On September 28, NYU Washington DC will host the fourth event in a series focused on the European Union as part of its EU in Focus series. EU in Focus is a series designed to enhance a student’s working-knowledge of the European Union. In close partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, NYU Washington, DC’s EU in Focus lecture series considers critical issues in a professional rather than conventionally academic setting. NYU Washington, DC students who attend all DC sessions will be eligible to apply for a student leadership retreat to Brussels, the heart of the EU government. The retreat is organized jointly with NYU Florence and will be October 26 – 31.
The European Union represents the largest trading bloc and international donor in the world. It has the largest GDP; the third largest population; and is among the highest ranking in the world for health, education and living conditions. Europe remains the most important commercial and investment partner for the United States. The EU comprises a nuclear power, a permanent member of the UN Security Council and multiple seats on the G-20. From the escalating terror in its southern and eastern neighbors to Russia’s increasingly aggressive military confrontations, Europe borders regions most strategic to U.S. foreign policy and faces some of the 21st century’s most pressing security challenges. Despite these increasingly consequential and visible tensions, the “European Miracle” remains as relevant to international affairs as it was during the Cold War.
The program on 28 September is US and the EU: The Transatlantic Fight against Terrorism. The session will be presented by Laura Kupe, a Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation. This fourth and final seminar will examine the importance of the US-EU relationship, highlighting specifically the transatlantic dialogue on security cooperation. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the subsequent revelation of Al Qaeda cells across Europe strengthened both sides’ commitment to combating terrorism, but challenges persist in fostering a closer US-EU security partnership. How has the heightened threat posed by the Islamic State influenced the transatlantic security policy agenda? This workshop will assess the Atlantic community’s most pressing security threats and explore the progress to date and ongoing challenges of US-EU counterterrorism efforts.
The earlier sessions in this series covered a range of interesting and engaging topics.
The series opened on September 7 with the program Fundamentals of the European Union. Timothy Rivera, Programs Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, presented the introductory workshop. It provides an overview of the origins and governing structure of the European Union. To understand the development of the 28-member bloc, this lecture examined the cultural, historical and strategic background of the European integration experiment, from World War II to present day.
The next session, on September 12, focused on The Evolving EU Governmental System. H.E. Pierre Clive Agius, Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to the United States of America, explored the unique governing system of the supranational entity. By participating in this seminar, students gained a basic understanding of the EU’s institutional framework and decision-making process. The lecture focused on the governmental innovations introduced in the Lisbon Treaty and the EU’s roadmap for social, economic and foreign and security policy.
The third session, Brexit Aftershocks: Economic and Political Implications, took place on 21 September. Lead by H.E. Dirk Wouters, Ambassador of Belgium to the United States of America, this program considered various aspects of Brexit and its aftermath. In the weeks following the United Kingdom’s fateful EU referendum, Great Britain experienced a sharp fall in the British Pound, record-low interest rate cuts, and a change of government and cabinet reshuffle. The United Kingdom is once again entering unchartered territory as the nation prepares to negotiate its exit from the European Union. Theresa May, Britain’s Prime Minister, has promised to secure the best possible deal for the UK, but many questions regarding the timeline of the negotiations and how Brexit will affect immigration, trade, and global markets, remain unanswered. This seminar revisited the implications of Britain’s historic vote and walked students through the next steps in this unprecedented geopolitical divorce.