On May 11, The European Institute welcomed The Honorable Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, to a breakfast roundtable on the challenges faced by the United States and European Union in maintaining a competitive edge in today’s global economy.  Vice President Tajani shared his perspective on strengthening cooperation between American and European businesses and outlined key elements necessary to facilitate a “third industrial revolution,” including greater global economic integration and increased access to finance for small and medium enterprises. Fabio Franchina, President of Cosmetics Europe, and a member of the high-ranking European business delegation that accompanied Vice President Tajani on this “Mission for Growth,” also offered his perspectives. The discussion was moderated by Frédéric Badey, Senior Director of International Public Affairs Coordination at Sanofi.

On May 8, The European Institute, in partnership with the European Parliament, welcomed Dr. Christian Ehler, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the United States, to a breakfast discussion on the challenges and opportunities for greater transatlantic cooperation on cybersecurity. Stressing that cybersecurity has become a priority issue on the European agenda, Dr. Ehler underlined the need to strengthen private-public partnerships to develop and implement coordinated response strategies to the escalating risks of cyber attacks.  Christopher Painter, U.S. Department of State Coordinator for Cyber Issues and John Cosgrove, Deputy Cyber Exercise Lead of SRA International’s Cyber Security and Risk Analytics Division, both presented their perspectives on the future of transatlantic cooperation on this critical front and echoed Dr. Ehler’s call for greater public-private coordination. The discussion was moderated by Andy Purdy, Chief Cybersecurity Strategist for CSC.

On April 23, The European Institute welcomed His Excellency Sir Peter John Westmacott, British Ambassador to the United States, to a private discussion of Britain’s changing role within the EU and the attendant implications for relations between his country, the European Union, and the United States. Ambassador Westmacott was introduced by Yves-André Istel, Senior Advisor for Rothschild, Inc. and Co-Chair of The European Institute’s Board of Directors.

By European Affairs

After years of transatlantic debate, the controversial U.S.-EU passenger name record agreement was finally ratified on April 19 by the European Parliament by a wide majority of 409 votes in favor, 226 against and 33 abstentions.

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On April 19, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Latvia, welcomed Andris Vilks, Latvian Finance Minister, Ilmars Rimševics, Governor of the Bank of Latvia, and Jeffrey Baker, Director of the Office of Europe and Eurasia of the U.S. Treasury Department, to a roundtable breakfast discussion on Latvia’s economic recovery and its lessons.  Emphasizing key qualities in their government’s approach, Mr. Vilks and Mr. Rimševics explained how these might be applied towards wider strategies involving other European nations in crisis.  Mr. Baker singled the flexibility of its labor market as being instrumental to Latvia’s turnaround.

On April 17th, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Latvia and the Embassy of the Russian Federation, held a breakfast discussion on the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) and its potential transformation into a key economic and commercial transcontinental corridor.  Panel speakers, including Aivis Ronis, Latvian Minister of Transportation; Oleg Stepanov, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Russian Federation; Antonio de Lecea, Principal Adviser at the Delegation of the European Union; The Honorable Robert Hormats, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; and Susan Kurland, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Transportation, offered their perspectives on current efforts to shift the NDN from a military logistics system into a viable commercial link between Afghanistan and the international community.  Beyond economic benefits, the panel speakers indicated that the harmonization of regional attitudes, as well as transnational movement of ideas, promise to be products of this ongoing process to establish a “modern Silk Road.”

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