Conference coverage

Session I: Forging a Strategic US-EU Partnership Proposals for Reform

Moderator: Jiri Schneider, Prague Security Studies Institute 

Daniel Hamilton, Richard von Weizsacker Professor and Director, Center for Transatlantic Relations

The world is changing, and it’s a crucial moment today, since we may win or lose the position in the world. What is the transatlantic partnership today? What distinguishes the relations of the partners? One can say – the framework of law distinguishes the relations between the USA and the EU, however something not so formalistic exists – Aquis Atlantic. Some expectations of the behavior are also important. If we disagree in coalition, we simply break down. Cooperation is indispensable; nobody can tackle the problems on their own. Unfortunately the UE-US cooperation is not strategic at the moment.
What has to be done to change the situation – the Initiative #1 is to create a network of societies. This is vulnerable. If we look at the terrorism, it is also a network. We are in need of resilience societies. 
The second element of effective cooperation – is effective economic relations. What occupies people is jobs, so the efforts of the EU and the USA have to be concentrated on creation of transatlantic market place. It is not a new idea and it has to be revised.  The Transatlantic trade agreement has to be negotiated and implemented. 
The third element is partnership for energy sustainability. We have a couple of foreign policy initiatives, but what is crucial is development of civilian-to-civilian contacts. The military component is only one part of the deal. Atlantic-based initiative – that’s what we need today.

Steve Flanagan, Kissinger Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies

NATO is concentrated today on 6 different operations, however NATO’s priorities are not identified precisely. We need to clarify what is the purpose of NATO. Is it to contain Russia or fight against terrorism? Key recommendation – is to find the balance between different activities. NATO has to find new directions, assess the global environment: who is likely to attack, who and how should deal with cyber-attacks, terrorism and plenty of other essential issues. NATO is indeed a sufficient partner, it plays indispensable role. It tackles security and near-security challenges, which might have an impact on security in the future. Eminent part of international polices is performed in and by the EU, that is the reason why the USA hopes that the EU will act globally. 
Afghanistan is a key challenge for the Alliance. But it’s clear today – NATO can’t succeed on its own, the situation is much more complicated. NATO has to become a supportive element of civilian initiatives and in this way it has a chance to solve the conflict. 
The decisive question now is how reliable NATO is; it’s as simple as a question about Russia or Georgia.   

Mirek Topolanek, Member of Czech Republic, Former prime Minister, the Czech Republic

NATO is based on common values – freedom and human rights, personal liberties and personal responsibility. Straightening of the EU integration promotes security. Unfortunately the threats didn’t disappear – they have only been transformed. And the problem is that the Member States are not willing to engage into the transformed environment. Probably that’s true that the EU-US partnership is not the best at the moment, new rivals have appeared – China and Russia, the energy security becomes more and more important. We must look for stable and reliable sources of energy, and nuclear energy is among them. Since the economic crisis the EU and the USA are often in trade wars, but it’s only the result of the illness of governments. We need investments in education, science and technology. That’s the only way we may guarantee security. Speaking by the words of Joe Biden: “Don’t ask what the USA can do for you, ask what we can do together”. 

Ana Palacio, former Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain; former Senior Vice President and General Counsel, The World Bank

Today there is a threat of nostalgia. The world changes, that’s true. New actors appear: from Russia to Brazil. In Europe huge differences between countries become evident. What Europe needs is to overcome historical conflicts and attitudes. We need to use the system of multi-lateral, not bilateral partnership. We see where tensions take into account experience in Iran or Afghanistan. The main problem today is that the EU is not coordinated. We have 27 budgets and one common EU budget, we have different foreign policies, that are sometimes in contradiction to each other. We have a number of issues we need to agree upon – it is nuclear energy and non-proliferation. The other challenge is Africa, the gap between North and South is extending quickly. And of course, we need to prevent the clash between Islam and the West.

 

Commentators: Pawel Lisicki, Editor-in-Chief daily, Poland 

We need a new partnership, but what does it mean? There is a huge difference between the EU and USA. In the last years there is a huge skepticism in Europe about America and it develops. However what happened after Obama became the president that we don’t speak about differences between us anymore.

 

 

 

Janos Csak, President, Constellation Energy Institute, Hungary

We have some missed opportunities in the US-EU relations. The intellectual corruption is the problem of Europe today – the politicians are not transparent in their actions. After all, the EU countries became heavily dependent on Russian energy resources. What Europe needs is new technologies.

 

Session II: A Transatlantic Space of Justice, Freedom and Security?

Moderator: Daniel Hamilton, Center for Transatlantic Relations

Speakers: Mark Koumas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Europe and the USA don’t have proper coordination at the moment. There are huge mental gaps, which have to be overcome. Civil, military coordination and multinational coordination are fundament in building new relations. We need volunteer associations. The 2009 Lisbon Treaty is a game changer, there is hope it improves the EU flexibility. 
The Transatlantic solidarity pledge requites trans-boundary coordination across: strategic EU-US partners, multi-sectors, multi-levels, multi-institutions, multi-nationals. The initial pledge was announced at the EU-US Summit of 2010. The partners should ensure a coherent Euro-Atlantic approach to meet modern threats.

 

Rachida Dati, Member of European Parliament, former Minister of Justice, France

The fight for security is the fight for freedom. The EU and the USA have different histories, but the challenges the European states and the USA meet are common. Europe is not as disorganized as it has been said. Europe bases on its history that evoked three European realities as the EU fundaments: peace, security and justice. The common market, free trade of steal and coal, treaty of Rome; this is the way the EU became the largest grouping in the world. And it is great that Europe doesn’t stand still and goes forward – the Treaty of Lisbon is a revolution. Today Europe faces new challenges, first of all the mobility of migrations. The challenges Europe faces make it cooperate with its partners, among them are the USA. How could be possible we can’t find a compromise in security and policy issues, but we cooperate successfully in other spheres. Speaking about Guantanamo and Afghanistan we should speak not only about elimination, but also prevention of the crisis. Potential still remains. We have numerous challenges – regional terrorism is among them.

 

Mike Granatt, former Head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, UK

The nature of crisis is that it is self-resilient. There is a risk, since the wrong model could direct to a new crisis. In the crisis there are turning points for better or worse, which demands immediate decisions and actions. Resilience of crisis – a network society means all the networks: social, financial, legal, political, energy. Because of this complexity there will be the increasing numbers of low probability, high impact events. 
Fundamental questions are whose justice, whose freedom and whose security? Who is at stake: corporations, people, nations? 
The transatlantic public space must incubate and nurture glocal (global&local) resilience to crises in justice, freedom and security. Creating more networks – brings more potential to crisis. Unless transatlantic resilience involves enriching the concept and practice of democracy, this decisive moment will be lost to powers elsewhere.

 

Bengt Sundelius, Department of Security and Strategic Studies, Swedish National Defence College

The global role of partnership – how could we protect against terrorism? We need to have infrastructure, we should cooperate with each other. Canada and Mexico are the close partners. The interdomestic (inter-regional) cooperation is developed here. When we look to what direction we should go during next few years, it is the resilience structure. The USA don’t have all the answers, our European friends see us as a bogyman. We’d like instead to hear ideas how we could improve our cooperation.

Commentators: Paul F. Fritch, Director, Office of the Secretary General, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Hard security, border security, border governance, economic cooperation – this are all elements of resilience. 45 years ago the world began movement towards this concept by promoting security, combating terrorism. Today the EU and the USA have to be back to the strategic dialog, finding balance between different goals, 
Zygimantas Pavilionis, Chief Coordinator, Lithuania’s Presidency for the Community of Democracies    
Today we have the problem of democracy. Values and principles are not as important in the USA and the EU as they were a couple of years ago. Especially, it is evident in the light of the economic crisis. We have racism, xenophobia, populism; autocracies are coming back. Romanism is vanishing. We lost the will to defend our own values. Look at Georgia or Ukraine. We have too many ideas, but we don’t know what to do with them.

Zygmunt Wojciechowski, MEP, Vice Chairman Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development

One of the proposals during this conference was to create transatlantic common market, which has to include agricultural products. This idea looks quite unrealistic today. The character of agriculture in the USA and the EU is different. The USA is characterized by large farms (medium size – 200 ha), about 400 ha are foreseen for cultivation, 1,3 ha per capita. At the same time, the EU’s medium size farms have about 12 ha, in Central Europe this number is even smaller. We need to be realistic. The EU have no chance to be a competitive partner for the USA today. Another base for mutual actions has to be chosen, it’s global food security. According to FAO report 2009, the global food production has to be increased by 70% before 2050. It’s a great global challenge. The global population is still increasing, the area of cultivated land – on the contrary – shrinking. This could be the common area where the USA and the EU may cooperate successfully.

Session III: How can the U.S. and Europe Address Crises and Conflicts more effectively

Moderator: Fran Burwell, Vice President, Atlantic Council of the United States
We need not only military forces but also the police, justice and reconstruction capabilities. There have been many operations. Among them the Kosovo case, where for the first time the USA cooperated in the ESDP field.

Speakers: Camille Grand, Director, Foundation pour la Recherche Strategique, Paris

The key element of this discussion is the fact that we are facing more crisis and changes in the future, challenges not only for the EU but also for the transatlantic partnership. There are some considerations to be made. 
First of all, the EU and the USA should cooperate in the majority of cases. Secondly, the EU remains the main partner of the USA. Thirdly, NATO is the most natural framework for military cooperation. Fourthly, the US is the main security provider
How to become more effective?
Currently there are 60.000 EU troops. It means that is not true that the EU works only under civilian missions. Secondly, we need to face the future crises jointly and prevent future mutual crises. 
The USA cannot prevent the EU to reach its military and civilian ambitions, but Europe must do more to spend and invest the money.
And NATO? Since the Berlin Plus Agreement no progress has been done. The NATO should cooperate with all the actors on the same level.
Everybody agrees on the fact that we need a more comprehensive approach but no one agrees on the way to do it.
To conclude, the USA and the EU have no choice in finding a better and common approach. If we are united we can still make a difference. If not, there is nothing to be done.

Ana Maria Gomes, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal

It’s not just about the division of labor, with the EU specializing in civilian and the USA in the military. We both need to articulate them in a comprehensive way.
The EU and USA are condemned to work together. Sometimes we share the same vision but it doesn’t mean we always agree. The most important reason of this ineffectiveness is linked to the failure of the EU in the development. 
We see each member state looking for the US favor and attention instead of cooperating all together to create a common approach toward Washington.
The USA needs a more pragmatic Europe for Africa and Afghanistan. The USA needs the EU as a security provider and not as a security consumer.
The EU countries have treated the Afghanistan as a way to show the USA their loyalty instead of finding a real solution for the Afghan security and for the US security. The EU was unable to create a good alternative to Bush approach towards Afghanistan. 
The Iranian nuclear crisis has showed how the EU, if it wants it, can act effectively in a European and common approach. Europe has taken ownership on the issue and dealt with it.
The current EU behavior, based on the competition of each member state to become the main partner of Washington, leads the US to act alone. 
It will take time to put an end to duplication and waste of economic resources between the USA and the EU.
The Europeans are almost shut out the US defense market and industries because Washington prefers collaborating with other geopolitical and military actors.  
The USA have moved, especially after the NATO Summit in Bucharest. It will take some time to change in the EU, maybe thanks to the Lisbon treaty and Mrs. Ashton.

Iulian Fota, Presidential Adviser for National Security, Romania

The 21 century is the century of globalization. So, how the US and the EU are able to cooperate in a globalized world. How the US and EU elite are responding to globalization?
The Transatlantic relations is important not only for the post communist world but also for other parts of the world, for  example India.
The USA provides security to Europe and Europe has been very solidary to the US.

Commentators: Istvan Gyarmati, President, International Centre for Democratic Transition ( ICDT), Hungary

What can we do outside and together? We need to discuss and to learn to disagree and even if we disagree we should support each other. 

Henryk Szlajfer, Special Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland

The problem is that the practical action and the response is different. If there are very different responses to the crises, there are also differences in the assessment of the way the EU and the USA look at them.
After the Lisbon treaty was approved, the EU is in the beginning of a new stage, where we still have to clarify many questions, among them the EU Ministry of Foreign Affairs issue.

Session IV: Beyond Copenhagen: A transatlantic Partnership for Energy Sustainability

Moderator: Kult Volker, Managing Director, Center for Transatlantic Relations at SAIS, USA
Considered energy security and energy supply as one of the biggest challenges in the world nowadays. “We see massive consumption and massive production in the current world’s economies – we need to find ways how to deal with the consequences.” – mentioned Volker.

Speakers: Richard Morningstar, Ambassador and Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy, Department of State, USA

Mentioned that the massive energy consumption leads to climate changes. 
Europe is very active in providing different ways of gas supply, gas storage. High technology plays a significant role in energy production. 
Mr. Morningstar presented shortly a new US initiative – US-EU Energy Council, divided into 3 working groups: energy security and energy market, researching technology and a group on policy and regulatory framework. 
Asked by a journalist from Le Figaro, Ms  Laure Mandeville, what can be done by the Obama’s administration to change the situation, when Russia is using energy as a political tool in order to control the whole chain of energy distribution and supply, Mr. Morningstar said that the new administration is trying to balance the energy policy. Energy issue in Europe may be supported by the US administration, but Europe should work together on these issues and some problems should be solved only by the European countries. USA cannot be more European than Europe – said Morningstar. Some rational, pragmatic solution should be found. 

 

Reka Szemerkenyi, Head of International Affairs, MOL Group, Hungary

Being a Hungarian oil and gas company representative, she presented Central European perspective of the energy security issue. She underlined that in fact new energy projects, pipelines appear, but none of them connects Central European countries. She mentioned a huge gap in the energy infrastructure in the Western and Eastern Europe. 
Comparing gas import to Europe, it is clear that in Central European countries the dependence on Russian gas  is significant, but on the opposite, from the Russian perspective supply to a few small countries is not so important. 
Taking into consideration a wider perspective – in fact – new projects are being approved and built, like for example a Polish LNG project in Swinoujscie or a Croatian LNG project.  Central European companies’ forces, however, even if there are combined – are still not enough to face the global competition.
She mentioned that in the EU even if an energy project is very important and strategic, it doesn’t mean that it will be introduced into life in a short or long-term perspective.  According to Ms Szemerkenyi, there is much more talking than acting, not enough cooperation, solidarity, and, on the other hand acting according to free market rules. 


Karen Harbert, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Dealing with the climate issues, one can see a kind of division between the USA and Europe. It is a fundamental misunderstanding that Americans are so strongly concerned about the environmental issues. Money matters in this case as well and the citizens’ concerns strongly depend on the money they are ready to pay for the fight with the climate changes. On the other hand, people are very concerned about energy security. We leave in a more and more competitive economy, the private sector (it has the technology and money) has to be aware of the fact that the technological transition towards energy economy is in it’s hands.

Luis Atienza, President, Red Eléctrica, Spain

As a representative of a state power company, he presented the role of electricity as a key energy source in the upcoming years. Spain invested a lot into the wind power production. Wind energy remains the second energy source after natural gas and it is much more important than coal or nuclear energy production. Wind farms represent high technology, but we still need new investments (for example in renewables) and use of intelligent devices.

 

 

Can the US and Europe Be Strategic Partners?

Key note speech: John Herbst, Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, US Department of State

To carry out stability operations means to build peace. There are 2 key components of peace-keeping actions: military and civilian. In fact, it is necessary to organize not only military, but also civilian side of such operations. The core issue is to ensure the civilian response capability. Furthermore, it is crucial to do preventive work by looking at different issues in unstable regions. To this end, there has to be a sense of global partnership and collective responsibility in international environment; willingness to work together and to overcome institutional imperfections. Another important issue is the exchange of information between cooperating partners: an agreement on exchanging information in 2007, Brussels.
Training courses, along with comprehensive planning, represent an essential aspect of stability operations too. If an operation is to be successful, it needs to be run according to a certain agenda ensuring that the resources are applied rationally. Finally, peace building operations are not only a governmental concern. They should involve other civil society actors, especially NGOs working in this field of action.

 

 

 

Session V: US-EU Partnership, the Transatlantic Economy, and Global Governance

Moderator: Bruce Stokes, Columnist, National Journal, U.S.

Panelists:

Charles Heeter, Managing Principal – Global Public Policy, Deloitte,Transatlantic Business Dialogue
Dan Price, Senior Partner for Global Issues, Sidlely and Austin; former Assistant to President George W. Bush for International Economic Affairs
Laura Lane, Senior Vice President of International Government Affairs, Citi
Thomas Bareiss, Member of Budestag, Germany

The speakers highlighted two threats to economic recovery: trade-contracting protectionist measures, and uncoordinated reforms that could impede global investment.
They are of the opinion that protectionism has tobe rejected toresist measures that constrain capital flows, and strive for consistency and cooperation in regulatory
reform.
They all agree taht these aspirations have foundered on a new political reality: The developed world, formerly the champion of global economic integration, has become its principal skeptic. The result is regulatory reform measures that, if unchecked, will foster a disintegration of the global economy and re-raise the very barriers to cross-border trade and investment that the world has spent the past 60 years dismantling.It was underlined that the World Bank reportes that 17 of the G-20 countries adopting measures that either limited imports or favored local products. These actions disrupt global supply chains and mark a retreat from international trade negotiations that have progressively lowered tariffs and other import restrictions.

The speakers belive that among others the following measures have to be taken to
recover the economy :

1. More regulation of financial institutions, instruments and markets.
2. After recovery occurs, encouraging commercial banks to build up more capital reserves during healthy economic times to act as a buffer against future economic downturns.
3. Aggressively discouraging trade protectionism among G20 states , and remaining committed to reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the international-trade-liberalizing.

Final Session: Central Europe in Transatlantic Relations

Dan Hamilton, Center for Transatlantic Relations

What is the message of today meeting? The message is that the Central-Europe is important for the strategic relations between the US and the EU

Kurt Volker

Central Europe is a very ambitious regione of the EU, even if there are divergences between the EU, US and Russia.

H.E. Emil Constantinescu, former President of Romania

With Kuchma and Kwasnieski Constantinescu launched the trilateral initiative to create a stability pact in Central Europe.  The fall of the Communism was a victory of NATO and the West which helped the East. Without the US efforts, Central Europe would not have been in NATO and EU. Obama is the right person to restore a climate of confidence and trust. Now Central Europe is not  a part of the world the US must change even if today Central Europe now is at a crossroad.
We must understand that the Central Europe integration cannot take part without the US.
It’s time to invest in transatlantic relations and solidarity, which are not a result just of cold war. 
20 Years have passed since 1989 and we still have to fight for nfundamental rights, freedom and the future of fundamental relations

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Senator, former Prime Minister of Poland

We need to continue the cooperation between the Eu and the US because it’s an issue of proximity, identity and values. 
We need to combine all our different potentials.  We should be more realistic and do not forget our problems, among them the lack of a coherent view in Europe and in Central Europe. 
In all this discussion, we cannot never  forget Ukraine, one of European main partners. The Eastern Partnership is the best example of this approach.

Oleksandr Chalyi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentary of Ukraine

Ukraine is a member of the translatlantic family and an issue of the European integration.  For Ukraine the integration was not seen as a mean for membership but of transformation. 
For the first time now  Central Europe can be more independent and more responsive to understand and to take part in the EU-Russia_US dialogue.