"Why the IMF Should Be Led by a European" by Jean-Dominique Giuliani, head of the Robert Schuman Foundation, a think tank promoting stronger EU integration. Despite calls for the next Managing Director to come from the emerging countries in Asia or Latin America, the author makes the case succinctly for the Fund to reserve its top job for a European embodying deeply-rooted Western values such as openness, impartiality and accountability. Recommended by European Affairs. (6/2)

On April 27, 2011, Jonathan Faull, Director General for Internal Market at the European Commission, Commissioner Michel Barnier’s principal deputy, discussed the ongoing development and implementation of the EU’s ambitious financial governance reforms, the challenges that lay ahead for renewed efforts to strengthen the Single Market and assessed the prospects for greater European-American cooperation in restoring financial and economic health to both sides of the Atlantic. Richard Weiner, Partner at Sidley Austin LLP moderated the discussion.

On April 11, 2011, Jean-François Boittin, Minister Counselor for Economic and Financial Affairs at the Embassy of France addressed the main challenges for the French Presidency of the G8 and G20. In a wide-ranging talk, Mr. Boittin singled out efforts to further proposed reforms of the international monetary system and financial governance, enhance efforts to combat commodity price volatility, and broaden the base for global development funds to include emerging economies and a mix of both public and private capital.

In a wide-ranging speech at The European Institute on the increasingly pivotal role of Europe’s Northern Dimension, the President of Latvia, Valdis Zatlers, said his country has survived the economic crisis and is poised for healthy growth and entry into the Eurozone in 2014.

Read More

The European Institute held a breakfast meeting on Friday, February 11th, with The Honorable Bálint Ódor, Hungary’s Deputy State Secretary for European Union Affairs, to discuss the priorities of the Hungarian Presidency of the European Council.  The European Union’s efforts to reach agreement on permanent security mechanisms to protect the euro and to begin implementation of important economic governance reforms were a central priority, Mr. Ódor said. He also emphasized the importance of pushing the goals of the ambitious Europe 2020 strategy, with a focus on creating jobs and strengthening European competitiveness. Serious work towards a common European energy policy was underway, and the Hungarian Presidency was also looking to further agreement on the future of common agricultural and cohesion policies.  Mr. Ódor also outlined Hungary’s push for the establishment of a Europe-wide strategy to guarantee a better life for the Roma, as well as the need to sustain the enlargement process, particularly with regards to Croatia and Turkey.

On all fronts, Mr. Ódor stressed that Hungary’s role during the six months rotation of the European Council presidency is to act as a “broker” to insure that compromises are achieved. He readily acknowledged the importance of bringing the European Union closer to its citizens, and previewed the burgeoning debate on the European Union’s multiannual financial framework (2013-2019) by advocating a bottoms-up approach. “We should see what the EU member states and citizens need from the EU,” he said.