The Roundtable on Financial and Economic Affairs will focus on financial reforms under consideration in both Europe and the United States in wake of the global financial crisis and the implications within Europe, as well as on a concerted and effective transatlantic approach. The program will also consider the divergent responses to the economic crisis and the ramifications within the European Union and for the United States, the future of the euro-zone, and the relationship between the dollar and the euro. Issues related to CFIUS and protecting the integrity of the electronic banking systems will also be included in this program.

Recent Meetings:

On April 22, 2010 The European Institute's Transatlantic Roundtable on Financial and Economic Affairs held a special luncheon meeting with The Honorable Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. In his first official visit to the United States since assuming this critical portfolio, Commissioner Rehn addressed the European Union’s efforts to restore financial stability and stimulate economic growth in the face of an unprecedented sovereign debt crisis. Speaking with Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor-at-large at Thomson Reuters, he outlined the actions taken to address Greece’s looming insolvency: fiscal consolidation and agreement on a euro area mechanism of coordinated conditional financial assistance for Greece. Commissioner Rehn emphasized his confidence in the cooperation between the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. He downplayed concerns about debt crisis contagion in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, reminding participants that rising debt levels were in part the natural consequence of the stimulus packages enacted in response to the financial crisis, and that Greece is a special case. Commissioner Rehn reiterated his call to grant audit powers to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency. He urged strengthening of the economic governance of the euro area through reinforcement of the Stability and Growth pact; broadening economic and fiscal surveillance to help rectify macroeconomic imbalances; and the establishment of a permanent crisis resolution mechanism. Commissioner Rehn also  addressed financial sector reform proposals on both sides of the Atlantic, stressing the importance of coordinating such policies not only within the transatlantic context, but also within the G-20 framework.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.


On February 23, 2010, The European Institute held a special breakfast meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Financial and Monetary Affairs with His Excellency Vassilis Kaskarelis, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, who spoke about the implications of Greece’s financial crisis.

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Convened on the eve of the IMF and World Bank Spring meetings, this seminar gathered U.S. and European policy-makers to discuss the role of transatlantic cooperation in turning the crisis into an opportunity for better global financial governance. The need for closer regulatory coordination between the United States and the European Union emerged as a widely-shared conclusion among the participants, including The Honorable Paul Kanjorski, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises and Stefano Manservisi, Director General, DG Development, The European Commission. Willy Kiekens, Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund, and Elizabeth Jacobs, Deputy Director, Office of International Affairs, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission outlined the priorities of their respective organization. The Honorable Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Central Bank Governing Council and Governor of the Bank of Finland echoes this call for increased coordination between the US and Europe, as well as among European States. The Honorable Luc Frieden, Minister of the Treasury for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg offered the luncheon keynote address. The meeting was moderated by Daniel Duncan, Senior Director of Government Affairs, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

The Roundtable featured a delegation from the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee including:  The Honorable Pervenche Berès, Chairwoman of the Committee, The Honorable John Purvis, Vice-Chairman of the Committee, The Honorable Wolf Klinz, The Honorable Ieke van de Burg and The Honorable Mariela Baeva.  In light of the recent call to establish a European Systematic Risk Council as an early warning system and the upcoming G20 summit in London, the participants engaged in a vivid discussion on the right balance of regulation, surveillance, stimulus packages and bailouts as well as on the possible resulting distortions in the market. The delegation discussed the current financial crises and reform proposals for the regulatory framework of the financial sector.  Presenting a U.S. perspective, Ethiopis Tafara, Director of International Affairs of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission addressed the need for collective action regarding financial regulation in light of the upcoming G20 summit in London – but also stressed the importance of finding common parameters rather than identical solutions.  Oliver Moss, Senior Vice President at Bank of America moderated the discussion.

Jürgen Thumann, European Co-Chair of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue reviewed the achievements of the TEC, and offered an outlook on the future of transatlantic economic cooperation, in light of the current upheaval in the global financial sector and the emerging priorities of the incoming U.S. Administration. As one of three members of the TEC’s Group of Advisers, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue plays a central role in communicating the private sector’s priorities for achieving transatlantic economic integration. On the occasion of this summer’s US-EU Summit, the TABD stressed four areas of particular importance: investment protectionism; fostering innovation with strong protection of intellectual property; facilitating the freest possible movement of people and goods within transatlantic borders, and enhancing cooperation on energy supply and climate change.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.