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ODU to Host European Union Ambassador, Seminars on Europe and U.S. Connections

United Nations Ambassador João Vale de Almeida

European Union Ambassador João Vale de Almeida will deliver the keynote address at Old Dominion University's "Europe and America - Learning from Each Other" conference at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in the North Cafeteria of Webb Center.

The conference, which will continue Friday, May 13, features a series of seminars on topics pertinent to the United States and Europe, including economic reform, austerity, health care and foreign policy. Sponsored by ODU's Access EU, a comprehensive initiative to build alliances and partnerships between Hampton Roads and Europe, and the World Affairs Council of Hampton Roads, the keynote and seminars are free and open to the public.

In his role as ambassador, Vale de Almeida is the head of the delegation of the European Union to the United States. In this capacity, he represents European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, under the authority of Catherine Ashton, the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. Prior to his appointment in Washington, D.C., Vale de Almeida served as the director general for external relations at the European Commission, the European Union's executive body. He has served in a variety of roles with the European Commission since 1982.

As the two dominant powers on the world scene, the European Union and the U.S. have a relationship based on strong fundamental beliefs in democratic government, human rights and market economies. Leaders on both sides of the Atlantic join together in trade relations, the fight against terrorism and the handling of crisis and conflicts. Bilateral trade between the EU and U.S. amounts to more than $1 billion a day; investment links are even more substantial, totaling more than $1.8 trillion a year.

According to Regina Karp, ODU associate professor of political science and director of the graduate program in international studies, the EU-U.S. economic partnership goes way beyond pure trade matters. "Dialogues between the two are tremendously important for business, financial and social matters," she said, noting that the EU and U.S. also work together to promote global peace, stability and democracy.

As a major international port and military hub, Hampton Roads is an important region for European contacts and businesses. "Europe's connection to Hampton Roads is vital to the region," said Karp. "We hope our conference will strengthen our community of well-informed opinion leaders, investors and citizens in the Hampton Roads region. It builds upon the natural trans-Atlantic relationship long established in our area."

In November 2010, ODU received a $157,000 grant as part of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States "Getting to Know Europe Grants Competition." Access EU is led by ODU's graduate programs in international studies and business administration. For more information about Access EU, visit www.odu.edu/accesseu.

All events at the conference, except a May 12 reception and the May 13 luncheon, are free and open to the public. However, those planning to attend the other sessions are asked to RSVP at www.odu.edu/ao/univevents (event code GPR11) or via phone at 683-3116. All of the sessions will take place in Webb Center.

The complete list of events is as follows:

Thursday, May 12, 6 p.m.

Reception hosted by the World Affairs Council of Hampton Roads, $25 for members, $30 for non-members. To register, visit: www.hrwac.org

Thursday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.

Conference keynote address, European Union Ambassador João Vale de Almeida

Friday, May 13, 9:30 a.m.

"The U.S.-EU Partnership: Transatlantic Economic Relations," Daniel Hamilton, executive director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations and executive director of the American Consortium on EU Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 13, 10:30 a.m.

"European Integration and Economic Governance," Jean Dominique Guiliani, chairman of the board, Robert Schuman Foundation, Paris

Friday, May 13, 11:30 a.m.

"Transatlantic Energy Policy Innovations," Dale Medearis, senior Environmental planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission

Friday, May 13, 12:30 p.m.

Invitation-only keynote luncheon, featuring Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, research fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 13, 2 p.m.

"Europe's Promise," Steven Hill, columnist, political professional and author of "Europe's Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope for an Insecure Age"

Friday, May 13, 3:15 p.m.

"Civil Liberties and U.S.-EU Approaches to Terrorism," Annegret Bendiek, researcher, Stiftung Wissenschft und Politik, Berlin

Friday, May 13, 4:15 p.m.

"Europe's Multicultural Debates featuring Rahsaan Maxwell," assistant professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Friday, May 13, 5:15 p.m.

Closing remarks


This article was posted on: May 11, 2011

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