On March 10, 2015, The European Institute held a meeting of the Roundtable on Triangular Relations on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and future prospects for the EEU. His Excellency Tigran Sargsyan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States and former Prime Minister of Armenia presented opening remarks. Vardan Aramyan, First Deputy Chief of Staff to Armenian President Sargsyan discussed the economic factors behind Armenia’s decision to join the EEU and Tatiana Valovaya, Minister for Integration Development & Macroeconomics at the Eurasian Economic Commission assessed the continuing evolution of the EEU, including Armenia’s accession. Klaus Botzet, Head of the Political, Development & Security Section at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States presented remarks on the European Neighborhood Policy and the future of EU-Armenian relations. In the final session, His Excellency Kadyr Toktogulov, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United States; Pavel Shidlovsky, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus; Yerkin Akhinzhanov, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan; and Mikhail Kalugin, Head of the Economic Office at the Embassy of the Russian Federation, discussed the prospects and challenges facing the EEU, including the Kyrgyz Republic’s accession later this year.
On February 27, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Center for Transatlantic Relations and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, hosted a discussion with The Honorable Manfred Weber, Member of the European Parliament and Chairman of the European People's Party (EPP) on the current challenges facing Europe. Regarding the EU’s economic situation, Mr. Weber emphasized the importance of building growth through the completion of the single market, especially in the energy and digital fields, as well as investments in infrastructure. As for the potential Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Mr. Weber encouraged his American counterparts to take advantage of the new European momentum for a fresh start to negotiations so that a comprehensive agreement can be reached. Mr. Weber also stressed that a strong transatlantic relationship is vital to solving the Russia-Ukraine crisis, but encouraged the further deployment of sanctions, rather than weapons to Ukraine as the next step. Mr. Weber also noted that Europe needs stronger authorities and initiatives, like the EU-wide PNR system, to counter the rise of terrorist attacks in Europe.
On February 3, 2015, The European Institute hosted a breakfast discussion with The Honorable Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee for International Trade. Mr. Lange called for a fresh start to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations and highlighted key areas of concern for the European Parliament, including increased transparency on the negotiations themselves, as well as such contentious issues as Investment State Dispute Settlement provisions. Chairman Lange also applauded recent moves by the European Commission to allow more transparency in the negotiation process, but expressed doubt that negotiations would conclude by the end of this year. A more reasonable target deadline would be mid-2016, with the cumbersome ratification process carrying well into the next U.S. Administration's tenure.
On November 20, 2014, The European Institute organized a breakfast event with Damien Levie, Head of the Trade & Agriculture Section at the Delegation of the European Union and Angela Ellard, Committee Chief Trade Counsel & Subcommittee on Trade Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways & Means. The discussion focused on the impact of the 2014 midterm election in the U.S. and the changing political dynamics in the EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations. The issues addressed included prospects for Trade Promotion Authority in the U.S. Congress, resolution of Investor State Dispute Settlement, Geographical Indicators differences, and concerns regarding transparency and data protection. Michael Smart, Vice President at Rock Creek Global Advisors moderated the event.
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