On November 4, 2015, The European Institute hosted a breakfast discussion with The Honorable Timothy Kirkhope, rapporteur for the relocation of refugees on the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs and the Conservative Party’s spokesman on Justice and Home Affairs at the European Parliament.  Mr. Kirkhope assessed the Syrian refugee crisis, and stated that a “firm but fair” approach to the situation was needed to maintain order and stability. Mr. Kirkhope also stressed the need for the EU to allocate additional resources to member states with external borders of the EU in order to help them accommodate the flood of new arrivals, while bolstering the availability of legal channels through which refugees can make formal applications for asylum within Europe.

On December 18, 2014, The European Institute hosted a breakfast discussion on the results and implications of last month’s 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Korea. The panelists: Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, Deputy Assistant Secretary and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the U.S. Department of State; Andrea Glorioso, Counselor for the Digital Agenda & ICT at the Delegation of the European Union; Sally Shipman Wentworth, Vice President of Global Policy Development at the Internet Society; Marie Royce, Vice President Public Affairs at Alcatel-Lucent; and Leslie Martinkovics, Director of International Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs at Verizon addressed the outcomes of the ITU Plenipotentiary, the implications for the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance, in which openness, transparency and democratic principles can sustainably prevail in the digital age, and the challenges looking ahead to 2015. Dr. Michael Nelson, Adjunct Professor for Internet Studies in the Communication, Culture, & Technology Program at Georgetown University moderated the discussion.

On December 10, 2014, The European Institute hosted a special seminar examining the changing regional energy security in Europe.  Offering perspectives from European nations in both the northern and southern regions, participants assessed their nation’s own energy strategies, as well as the prospects for greater regional and the EU wide-cooperation that are necessary in order to insure sustainable energy independence.  Participants included His Excellency Andris Razāns, Ambassador of Latvia to the United States; His Excellency Kåre Aas, Ambassador of Norway to the United States; Anne Vasara, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Finland; Maciej Pisarski, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland; Hendrik Barkeling, Head of the Economic and Commercial Section at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; Her Excellency Elena Poptodorova, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United States; His Excellency Iulian Buga, Ambassador of Romania to the United States; Peter Zeleňák, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic; and Carlo Romeo, Counselor for Economic and Scientific Affairs at the Embassy of Italy.

On December 4, 2014, The European Institute hosted a breakfast discussion with The Honorable Marko Mihkelson, Member of the Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament) & Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee who assessed the rapidly evolving global security environment facing both Europe and the United States.  Mr. Mihkelson emphasized that the current situation in Ukraine and Europe’s Eastern neighborhood presents a challenge not only to Estonia but to all countries that respect international law share common values, and he stressed the importance of updating the European Security Strategy which has not been revised since 2003.

On November 20, 2014, The European Institute organized a breakfast event with Damien Levie, Head of the Trade & Agriculture Section at the Delegation of the European Union and Angela Ellard, Committee Chief Trade Counsel & Subcommittee on Trade Staff Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways & Means. The discussion focused on the impact of the 2014 midterm election in the U.S. and the changing political dynamics in the EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.  The issues addressed included prospects for Trade Promotion Authority in the U.S. Congress, resolution of Investor State Dispute Settlement, Geographical Indicators differences, and concerns regarding transparency and data protection.  Michael Smart, Vice President at Rock Creek Global Advisors moderated the event.