On November 4, 2015, The European Institute hosted a breakfast discussion with The Honorable Timothy Kirkhope, rapporteur for the relocation of refugees on the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs and the Conservative Party’s spokesman on Justice and Home Affairs at the European Parliament.  Mr. Kirkhope assessed the Syrian refugee crisis, and stated that a “firm but fair” approach to the situation was needed to maintain order and stability. Mr. Kirkhope also stressed the need for the EU to allocate additional resources to member states with external borders of the EU in order to help them accommodate the flood of new arrivals, while bolstering the availability of legal channels through which refugees can make formal applications for asylum within Europe.

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.

jacquelinegrapin2013.smCitizens of the 28 countries members of the European Union are getting ready to elect representatives to the European Parliament-- at the end of May 2014. For the first time since European parliamentary elections began in 1979, the results will have a direct influence on the choice of the president of the European Commission as he will be “elected” by the new parliament following nomination by the European Council which, in turn, is supposed to reflect the result of the election. Each of the two main political parties have designated their candidates: former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and President of the Eurogroup Jean Claude Juncker for the European Peoples’ Party, and current President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz for the Party of European Socialists.

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garretmartinWhile it is too early to say that the creation of the European External Action Service two and a half years ago has created a truly coordinated European foreign policy, it is very much correct to say that the Lady Catherine Ashton, who has headed that organization since its founding, has become a significant player in international diplomacy.   Her several successes have been recently capped by her role in Iran nuclear deal, where she played a hands-on and critical part in bringing the historic agreement to fruition. She has been widely praised for being the key interlocutor with Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif in the talks, which involved long hours of discussion between just the two of them. And when the agreement was announced and signed, it was Ashton and Zarif who met at the Geneva’s Palais des Nations to formally sign the pact.

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On October 29, 2013, The European Institute in cooperation with the European Parliament Liaison Office with the U.S. Congress convened a breakfast discussion with The Honorable Jan Philipp Albrecht, Rapporteur for the EU Regulation on Data Protection on the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs (LIBE) and Commissioner Julie Brill, U.S. Federal Trade Commissioner. The meeting focused on the implications of recently revealed NSA data collection and the surveillance of EU citizens for transatlantic cyber-security cooperation. Particular attention was paid to the sustainability of the Safe Harbor Agreement, the impact of the EU’s Regulation on Data Protection, which recently passed through the LIBE Committee, as well as the potential effects of the revelations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership initiative. The discussion was moderated by Jim Halpert, Partner at DLA Piper.

Click here to read Commissioner Brill's remarks.