On March 17, 2010, The European Institute held a special breakfast meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Transportation regarding transatlantic cooperation on transportation security. A delegation from the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, including Chairman The Honorable Brian Simpson (S & D Party, UK), The Honorable Mathieu Grosch (European People’s Party, Belgium), The Honorable Saïd El Khadraoui (S & D Party, Belgium), and The Honorable Gesine Meissner (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Germany) spoke about their visit to Washington and current civil aviation security issues in the European Union. Michael Scardaville, Director for European and Multilateral Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provided a U.S. perspective on these pressing security matters. The main topics of discussion were the second U.S.-EU civil aviation agreement (Open Skies II), the U.S.-EU passenger name records agreement, privacy and human rights issues with the implementation of full body scanner in airports, the overall approach to civil aviation security, the increasing importance of high speed rail in the U.S., and the importance of the U.S. and EU to coordinate policies and procedures to ensure security on both sides of the Atlantic. A high emphasis was placed on increasing dialogue between the U.S. and EU on unresolved issues of contention. Passenger privacy and the protection of data are especially big concerns for Europe, and the U.S. and EU will continue to work together to try to find a holistic approach to providing security.

The U.S. anti-terrorist department, the Transport Security Agency (TSA), has stepped up its efforts to work with countries in Europe and other nations around the world to screen air cargo being shipped from those departure points to the U.S. As things stand, Congress continues to press for 100 percent screening, but TSA says that that it will take several years to achieve that standard on a global air cargo supply chain. That timetable was supplied in answers during a recent hearing. As things stand in March 2010, here is the basic picture as presented to Congress by TSA in a hearing: Enhancing Security throughout the Transportation System.

Excerpts of testimony of Gale D. Rossides, Acting Administrator of the Transport Security Agency (TSA), before the Subcommittee on Homeland Security in the
Committee on Appropriations of
United States House of Representatives
March 4, 2010

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On March 9, 2010 The European Institute held a special meeting of its Roundtable on Defense and Security with Gábor Iklódy, State Secretary and Political Director of the Hungarian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.  Mr. Iklódy offered his perspective on the changes to EU foreign and defense policy after the Lisbon Treaty.  He addressed the need for coordination in developing EU defense capabilities in order to perform the Petersberg tasks.  And while highlighting the importance of an EU that can speak with one voice on the global stage, he also stressed that member states still need to be consulted as part of the decision making process, otherwise Europe risks becoming fragmented once again.  And although the transition to the new foreign policy architecture, that is defining the role of the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European External Action Service as well as the future role of the rotating presidency, will be long and difficult, once the dust settles, the wait will have been worth it.

On February 24, 2010, The European Institute held a special meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Defense and Security in New York City with His Excellency Sorin Dumitru Ducaru, Permanent Representative of Romania to the North Atlantic Council; His Excellency Linas Linkevicius, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the North Atlantic Council; and His Excellency Frank Majoor, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the North Atlantic Council. The Ambassadors addressed the evolution of NATO’s New Strategic Concept and the great fluidity of challenges that face the Alliance as it seeks to adapt to new threats that are not strictly linked to territorial defense. Ambassador Linkevicius emphasized that the NATO mission in Afghanistan is a priority, but it will take time, patience and cooperation with the Afghan people in order to declare the mission a success.  Ambassador Ducaru pointed out the need for greater global understanding about NATO’s work in order for the alliance to gain greater support for its missions, but stressed that NATO needed to work on its strategic partnerships and do a better job at communicating its wide range of missions around the world in order to achieve this goal.  Ambassador Majoor addressed the NATO-Russia relationship and stated that it is not the only issue for NATO right now, but an important and intensive one that will only move forward if common approaches can be found. Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, Director of Asia and Middle East Operations and the United Nation’s Office of Peacekeeping Operations raised the need for greater UN-NATO cooperation on missions in Afghanistan, and the Ambassadors agreed that more practical and consistent coordination at the actual working-group level could be extremely helpful and productive in furthering common objectives.


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.

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