The Honorable Micheál Martin, TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland addressed the second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the impact the European Union has had on Ireland, and the significance of the Treaty for the transatlantic relationship. He highlighted the importance of climate change, energy security and the economy as key global issues the European Union continues to tackle. Underlining the need for a coherent European voice to drive global policy on critical matters, he noted that the European Union is an evolutionary process and that now is the time for the EU to emerge with a unified vision for progress.

As French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party exceeded expectations to win 28.5% of the vote the European parliamentary elections, a top-level delegation from the French National Assembly’s Committee for European Affairs, led by Pierre Lequiller, UMP Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Committee for European Affairs, assessed the implications of these elections on Europe’s governance, and offered their perspectives on prospects for greater transatlantic cooperation on economic, security and environmental issues. The delegation included Michel Herbillon, Vice-Chairman of the Committee for European Affairs; Bernard Deflesselles, Second Vice President of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) Group of the National Assembly and Member of the Committee for European Affairs; and Jerome Lambert, Member of the Commission of Laws and the Committee for European Affairs.
The Honorable Péter Balázs, Foreign Minister for the Republic of Hungary, discussed the challenges facing Hungary during this current economic downturn and their impact on Europe and the transatlantic relationship. He also reviewed the results of the European Parliamentary elections and their implications for the future of Europe.
“Russia matters” — to the future success of U.S. international relations. That keynote phrase in a policy speech by William J. Burns is music to the ears of most ambassadors of the European Union member-states in Washington. To them, it put flesh on the bones of the Obama administration’s promise to seek improved relations with Moscow.

Read More

Hosted at the Embassy of Finland, this meeting was convened on the 10th Anniversary of the European Union’s Common Strategy on Russia and in anticipation of the upcoming EU-Russia Summit in May and the U.S.-Russia Summit in July, and included a review of Finland’s recently-released Action Plan for Russia. As both Europe and the United States ramp up diplomatic efforts, the pivotal implications of Russia’s economic, energy and security policies have spurred the need for a more coordinated and complimentary transatlantic approach. Participants included His Excellency Pekka Lintu, Ambassador of Finland to the United States; Maimo Henriksson, Director of the Unit for Russia at Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Hiski Haukkala, Special Advisor for the Unit of Policy Planning and Research at Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Luc Véron, Minister-Counselor and Head of the Political and Development Section for the Delegation of the European Commission; and Samuel Charap, Fellow for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress and Visiting Fellow for the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.