This series serves as a vital source of information for both European and American policymakers, who utilize this platform to introduce and explain policies that have direct bearing on the U.S. and EU governments, the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament, EU member states, business executives and other relevant parties. At this time of uncommon challenges and change, The Institute promotes greater understanding between key public and private sector leaders on issues of common concern and helps develop effective and mutually beneficial solutions. At its best, the Forum serves to diffuse contentious rhetoric on sensitive policy issues and advance the transatlantic dialogue in a constructive direction.

Recent Meetings

A delegation from the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy that included The Hon. Catherine Trautmann (MEP–France), Vice-Chair and The Hon. Giles Chichester, Member of the Committee, along with The Hon. Jonathan Evans (MEP-UK), Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with the U.S. discussed the effectiveness of the European ETS as well as transatlantic cooperation on energy and climate change issues. Participants included  James Slutz, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy and Angelos Pangratis, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Commission. There was a consensus that although there are problems with the current ETS, it does work and it is a positive initiative toward developing new technologies.

H.E. Pierre Vimont, newly appointed Ambassador of France to the United States, discussed President Nicolas Sarkozy’s goals for the EU, as France assumes the presidency of the European Council in the latter part of 2008. The European Union should focus on four points: economic growth; internal security and the growing concerns about immigration; environmental protection and climate change; external relations and the EU’s role in the international community. Ambassador Vimont stressed that the EU needs to “put its house in order” and decide on the new constitution, a common defense policy, and enlargement. France has proposed the creation of a committee of “wisemen” to address these difficult issues.

Robert Daul, MEP, Chairman of the Group of the European People's Party and European Democrats for the European parliament, met with a small group of Institute members and guests and shared his views of the impact the new French government let by President Nicolas Sarkozy will have on the future of the European Union and transatlantic relations.

This special meeting with Cong. Robert Wexler, Chairman of the Europe Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Members of the Subcommittee, including Congressmen Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Ranking Member; John S. Tanner (D-TN) and Albio Sires (D-NJ), was an occasion for members of The European Institute, including the Ambassadors of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Slovakia, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, to learn more about the Subcommittee’s agenda and potential hearing schedule, as well as to exchange views with the Subcommittee members. The meeting was chaired by Jacqueline Grapin, The European Institute’s Founder and Chairman of the Board. Issues addressed included the Visa Waiver program, Turkey’s accession to the EU, container screening and trade security and improving U.S.-EU relations.

His Excellency Klaus Scharioth, Ambassador of Germany to the United States, outlined the priorities of the German Presidency of the European Union, which runs  January-June, 2007. He address a number of areas the Presidency will tackle, including the EU Constitution and enlargement, climate change, instability in the Middle East and global trade challenges such as intellectual property rights protections. He emphasized the need for a more cohesive transatlantic strategy on these and other global concerns and noted that transatlantic partnerships are vital to the success of the Presidency’s goals on these issues.

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