U.S. and European Union officials finished their second round of talks earlier last month in Brussels, largely it seems to demonstrate that a “constructive” process is underway to establish the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). At this early stage, there are few signs of progress in addressing any of the most difficult and complex issues that will determine if the world’s two largest markets form a free trade union.
On December 2, 2013, The European Institute awarded The Honorable José Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development the Transatlantic Leadership Award at its Annual Ambassadors’ Dinner. In his acceptance speech, Secretary-General Gurría called for renewed cooperation between Europe and the United States to “jump-start the engine of global growth” and stressed the importance of the potential Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership as an opportunity to set “the gold standard for deep and comprehensive global trade and investment integration.” The event was co-hosted by the 32 European Ambassadors of the Ambassadorial Host Committee.
After Germany’s federal election on Sunday, September 22, there may be a growing risk of another chapter in the Euro crisis saga that began in late 2009. Causes could be Germany’s new coalition government’s reaction to new international bond market stresses; Euro member governments’ political problems; unfinished business such as reform of Euro institutions and a Euro banking union; plus U.S. financial and fiscal stresses that may trigger new strains in Euro financial markets.
Europe is at the crossroads. Of course, whenever we speak about Europe or transatlantic relations, we are always at the crossroads, but it’s at a crossroad on four major issues. The next 18 months will be decisive to know whether Europe will choose the right direction or not.
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