Roundtables

Data Privacy: Balancing Security & Civil Liberties

On March 18, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the European Parliament Liaison Office with the U.S. Congress, held a discussion on data protection and privacy with The Honorable Jan Philipp Albrecht, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and Rapporteur for the Data Protection Regulation and the Umbrella Agreement and The Honorable Cameron Kerry, Senior Counsel at Sidley Austin LLP and former General Counsel and Acting Secretary of the U..S Department of Commerce. Mr. Albrecht underlined that expectations on data privacy in the EU and U.S. are the same, but the main difference lies in their respective legal approaches. Mr. Albrecht encouraged a more active participation from the U.S. Congress on the issue of transatlantic data exchange, especially pertaining to data of suspects and “risky persons.” Mr. Kerry highlighted the need for the EU and U.S. to focus on common ground to move forward on the EU-U.S. Data Protection Umbrella Agreement and Safe Harbor provisions, as security and civil liberties are embedded in both the values of the EU and the U.S.

 

The Road to Paris 2015: Transatlantic Perspectives

On March 17, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the European Parliament Liaison Office with the U.S. Congress, held a meeting on the upcoming 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. In attendance was a delegation of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee. The Honorable Giovanni La Via, Chairman of the ENVI Committee opened the roundtable and underlined the importance of EU-U.S. cooperation to materialize an ambitious climate change agreement in Paris. Reid Detchon, Vice President of Energy and Climate Strategy at the United Nations Foundation then highlighted the positive momentum toward Paris, with events like the climate change marches in New York and the U.S.-China climate agreement representing a global shift on attitudes toward climate change. Lastly, Jennifer Morgan, Global Director of the Climate Program at the World Resources Institute, highlighted the positive undertakings that the U.S. has made and the opportunity for further reform with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

 

Can Europe Recover?

On February 27, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Center for Transatlantic Relations and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, hosted a discussion with The Honorable Manfred Weber, Member of the European Parliament and Chairman of the European People's Party (EPP) on the current challenges facing Europe. Regarding the EU’s economic situation, Mr. Weber emphasized the importance of building growth through the completion of the single market, especially in the energy and digital fields, as well as investments in infrastructure. As for the potential Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Mr. Weber encouraged his American counterparts to take advantage of the new European momentum for a fresh start to negotiations so that a comprehensive agreement can be reached. Mr. Weber also stressed that a strong transatlantic relationship is vital to solving the Russia-Ukraine crisis, but encouraged the further deployment of sanctions, rather than weapons to Ukraine as the next step. Mr. Weber also noted that Europe needs stronger authorities and initiatives, like the EU-wide PNR system, to counter the rise of terrorist attacks in Europe.

 

The Eurasian Economic Union: Armenia's Accession & Beyond

On March 10, 2015, The European Institute held a meeting of the Roundtable on Triangular Relations on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and future prospects for the EEU. His Excellency Tigran Sargsyan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States and former Prime Minister of Armenia presented opening remarks.  Vardan Aramyan, First Deputy Chief of Staff to Armenian President Sargsyan discussed the economic factors behind Armenia’s decision to join the EEU and Tatiana Valovaya, Minister for Integration Development & Macroeconomics at the Eurasian Economic Commission assessed the continuing evolution of the EEU, including Armenia’s accession. Klaus Botzet, Head of the Political, Development & Security Section at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States presented remarks on the European Neighborhood Policy and the future of EU-Armenian relations. In the final session, His Excellency Kadyr Toktogulov, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United States; Pavel Shidlovsky, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus; Yerkin Akhinzhanov, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan; and Mikhail Kalugin, Head of the Economic Office at the Embassy of the Russian Federation, discussed the prospects and challenges facing the EEU, including the Kyrgyz Republic’s accession later this year.

 

 

Making a Success of TTIP: The Democratic Dimension & the Role of the European Parliament

On February 3, 2015, The European Institute hosted a breakfast discussion with The Honorable Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee for International Trade.  Mr. Lange called for a fresh start to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations and highlighted key areas of concern for the European Parliament, including increased transparency on the negotiations themselves, as well as such contentious issues as Investment State Dispute Settlement provisions. Chairman Lange also applauded recent moves by the European Commission to allow more transparency in the negotiation process, but expressed doubt that negotiations would conclude by the end of this year.  A more reasonable target deadline would be mid-2016, with the cumbersome ratification process carrying well into the next U.S. Administration's tenure.

 
  • World Radio Conference Outcomes

    By Patricia Paoletta, Washington DC

    The latest World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) wrapped up in late November after four long weeks of negotiations between 3400 delegates from around 165 Member States. All in all, the WRC resulted in positive outcomes for both 5G and Wi-Fi, and will benefit both the U.S. and Europe's communications agendas, particularly with respect to the decisions on spectrum to be allocated for the all-important 5G service. The effect will be to ensure the more rapid development of the next generation of mobile broadband in a manner consistent with U.S. planning and existing development.  Debates on 5G dominated the conference, but allocations for high-altitude platform stations (“HAPS”) sought by U.S. based firms were also favorable. As a result, plans to provide additional internet service to underserved areas may be accelerated.

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UMD Jean Monnet Research Project

Infrastructure Planning and Financing: Lessons from Europe and the United States

The University of Maryland has received a Jean Monnet grant from the EU to conduct a series of policy exchanges between Europe and the US on filling infrastructure needs and the utility of public/private partnerships as the financing mechanism. If interested in participating in or receiving more information about these exchanges, please contact Rye McKenzie (rmckenzi@umd.edu).

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New from the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

"Edge of a Precipice" by Nathan Crist

"Newpolitik" by Emily Hruban

 

Summer Course