The Roundtable on Financial and Economic Affairs will focus on financial reforms under consideration in both Europe and the United States in wake of the global financial crisis and the implications within Europe, as well as on a concerted and effective transatlantic approach. The program will also consider the divergent responses to the economic crisis and the ramifications within the European Union and for the United States, the future of the euro-zone, and the relationship between the dollar and the euro. Issues related to CFIUS and protecting the integrity of the electronic banking systems will also be included in this program.

Recent Meetings:

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 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 June 19, 2014, The European Institute held a breakfast discussion in Brussels on the European Commission’s proposal, “Regulation of interchange fees for card-based payments” which looks to ensure transparency, trim transactional costs, and encourage further innovation in e-commerce. Todd Zywicki, Professor atGeorge Mason University Law School & Senior Fellow at the International Center for Law and Economics in Washington, DC; Leo Van Hove, Professor at the Free University of Brussels; and Marcin Nowacki, Director of Public Affairs at the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, Poland presented case studies from the U.S., France and Poland where different degrees of e-payment regulations have been implemented and discussed the outcomes of these directives.

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.

Click here to read Secretary-General Gurría's remarks.

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