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The European Union’s Governance: One Year after the Treaty of Lisbon Print Email

On December 7, 2010, The Honorable Maroš Šefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration offered his assessment of the transformative changes in the European Union’s governance since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force and outlined the key challenges that lie ahead in the EU’s quest for an "ever-closer union."

The Emergence of the European External Action Service: A Belgian Perspective Print Email

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.

Annual Meeting of the Members and Board of Advisors Print Email

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.

EU Diplomatic Service to Start in December on Schedule; Parliamentary Hurdle Cleared Print Email
July 2010

The planned EU “diplomatic service” won final formal approval by the European Parliament in a landslide vote on July 8, clearing the way for the new corps – officially known as the European External Action Service -- to start work on December 1. This date means that the service will be set up within one year of its authorization by the Lisbon Treaty, sooner than many skeptics had predicted. This track record may bode well for the future of the service and its head, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, who has emerged with fresh stature after her success in speedily establishing this new corps.

U.S. Fed - Equivalent of ECB - Emerges Strengthened in Crisis Financial Reform Print Email
May 2010
J. Paul Horne   

Despite populist pressures to curtail its powers, the U.S. Federal Reserve System is now certain to remain fully independent of direct political interference in setting U.S. monetary policy. Moreover, its supervisory and regulatory powers will be extended to non-bank financial institutions (although it will have to work more collegially with other Federal regulators in this area).


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