Transatlantic week in Washington D.C.

Challenges ahead: can the transatlantic economy stay competitive?


Again this year EIF made a major contribution to the success of TA Week in Washington, organised by the Transatlantic Policy Network under the title “Challenges Ahead: Can the Transatlantic Economy Stay Competitive?”. The full TA week programme benefitted from strong participation by Members of European Parliament and Members of the US Congress.

All TA roundtables took place in the new Capitol Hill Visitors Center, made available to us by US congressional members of the Transatlantic Policy Network

- Welcome reception:

On Monday evening João Vale de Almeida, Head of the EU Delegation in Washington, hosted an informal reception at the residence for European TA Week participants.

- Opening session:

The TA week 2011 was officially opened on Tuesday afternoon by the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Member of the US House of Representatives and Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Honorable Howard Berman, Member of the US House of representatives and Ranking Member House Committee on Foreign Affairs. TPN member and Speaker of the House John Boehner sent last-minute regrets as he was preoccupied with negotiations over raising the US debt ceiling.

They both emphasised the growing importance of transatlantic partnership for engagement in global issues. Opening remarks were also given by Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman, The Group of the European People's Party,Hannes Swoboda MEP, Vice-President, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats, Mark Vachon, Vice-President, GE ecomagination, Jake Jones, Executive Director, External Affairs and Public Policy, Daimler AG, H E João Vale de Almeida, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the, European Union to the United States and H E William Kennard, US Ambassador to the European Union.

The Honorable Jim Costa, US House of Representatives welcomed Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group who gave a detailed snapshot of the International economic outlook, stressing the rapidity with which the world is changing and the need for Europe and the United States to respond.

'Digital' highlights over the four days included:

- Roundtable 1: Future Security Threats - the Rising Cyber Dimension (Wednesday, 8.30-9.30)

The need for an internationally coordinated policy for the protection of critical infrastructure was highlighted in this roundtable.

Chairman: Tyson Barker, Director, Transatlantic Relations, Bertelsmann Foundation


Jeff Moss, Chief Security Officer, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Christian Leffler, Managing Director for the Americas, European External Action Service (EEAS)


The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, Member of the US House of Representatives

Ivailo Kalfin, MEP, European Parliament

- Roundtable 8: Research and Innovation (Wednesday, 14:30-16:00)

The panel developed a series of ideas for future collaboration between the US and the European Union in research and innovation. Brief outlines of existing US and European policy in this field served to highlight the importance of research and innovation to both sides of the Atlantic, as an engine for economic recovery and growth.

Chairman: John Wood, Chairman, European Research Area Board


John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President of the United States

Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, President, Karolinska Institutet

Alexander von Gabain, Chairman-Elect, European Institute of Innovation and Technology


The Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Member of the US House of Representatives

The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson, Member of the US House of Representatives

Marietje Schaake MEP, European Parliament

- Roundtable 10: Digital Agenda (Wednesday 16:15-17:45)

There is growing demand on both sides of the Atlantic for convergence in policy and regulation impacting the development and use of digital communications technologies, and growing recognition that the time for concentrated convergence effort is now. Moreover, it is clear that the transatlantic digital agenda will assume ever-increasing and central importance in any renewed push for wider transatlantic market integration in a foreseeable post-Doha world, as well as in our common effort to spread democracy and defend human rights around the world.

Chairman: John Zysman, Professor of Political Science, University of California Berkeley


Ambassador Philip Verveer, US Coordinator & Deputy Assistant Secretary, International Communications and Information Policy, US Department of State

Christian Leffler, Managing Director for the Americas, European External Action Service (EEAS)


The Honorable Bob Goodlatte, Member of the US House of Representatives

Pilar del Castillo MEP, European Parliament

- Seminar on Privacy and Intellectual Property (Thursday, 9.00-11.00)

Co-organised with the Advisory Committee to the US Congressional Internet Caucus.

The seminar was facilitated by Rick Boucher, Congressional Internet Caucus founding co-chair and Erika Mann, co-Founder of the European Internet Foundation. 

Topics included:

Privacy & Security - WATCH A VIDEO

- Comparing EU data privacy with omnibus privacy legislation in Congress: Are we coming together?

- Will transatlantic data flows continue in the era of the cloud?

- Cyber Security Disclosure: Are the EU and US safeguarding our critical and non-critical systems?

- Geolocation and Browser Tracking: Do we have privacy in where we are and can our browsers stop trackers?

Copyright and Intellectual Property - WATCH A VIDEO 

- Protect IP Act: Can the Senate empower the USG to thwart overseas piracy? What are the diplomatic considerations?

- ICE Domain Seizures: Duty and legality of government website take down action.

- Copyright and the Cloud: The implications for Copyright and IPR as a result of the paradigm shift that is the cloud and cloud audio players and streamers.

Site visits in New York

On 14 and 15 July, a delegation of MEPs went to New York for the following programme:

- visit to CNN/TimeWarner studios on the Transformation of the media

Various initiatives were presented to demonstrate how the magazine, newspaper and television industries, supposedly doomed to extinction in the internet area, are reinventing themselves and going digital largely based on the strong uptake of tablet devices by consumers

- visit to AT&T Global Network Operations Center focused on Cybersecurity

The Global Network Operations Center (GNOC) in New Jersey  is the largest and most sophisticated command-and-control center of its kind in the world, managing about one third or world internet traffic. The GNOC staff monitors and proactively manages the data and voice traffic flowing across AT&T’s domestic and global networks twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. From their workstations, they can quickly survey a sweeping wall of 141 giant screens showing different aspects of network activity, network topography and news events, and intervene as necessary to ensure continuity of service.  There were also presentations on AT&T’s cloud services strategy, and rapid intervention capabilities to restore and maintain network services anywhere in the world following physical infrastructure damage or failure.

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