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.
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.
On October 28, 2014, The European Institute, in collaboration with the Embassy of Ireland and IDA Ireland hosted a luncheon event with The Honorable Richard Bruton T.D., Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation. Minister Bruton discussed the policies being implemented to help Ireland continue to recover from the economic crisis and stressed the importance of a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in order to spur economic growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. Minister Bruton also elaborated on the tax residency rules in Ireland and the potential impact on business, particularly the IT sector, in Ireland.
On October 10, 2014, The European Institute hosted a lunch discussion with The Honorable Jean-Claude Trichet, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Bruegel and former President of the European Central Bank. Speaking on the future of the Euro, Mr. Trichet stressed the importance of never underestimating the European Union and how far they have come since World War II, as well as never underestimating the strength of the Euro which will be adopted in the 19th Member State, Lithuania, in January. Mr. Trichet also evaluated which measures were successful in helping Europe recover from the economic crisis and emphasized the need to be flexible and learn as the European Union, its institutions and its currency continue to grow.
On October 2, 2014, The European Institute held its 2014 Annual Ambassadors’ Dinner. At this year’s dinner, the Institute honored The Honorable Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science with the Transatlantic Leadership Award for her seminal role in reviving the Transatlantic Research and Innovation Dialogue and for the deftness and vision with which she has helped shape and secure the European Union’s ambitious research agenda, Horizon 2020. The Institute also presented the Transatlantic Leadership Award to The Honorable Robert Hormats, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment for his multiple contributions and steadfast leadership in strengthening trade and economic ties between Europe and the United States, in particular, helping to launch the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership initiative.
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