
for playing. And thank you for waiting a little as I had the chance to 
stop downtown and talk to some citizens after I gave my speech.
    I want to tell you how very much I appreciate the work that all of 
you are doing for your country a long way from home, but at the center 
of the future we have to make together. I think in a way you're all 
fortunate to be serving in Brussels at such a pivotal point in the 
history of Europe and the history of the world. This is a remarkable 
city, the headquarters of the Commission on European Unity and Union and 
NATO. And I want to thank all of our three Ambassadors behind us for the 
work that they have done.
    The importance of our bilateral relationship with Belgium can hardly 
be overstated. Alan Blinken, I think, will represent us very well,

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particularly if all of you at the Embassy do what everybody tries to do 
at the White House every day and make sure I'm not my own worst enemy. 
[Laughter] I want to thank Bob Hunter for the work he's doing at NATO 
and say that this Partnership For Peace, contrary to what some have 
suggested, is not a weak limitation on the future of European security, 
it is a strong first step that opens the possibility of the best 
possible future for Europe in which everyone will have an opportunity to 
be a democracy and to be part of our shared security. And I want to say 
a special word of thanks to my longtime friend Stu Eizenstat for coming 
here to serve. We've worked hard to get this GATT agreement. The 
European Union is now a reality. We have to see it through; there's 
still a lot to do.
    I stopped at a little coffee shop and restaurant on the way out here 
tonight, just talked to some citizens, and I met this incredible Belgian 
lady who said, ``You're right, we've got to compete. We can't run away 
from the world.'' And she said, ``I know how hard it is economically, 
but 2 years ago I didn't have a job, and now I have my own business and 
I'm doing very well, and I'm excited about the European Union. I'm going 
to do business in other countries now.'' We've got to somehow 
communicate that spirit, that belief that we can bring this economy 
back, this whole global economy back to people here so they can believe 
in themselves. I can tell you that, back home, that is beginning to 
happen. We do have more control over our economic destiny. The deficit 
is coming down after going up for 12 years. Jobs are being created, and 
movement is there in the economy. And there is a sense that we're 
beginning to confront problems that we have ignored for way, way too 
    So I think we're coming here at a very important time and an 
appropriate time. And I guess I ought to end by apologizing to those of 
you who have had to do so much extra work because of this trip and the 
headaches I may have caused you. But believe me, it is in a worthy 
cause, and we are going to make a new future for the people of Europe 
and the people of the world so that we don't repeat the mistakes of the 
20th century in the 21st and so that we give all these children a better 
future than any generation has ever known.
    Thank you very much.

[At this point, Antoene Tixhon, Bourgmestre of Dinant, presented the 
President with a saxophone.]

    The President. In case you didn't understand it, Dinant, Belgium, is 
the home of Adolphe Sax, the man who invented the saxophone. And this 
says, ``Adolphe Sax, 1814 to 1894. To Bill Clinton, President of the 
United States.'' And it says something else, but my glasses are not 
here. [Laughter] ``Dinant, Belgium'' and----
    Bourgmestre Tixhon. ``International Year of the Saxophone.''
    The President. Yes, the international year of Adolphe Sax. And it 
points out that this wonderful horn was made in Paris by Selmer.
    Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 8:03 p.m. at the Conrad Hotel. In his 
remarks, he referred to Alan Blinken, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium; Robert 
Hunter, U.S. Ambassador to NATO; and Stuart Eizenstat, U.S. Ambassador 
to the European Union. A tape was not available for verification of the 
content of these remarks.