Three years after the worst financial-economic crisis since the 1930s began; a new international financial, regulatory and fiscal architecture has emerged. Although incomplete, not yet implemented and inadequately coordinated between major countries, the new structure is due to be ratified at a summit of G-20 countries in Seoul on Nov. 11 and 12. The leaders will naturally put a positive spin to the new measures, and indeed much has been accomplished.

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On November 9, 2010, Jean-Arthur Régibeau, Political Director of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offered his perspective on the emergence of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and its impact on the transatlantic relationship. Under Belgium’s rotating Presidency of the European Union, implementation of the Lisbon Treaty has been a top priority, and the steady evolution of the EEAS is a notable accomplishment. High Representative Catherine Ashton has selected her senior management team, which will lead the formation of a European diplomatic corps; a process which Mr. Régibeau estimated will take three to four years. Members of the EEAS will consist of highly-qualified officials from all of the EU institutions and Member States, and it will aim to have a fair representation of men and women, as well as diplomats from each Member State. They will report directly to the High Representative; a line of command that Mr. Régibeau argued will provide a unifying element and allow the service to be more than the sum of its parts. However, he cautioned, the commensurate evolution of a common European foreign policy may take as long as a decade. In time, however, the EEAS and its mpact on the EU’s foreign policy may eventually be comparable to that of the European Monetary Union.

Crime stories are quite popular on both sides of the Atlantic, but the heroes chasing the villains are rather different. Dirty Harry, Axel Foley, Rambo, Jack Bauer and McCloud are very unlike Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Inspector Morse, Commissaire Maigret or Kommissar Derrick. The one thing they have in common is that at the end of the story they all catch the bad guy.

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By Brian Beary in Washington | 22 October 2010

The EU’s drive to get all 27 member states included on the US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) has run up against a wall. The view of multiple sources closely monitoring the dossier is that the US Congress will have to pass new legislation before Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland and Romania will have any chance of joining the other EU23. Though some on Capitol Hill are sympathetic to their cause, nothing is likely to happen until 2011 at the earliest. Even if Congress changes the rules to make it easier for the EU4 to enter, they still need to be invited to join by the US administration and there is little indication that the Obama administration is interested in expanding the programme.

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On September 30, 2010, The European Institute held its Annual Meeting of the Members and Board of Advisors at the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  Discussions focused on U.S. and European efforts to enact comprehensive financial regulatory measures, strengthen economic governance and spur sustainable economic growth. Moderated by Timothy Keeler, Counsel at Mayer Brown LLP, the expert panel included Mark Sobel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Finance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Antonio de Lecea, Minister - Principal Advisor for Economic and Financial Affairs at the Delegation of the European Union; Matthias Sonn, Minister of Economics and Science at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; and Jeffrey Skeer, International Relations Specialist in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy.

The panel was followed by a dinner and a lively discussion with David Mark, Senior Editor at Politico and, about the U.S. Mid-Term Elections and their Potential Implications.