On February 23, 2010, The European Institute held a special breakfast meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Financial and Monetary Affairs with His Excellency Vassilis Kaskarelis, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, who spoke about the implications of Greece’s financial crisis.
On Wednesday, February 17, 2010, The European Institute convened a special meeting of the European-American Policy Forum with Sigi Gruber, Head of Unit for Analysis and Monitoring of Research Policies around the World in DG Research at the European Commission and Dr. Norman P. Neureiter, Senior Advisor at the Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The meeting addressed frameworks for transatlantic partnership on research & development and innovation. While the European Union has placed renewed emphasis on research and innovation Ms. Gruber outlined Commission initiatives in research cooperation and highlighted the importance of research, innovation and education in the EU 2020 Strategy. Dr. Neureiter discussed the challenges in international research cooperation, including funding, research duplication and visa regimes. He also recognized that cooperation between scientific communities or Science Diplomacy, can be an effective diplomatic tool with countries where political relations are stressed or lacking.
On February 5, 2010, The European Institute held a meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Trade entitled “Staying Competitive - Europe's Response to Institutional and Societal Challenges” focusing on Europe’s Competition Policy under the Lisbon Treaty and the EU’s 2020 Policy. Isabelle Benoliel, Director for Registry and Resources at the Directorate-General for Competition at the European Commission spoke about the challenges to competition policy within the European Union, especially while tackling the ongoing global economic crisis. Elizabeth Kraus, Deputy Director for International Antitrust at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Office of International Affairs spoke about the need for the U.S. to continue to work with the Commission on the challenges facing competition focusing in particular on the need for cooperation and convergence of EU and U.S. policies. John Briggs, Co-Chair of Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider’s Antitrust Practice and Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington office, was the moderator of the discussion.
The European competition authority is challenging U.S. high-tech companies’ business practices, including some already approved by the anti-trust regulators in Washington.
A leading American anti-trust attorney probes the divergences between U.S. and EU legal philosophies and explains why the EU approach seems to be gaining ground as a global model. Can the outlook for trans-atlantic convergence improve?
On November 19, 2009, The European Institute convened a meeting on The Continuing Evolution of U.S-E.U. Competition Policy. This discussion with Philip Weiser, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International, Policy and Appellate Matters at the U.S. Department of Justice, addressed the opportunities and challenges for greater transatlantic cooperation in competition law and policies. Mr. Weiser shared his perspective on the Obama Administration's approach to competition policy, stressing the importance of "new institutional economics" with attendant focus on clearer guidelines and standards for mergers and acquisitions as well as greater transparency and establishment of best practices to sustain economic competition. Mr. Weiser also emphasized the need to fortify technical cooperation between the United States and the European Union in order to guarantee competition in the transatlantic as well as the global economies.
Sibylle Zitko, Legal Advisor at the Delegation of the European Commission and an expert on EU competition policies, echoed the need for common standards and guidelines. Although the new Barroso Commission was still being formed at the time of this meeting, Ms. Zitko stressed the continuity of the European Union's competition policies and lauded the "excellent" staff cooperation that has sustained transatlantic cooperation in this critical facet of economic relations.
This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
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