On October 8, 2013 The European Institute held its Annual Meeting of the Members and Board of Advsiors at the Embassy of Greece, hosted by His Excellency Christos Panagopoulos, Ambassador of Greece to the United States.  Moderated by Nova Daly, Public Policy Consultant at Wiley Rein LLP, the panelists included: Christian Burgsmüller, Head of the Energy, Environment & Transport Section at the Delegation of the European Union; Ambassador Robert Hunter, Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies; and Michael Smart, Vice President at Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC.

The panel was followed by a dinner discussion with Antoine Ripoll, Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office with the U.S. Congress, who addressed the potential implications of the Parliament’s 2014 elections for the European Project and EU-U.S. relations.

On October 2, 2013, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Belgium, hosted Michela Ritando, International Tax Expert in the Fiscal Department for Foreign Investments at the Federal Public Service Finance of Belgium, for a special meeting to discuss the pivotal role of R&D tax incentives in fostering jobs and growth, especially in this time of economic recovery. Ms. Ritando provided a comprehensive overview of the wide range of tax incentive programs that contribute to Belgium’s growing research and innovation sectors. The discussion was moderated by Stephen Ezell, Senior Analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

On September 23, 2013, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Liechtenstein, convened a private meeting with The Honorable Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Cultural Affairs of the Principality of Liechtenstein. Minister Frick and the Institute’s corporate members discussed the potential implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for Liechtenstein and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), over which the Principality currently presides.

On September 20, 2013, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria, convened a luncheon discussion with The Honorable Kristian Vigenin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.The meeting focused on the implications of the Syrian crisis for both Europe and Bulgaria. Minister Vigenin called for increased security and technical assistance to handle the steady flow of Syrian refugees to his country as well as for greater solidarity from Bulgaria’s European neighbors in providing humanitarian assistance for the refugees. He also expressed hope that a resolution could be agreed upon during the United Nations General Assembly for an effective dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons capability, and warily welcomed the marked change of tenor from Tehran’s leadership.

On September 18, 2013, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania and the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova, convened a special meeting with The Honorable Vydas Gedvilas, Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas); The Honorable Gediminas Kirkilas, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas and former Prime Minister; The Honorable Petras Auštrevicius, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas and former chief negotiator for Lithuania’s accession to the EU; Her Excellency Natalia Gherman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration for the Republic of Moldova; and His Excellency Iulian Groza, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration for the Republic of Moldova on the European Union’s Eastern Partnership and Moldova’s push for democracy. Earlier this year, Moldova and the EU finalized negotiations on an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement. Minister Gherman expressed hope that the upcoming November Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnuis would result in the initializing of these agreements and encouraged the European Union to further Moldova’s push for greater integration. The meeting was moderated by David Kramer, President Freedom House.

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