Great Powers Asia

1.1 Great Powers in East Asia: a stronger role for the EU?

The global economy and geopolitics have been reshaped by the rise of China. Bound by a “G2” of interrelated economic interests and tied to security arrangements with states in the East and South China seas, the US have “pivoted” their attention to East Asia for a good portion of the last decade. Where is the European Union in this picture? Does its significant economic relationship with China translate into a comparably relevant political dialogue? Should it? In brief, what is the current and potential future trajectory of the EU in perhaps the most relevant theater outside the transatlantic relationship?


1.2 Immigration, asylum and borders: the EU’s policy challenges and parallels with the US

Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean increased dramatically in 2014, escalating media attention to the region and highlighting resource gaps needed to assist these vulnerable populations. The European Union’s policymakers are faced with significant challenges in determining how to best address these flows. Is existing border control capacity sufficient? How can the burden to fund new programs be shared among member states? The southern border of the United States presents similar challenges, where unprecedented flows of unaccompanied children and young mothers triggered a complex, interagency response. This panel brings together policymakers and analysts from the EU and US to share policy approaches to new migration trends and increased migrant arrivals.

New Economic Growth

1.3 New economic growth models for Europe: a comparison with Asia and the United States

By some accounts, the global economic crisis revealed structural weaknesses in European economies that go beyond the financial markets, monetary policies or sovereign handling of debt. In rebuilding their integrated economies, the EU member states need to provide solutions that account for, among others, a changing demography, varied competitiveness across the continent and, not least, the impact of regulatory environments on the ease of doing business.

Europe in the world

Plenary Discussion I: Towards a New Europe in the World

Europe’s multiple challenges and change processes are best observed from the vantage point of the EU’s “executive”. The European Commission’s leadership must weave the different priorities, challenges and options into coherent policy going forward. The first plenary session will draw on the experience of both the Commission’s political leadership and the European External Action Service’s worldview to center, institutionally, the debates of the Conference.

Cyber 2 kl

2.1 Transatlantic perspectives on cybersecurity and privacy

Cybersecurity and the modern concept of privacy are both shaped by recent and rapid developments in information technology. An uneven but growing cyberspace is yet to be governed by a unified international regime. However, within it, states, corporations, non-governmental actors and individuals are interacting and redefining the concepts of sovereignty, accountability, and privacy. Different political and legal cultures are fueling conversations on both sides of the Atlantic and this panel will aim to delve further into it, with a range of speakers covering varied geographies and institutional identities.

Crimea www

2.2 One year after Crimea: Russia, Ukraine and the Western Response

The Russian annexation of Crimea has provided the European Union with the single largest legal and political challenge to the continental order since the end of the Cold War. Open inter-state conflict and territorial transfer are two of the key taboos broken by the events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. This panel will investigate the consequences of these actions one year later and the potential scenarios going forward.


2.3 Overcoming Euroskepticism: towards the United States of Europe or the united Europe of states?

The economic difficulties of the past years and the temporary loss of faith in the European project have led to an unprecedented showing of populist and nationalist parties in the European Parliament elections of 2014. What are the consequences of these results, 9 months later, and what are their long-term implications? Can and, if so, how will the European Union move forward? Equally important, what will the prospects of an UK exit from the EU mean for the prospects of an increasingly federated Europe?

Extremisms 2

3.1 Countering violent extremism and the return of foreign terrorist fighters

The panel will explore how Western European countries and the US are under pressure to devise successful counter-terrorism/CVE strategies, facing a multitude of political, legal and civic challenges. How do selected American and European experiences in addressing terrorist radicalization compare to and inform each other? What are the opportunities for an integrated transatlantic approach and how would such a framework look like? The panelists will shed light on these pressing issues by discussing their rich experiences and research, particularly with regards to factors that account for the radicalization of so-called foreign terrorist fighters and the ways to deal with their potential return to their home countries.

Financial Markets

3.2 Integration of Europe’s financial markets: where do we stand?

On November 4, 2014 the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) at the ECB officially took over as the watchdog for the Euro Zone’s 120 largest banks. Some have called the SSM a landmark of European integration. In June 2012 the European Council basically agreed to a further integration of the banking sector but, as many note, the Banking Union is yet far from complete. A Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) and a pan-European deposit insurance scheme is still work in progress. However, as the Euro crisis seems less acute, the institutional advancement has slowed down. The panel will explore the perspectives of the ESM and of further integration of the financial and banking sectors.


3.3 Enterpreneurship in the EU and the US

This panel will review the differences and mutual lessons that the EU and the US can provide in creating and sustaining entrepreneurial environments. New businesses provide engines for not just growth and jobs, but also technological innovation. The Europe’s varied geography of experiences offers interesting contrasts to the American context.


Plenary Discussion II: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: opportunity or threat?

Negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement started in June 2013. Due to the high trade volume between the United States and the European Union, this agreement would establish the world’s largest free trade zone. At the same time, the agreement intends to cover not only traditional market access, but also provisions on investment protection, services, public procurement, non-tariff barriers and trade related rules.