On December 17, 2012, The European Institute held its Annual Ambassadors' Dinner honoring The Honorable Robert Hormats, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment. Under Secretary Hormats highlighted key opportunities for greater U.S.-EU economic cooperation in the coming year, including the prospects and challenges of reaching a comprehensive trade agreement. The event was co-hosted by the 36 European Ambassadors of the Ambassadorial Host Committee.

Click here to read Secretary Hormats's remarks.

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.

The European Institute hosted The Honorable Eric Hirschhorn, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, who discussed the challenges facing the implementation of President Obama’s export control initiative and the implications for the transatlantic trade relationship.  Under Secretary Hirschhorn said that the President’s initiative will not only streamline export control processes but will also cut the number of items protected by current controls and require licenses for fewer components.  The Under Secretary emphasized that the reforms under consideration should not place any additional legal burden on U.S. companies, and that the Administration's goal is to make the process less cumbersome and more hospitable to growing the export market.  Under Secretary Hirschhorn remained hopeful that the U.S. Congress would take up the export control legislation this year, or at the latest, early next year.

Click here to read the full text of Under Secretary Hirschhorn's remarks.

On his maiden visit to the United States in his current capacity, The Honorable Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services discussed ongoing efforts in both Europe and the United States to restructure financial services:  measures made all the more contentious in light of the sovereign debt crisis affecting member states of the European Union and the Eurogroup.  Mark Sobel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Monetary and Financial Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; James Chanos, Chairman of the Coalition of Private Investment Companies; Patrick Herman, Minister-Counselor for Economics at the Embassy of Belgium; and Julie Chon, Senior Advisor to Chairman Christopher Dodd on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee then participated in a panel discussion regarding the U.S., EU and private sector perspectives on the new proposed financial regulations.  Frank Kelly, Managing Director and Head of Government Affairs – Americas at Deutsche Bank and The Honorable Clay Lowery, Vice President of International Government Affairs at Cisco served as moderators for the discussion.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

 Click here for the full text of Commissioner Barnier's keynote address, "Building a New Financial Framework Together."

On April 22, 2010 The European Institute's Transatlantic Roundtable on Financial and Economic Affairs held a special luncheon meeting with The Honorable Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. In his first official visit to the United States since assuming this critical portfolio, Commissioner Rehn addressed the European Union’s efforts to restore financial stability and stimulate economic growth in the face of an unprecedented sovereign debt crisis. Speaking with Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor-at-large at Thomson Reuters, he outlined the actions taken to address Greece’s looming insolvency: fiscal consolidation and agreement on a euro area mechanism of coordinated conditional financial assistance for Greece. Commissioner Rehn emphasized his confidence in the cooperation between the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. He downplayed concerns about debt crisis contagion in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, reminding participants that rising debt levels were in part the natural consequence of the stimulus packages enacted in response to the financial crisis, and that Greece is a special case. Commissioner Rehn reiterated his call to grant audit powers to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency. He urged strengthening of the economic governance of the euro area through reinforcement of the Stability and Growth pact; broadening economic and fiscal surveillance to help rectify macroeconomic imbalances; and the establishment of a permanent crisis resolution mechanism. Commissioner Rehn also  addressed financial sector reform proposals on both sides of the Atlantic, stressing the importance of coordinating such policies not only within the transatlantic context, but also within the G-20 framework.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

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