Roundtables

Funding Terrorism: A Swift Evolution from Micro- to Macro Economics

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.

 

Benefits & Challenges of the Eurozone: A Lithuanian Perspective

On April 17, 2015, The European Institute, in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, held a discussion on Lithuania’s adoption of the Euro and the advantages and obstacles of the Eurozone with The Honorable Andrius Kubilius, former Prime Minister of Lithuania and Leader of the Opposition in the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas), and Antonio de Lecea, Principal Advisor for Economic & Financial Affairs at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. Mr. Kubiliusstated that Lithuania’s accession to the European Monetary Union was core to his country’s strategic infrastructure integration within the Euro-Atlantic community. Although the Lithuanian economy shrank by 15% during the financial crisis, it is now boasts one of the fastest growing in Europe. Looking ahead, Mr. Kubilius noted, Lithuania will prioritize biotechnology and service industries in order to build sustainable economic growth and ensure competitiveness in the global marketplace. Beyond the considerable achievements of the European Monetary Union since its creation,  Mr. de Lecea  more needs to be done in terms of investment, structural reforms, the integration of markets and the adjustment  of legal divergences that have so far stymied the creation of a proper banking union. If all member states reformed and narrowed divergences, they would see an annual growth of 6% over the next decade. In June, the Presidents of the Council, Commission, Eurogroup and the European Central Bank will release a medium to long-term blueprint to those ends.  

 

The Evolution of the European Parliament & its Role in Curbing Tax Inversion

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.

 

TTIP & Beyond: Implications for Third Countries - An EFTA Perspective

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.

 

A Discussion with EU Ambassador David O'Sullivan

On March 26, 2015, The European Institute held a luncheon discussion with His Excellency David O’Sullivan, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to the United States. Ambassador O’Sullivan highlighted key initiatives within the European Union to spur sustainable economic growth such as the EU Investment Plan, the Energy Union, and the Digital Single Market, but he also acknowledged that Europe has its challenges, including countering Euroscepticism, negative attitudes toward migration, and such core foreign policy issues as the Ukraine crisis and growing instability in the Middle East. Ambassador O’Sullivan emphasized the need for the U.S. and the EU to take advantage of opportunities for greater transatlantic unity, such as cooperation on climate change policies in the walk-up to the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference, moving forward in addressing data protection and privacy concerns, as well as advancing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) initiative.

 
  • High Skills versus Family-Based Immigration Policy: Complex Considerations.

    By Nicholas Zill

    In the current era of rapid demographic and technological change, and massive refugee flows, there has been much debate in European nations and in the US about immigration policies. One of the major points of contention is whether preferences should be given to would-be entrants on the basis of their high skills (merit-based immigration) or their family ties to individuals already residing in the country (family reunification).

    Read more ...

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).

Read more ...

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