brianbeary-august2011With the official nomination of President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, Michael Froman, as the next U.S. Trade Representative, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership  (TTIP)has taken a vital and important step closer to the negotiating starting gate.  Froman, a close friend and advisor of the President, has been central to the Obama Administration’s trade agenda since 2009.

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armensahakyanphotoIn today’s globalized economy, many smaller states can no longer compete in the world market on their own. The formation of economic-political blocs provides a competitive edge by combining national economies into stronger and deeper regional partnerships. For some states however, the conundrum is figuring out which bloc best serves their long-term national interests.

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michaelwhiteTo say that David Cameron's big speech on Europe has been jinxed since its inception may be the understatement of the year so far.

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Editor’s Note:  As the European Union and the United States launch negotiations on The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,  European Affairs inaugurates a series of occasional articles that will chart the progress and assess the implications of this historic initiative.

 The interaction between the European unification process towards “an ever closer Union”2  and its most important partner, the “more perfect Union”3  of the United States of America, has been among the top foreign policy issues since the early days of the European project. bod.burghardt Equally, helping shape the evolving EU/US relationship has been at the top of my own professional agenda for more than four decades, during which I worked as a close collaborator of European Commission President Jacques Delors, as Director General in charge of External Relations and Political Director for the European Commission, with a stint as the EU Ambassador and Head of the Commission Delegation in the United States from 2000 to 2005.  The following are a few thoughts, taken from the background of my personal recollections and practical experience.

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garretmartinOn 11 February 2010, the European Parliament – with 378 MEPs against and only 196 for – struck down the interim Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications [SWIFT] agreement already negotiated between the EU and the U.S. on the transfer of citizens' financial data to prevent terrorist attacks.

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