On June, 26, 2015, The European Institute held a luncheon in cooperation with Latvia's Presidency of the Council of the European Union with The Honorable Andris Piebalgs, European and Economic Affairs Advisor to the President of Latvia and Former European Commissioner for Development (2010-2014) and Energy (2004-2009). Mr. Piebalgs highlighted the Latvian Presidency's work to advance the EU's economic growth and competitiveness through such trade initiatives as TTIP, and stressed the importance of the Digital Single Market, the push for a stronger Energy Union, and the vital need for continued cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries. Mr. Piebalgs also addressed the main challenges the EU is facing, including the continued crisis in Ukraine and growing tensions with Russia on the EU's Eastern flank, increased illegal migration, and the implications of a possible Grexit and/or Brexit.

On June 1, 2015, The European Institute held a discussion on the EU’s approach to science diplomacy with The Honorable Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. Commissioner Moedas highlighted his efforts to embed science in the bloc’s diplomatic efforts, stressing that science diplomacy offers both Brussels and Washington a matchless opportunity to address some of the key political, demographic and environmental challenges of our age: food, water, energy and public health. A tri-dimensional effort, Commissioner Moedas said the EU is seeking to inform foreign policy objectives with scientific advice; facilitate international science cooperation through Horizon 2020, and using science cooperation to improve international relations between countries.

Click here to read Commissioner Moedas's remarks.

On June 1, 2015, The European Institute welcomed Dr. Patrick Prendergast, President and Provost of the Trinity College Dublin and Member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Dr. Prendergast detailed the goals and work of the EIT and its efforts to overcome the so-called European Innovation Paradox. He emphasized the importance of cooperation between education centers, research and industry as the key to future, sustainable  innovation. As examples, Dr. Prendergast cited the role of the Knowledge Innovation Centers (KICs) on climate, industry, energy, raw material and health and listed the two new KCIs on active aging and healthy living.  He also cited the successful public-private partnerships that Trinity College Dublin has had with creative industries and companies like Google, Twitter or Facebook and put a special focus on the idea of publicly funded innovations and R&D in the College’s new strategic plan. Finally, Dr. Prendergast underlined ongoing projects at Trinity, such as the establishment of the New Trinity Business School which will be co-located with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship hub; the “LaunchBox" project, a business incubator for undergraduates; and “FoodCloud”, a social enterprise spin-out.

Click here to read Dr. Prendergast's remarks.

On May 5, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the French Ministry of Interior, convened a workshop on the evolution of terrorist financing with leading experts in the field, including The Honorable Jean-Louis Bruguière, former High Representative of the European EU to the U.S. for the Fight against Financing of Terrorism within the framework of “Terrorism Finance Tracking Program/SWIFT”; Ismael Nevares, Jr., Narcotics and Counterterrorism Director at the IRS’s Criminal Investigations unit; Jean-Baptiste Carpentier, Director of TRACFIN at the French Ministry of Finance, and Jean Denis Pesme, Manager of the Financial Market Integrity team and Coordinator of the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative at the World Bank.

On April 13, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Secretariat, held a discussion on the implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for EFTA states. Georges Baur, Assistant Secretary-General of EFTA, presented opening remarks on the history and trade relations of EFTA, followed by a panel of experts, moderated by Michael Smart, Vice President of the Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC. The Honorable Gunnar Gunderson, Member of the Norwegian Parliament (Strotinget), discussed the economic opportunity that TTIP has for EFTA and underlined the importance for EFTA to acquire an equal preferential treatment from both the U.S. and EU. The Honorable Thomas Aeschi, Member of the Swiss House of Representatives (Nationalrat), highlighted EFTA’s openness to trade, exemplified by its current 25 FTAs with 35 countries, and encouraged a docking mechanism into TTIP for EFTA, Mexico, and Canada. Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, Founder of Summit Strategies International and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development program, outlined the premise of TTIP and the opportunity for the initiative to have an open architecture accessible to third countries. Lastly, Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, discussed the obstacles of having TTIP as an open architecture for trade, underlining that most accession clauses in FTAs have never been acted upon.

On April 9, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the European Union Parliament Liaison Office with the U.S. Congress, held a luncheon discussion with The Honorable Alain Lamassoure, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Tax Rulings. Mr. Lamassoure highlighted the democratic strides that have been made to further legitimize EU institutions since the Lisbon Treaty, and underlined the positive economic and financial governance reforms that have helped renew the European economy. He also emphasized the importance of key Juncker Commission initiatives such as the investment plan for Europe, the Energy Union and the Digital Singe towards furthering European growth and global competitiveness.  Lastly, Mr. Lamassoure advocated for a harmonized European solution as well as transatlantic cooperation on curbing corporate tax inversion, in order to promote a fair and level playing field for all companies.  Professor Joseph Cordes, Professor of Economics, Public Policy and Public Administration, and International Affairs at George Washington University moderated the discussion.

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