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

On November 17, 2010, the European Institute hosted a luncheon meeting of the European-American Policy Forum in cooperation with Notre Europe, a Paris-based think tank devoted to European integration. The Honorable Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, President of Notre Europe and former Minister of Economy and Finance of Italy, presented Notre Europe’s recently released report, Reshaping EU-U.S. Relations. Informed by a task force of high-ranking former European statesmen and ministers, the report seeks to redefine the EU-U.S. relationship in the face of a rapidly evolving international context, fuelled by globalization. Many contemporary global issues, such as climate change and economic governance, can no longer be addressed on a unilateral or bilateral basis. Indeed, the Euro-American relationship should become a platform for forging global partnerships, rather than a means of asserting Western leadership. For both the EU and the United States, this new paradigm will mean working together in support of multilateralism as the basis for international negotiations, and promoting shared sovereignty in the management of global issues.

On November 16, 2010, the European Institute held a special breakfast meeting of the European-American Policy Forum with The Honorable Valdis Birkavs, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia. Mr. Birkavs and Søren Gade, Former Minister of Defense of Denmark, co-chaired the recently released Nordic-Baltic 8 (NB8) Wise Men Report, which lays out detailed proposals to further cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries. Stressing the geopolitical significance of the NB8 partnership, Mr. Birkavs urged greater cooperation on foreign and security policy, and called for the NB8 to achieve greater cooperation with the U.S and Russia, within the context of NATO, and on such other areas of strategic importance as energy security and sustainable economic growth.  Following Mr. Birkavs’ remarks, Pamela Quanrud, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Karin Olofsdotter, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden, and Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, offered their own perspectives on NB8 cooperation.

On November 9, 2010, Jean-Arthur Régibeau, Political Director of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offered his perspective on the emergence of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and its impact on the transatlantic relationship. Under Belgium’s rotating Presidency of the European Union, implementation of the Lisbon Treaty has been a top priority, and the steady evolution of the EEAS is a notable accomplishment. High Representative Catherine Ashton has selected her senior management team, which will lead the formation of a European diplomatic corps; a process which Mr. Régibeau estimated will take three to four years. Members of the EEAS will consist of highly-qualified officials from all of the EU institutions and Member States, and it will aim to have a fair representation of men and women, as well as diplomats from each Member State. They will report directly to the High Representative; a line of command that Mr. Régibeau argued will provide a unifying element and allow the service to be more than the sum of its parts. However, he cautioned, the commensurate evolution of a common European foreign policy may take as long as a decade. In time, however, the EEAS and its mpact on the EU’s foreign policy may eventually be comparable to that of the European Monetary Union.

On September 30, 2010, The European Institute held its Annual Meeting of the Members and Board of Advisors at the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  Discussions focused on U.S. and European efforts to enact comprehensive financial regulatory measures, strengthen economic governance and spur sustainable economic growth. Moderated by Timothy Keeler, Counsel at Mayer Brown LLP, the expert panel included Mark Sobel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Finance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Antonio de Lecea, Minister - Principal Advisor for Economic and Financial Affairs at the Delegation of the European Union; Matthias Sonn, Minister of Economics and Science at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; and Jeffrey Skeer, International Relations Specialist in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy.

The panel was followed by a dinner and a lively discussion with David Mark, Senior Editor at Politico and, about the U.S. Mid-Term Elections and their Potential Implications.

The European Institute held a meeting with The Honorable Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and The Honorable Bart Gordon, Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss the pivotal roles that research and innovation play in spurring sustainable economic growth and job creation. The first Commissioner responsible for Innovation, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn emphatically stressed the importance of greater transatlantic cooperation, saying that the case for collaboration in research and innovation has never been greater. A new European Research and Innovation Strategy will be  formulated by this fall, and will seek to encourage both private investment and public-private initiatives to meet the 3% of GDP target for R&D. Chairman Gordon, author of the America COMPETES Act, which must be re-authorized this year, echoed the importance of increased investment in research and development in the U.S. within the next ten years, as well as the need for greater international cooperation. Both Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn and Chairman Gordon agreed that increased transatlantic cooperation is not only important to the development of their respective research and innovation agendas, but central to the transatlantic partnership’s ability to shape the future of global R&D.  The discussion was moderated by Dr. Michael Nelson, Visiting Professor of Internet Studies at Georgetown University.