On September 23rd, The European Institute held its Annual Meeting of the Members and Board of Advisors at the Embassy of Austria in Washington, DC. Following opening remarks by Joëlle Attinger, President of the European Institute and Sigurd Pacher, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Austria, Julieta Valls Noyes, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European & Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, gave an overview of the current U.S.-EU relations and singled out the need for stronger cooperation in light of the crisis in Ukraine, the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and possible solutions for European energy security as the areas of most immediate concern. François Rivasseau, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States,surveyed the current security challenges facing the EU with a special emphasis on its Southern and Eastern neighborhood. Everett Eissenstat, Chief International Trade Counsel for the United States Senate Finance Committee, elaborated on the significance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and Dr. William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, offered an analysis of the current events from a Russian perspective and provided his insights on the future of the relationship between Russia and the West. The discussion was moderated by The Honorable Bart Gordon, Partner at K&L Gates, LLP.
By Ryan Barnes, Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce
Separatists from Quebec to Flanders are still reeling from Scotland’s September 18th referendum in which voters chose to remain in Britain. The spillover effect from a successful Scottish push for independence, which would have provided a fillip to other like-minded movements around the world, never occurred. Secessionists in Catalonia in Northeastern Spain, home to sixteen percent of Spain’s population and nearly a fifth of its economic output, nonetheless persevere in their efforts to leave Spain.Read more...
“Don’t underestimate the resilience of the European” or of the Euro, said Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank from 2003-2011, in a wide-ranging speech last week at the European Institute in D.C. Trichet spoke not only of triumphs but also of problems and future challenges for the Euro, the European common currency that benefited considerably from Trichet’s credibility and leadership over a crucial period. (Click here for text of the speech.)Read more...
Severe turmoil makes diplomats in Haiti fear violence from government goons called Ton Ton Macoutes. Chris Hill, age ten, realizes the danger when his parents show him how to aim the loaded pistol they keep at home. “Don’t use it unless you have to,” his mother says. He doesn’t have to. The State Department soon evacuates all diplomatic dependents. That was in 1963.Read more...
On 10 September, President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled his team of 28, one for each member state of the European Union. With his promise to create a ‘more political, less technocratic’ Commission, supporters of the EU executive are hopeful that Juncker will restore the Commission’s lustre and emulate the visionary leadership of Jacques Delors, who served as European Commission President from 1984 to 1995.Read more...
At last week’s NATO summit in South Wales, there was a most prominent “absent guest” who could have been called to by any of the Western leaders, but especially by U.S. President Barack Obama:
Avaunt! and quit my sight! let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with!
But unlike the terror he felt in face of Banquo’s ghost, Macbeth declared himself able to deal with “…the rugged Russian bear…” (or also, stated here for the record, “… th' Hyrcan [Iranian] tiger…”)Read more...
Net Neutrality Event 8/6/14. (Scroll down) Video recording of presentation by Scott Marcus at the Internet Society-DC, on the complexities of the net neutrality issue, too often reduced to slogans “pro and con.” Marcus, a principal at WIK Consult, also authoritatively discusses the substantial differences in the way the issue of net neutrality is addressed in the U.S. and Europe. Recommended by Mike Nelson, adjunct professor at Georgetown University and member of The Board of Directors of the European Institute.
“Collapse of the World Order?, The Emergence of a Polycentric World and Its Challenges,” by Alexei Arbatov, Director of the International Security Center at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. A rigorous, nuanced and balanced assessment of the Ukraine crisis by a leading Russian scholar and former member of the State Duma, and its impact on Russian relations with the West. Recommended by “European Affairs.”
“The Experience of African Migrant Workers in Italy,” by Nicole Crowder, Washington Post Sept. 18. A compelling photo essay on the perils facing African immigrants who make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean in shoddy life rafts from Tripoli, Libya. Recommended by European Affairs.
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