My background • PhD theoretical physics (Nijmegen) and MBA (Warwick) • Set up a software company, worked at Philips Electronics • Since 1991 at European Commission • Managing policy and cooperation programs (IT related) • Personal staff European Commissioner Liikanen (telecoms) • Headed e-government, now head of IT for inclusion • Managing policies and programmes (M€ 40-50 p.a.) • Currently on EU Fellowship at UNC/Chapel Hill
Celebrating the European Union:A Half Century of Change and Progress • Since the creation of the EU half a century ago, Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history. • European political integration is unprecedented in history. • EU enlargement has helped overcome the division of Europe – contributing to peace, prosperity, and stability across the continent. • A single market and a common currency conditions for companies and consumers. • EU has united the citizens of Europe – while preserving Europe’s diversity. European Union United in diversity
What is the European Union? 27 Member States • Shared values: liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. • Largest economic body in the world. • World’s most successful model for advancing peace and democracy. • A unique institution – Member States voluntarily cede national sovereignty in many areas to carry out common policies and governance. • Not a super-state to replace existing states, nor just an organization for international cooperation. • World’s most open market for goods and commodities from developing countries. Combined population of EU Member States 499 million 7.4 Percent of world’s population Percent of global GDP 30 Percent of combined worldwide Official Development Assistance 59
EU Institutions European Commission • 27 Commissioners, representing the European perspective, each responsible for a specific policy area. • EU’s executive branch proposes legislation, manages Union’s day-to-day business and budget, and enforces rules. • Negotiates trade agreements and manages Europe’s multilateral development cooperation. Council of the European Union • EU’s main decision-making body, comprised of ministers of 27 Member States, representing Member State’s point of view. • Decides on foreign policy issues. • Council presidency rotates among Member States every six months. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso
EU Institutions European Parliament • Voice of European citizens – members elected for five-year terms. • With the Council, passes EU laws and adopts EU budgets. • Approves EU Commissioners. European Court of Justice • Highest EU judicial authority. • Ensures all EU laws are interpreted and applied correctly and uniformly. • Can act as an independent policy maker but unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, the ECJ can only deal with matters covered by the Treaties. European Parliament in session
European Central Bank • The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for Europe's single currency, the euro. • The ECB’s main task is to maintain the euro's purchasing power and thus price stability in the euro area. • The euro area comprises the 16 European Union countries that have introduced the euro since 1999. • The ECB operates independently from Member State governments. The euro was introduced in 1999
Cyprus Malta Slovakia United in Diversity - The €uro
The €uro € € € € • In 1999, the euro area was established as a currency in eleven of the then fifteen EU Member States. • Of the 27 EU Member States today, sixteen have adopted the euro. • One of the striking benefits of a single European currency are low interest rates due to a high degree of price stability. • The euro is as stable and credible as the best-performing currencies previously used in the euro area countries.
1951: European Coal and Steel Community • In the aftermath of World War II, the aim was to secure peace among Europe’s victorious and vanquished nations and bring them together as equals, cooperating within shared institutions. • Based on a plan by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman. • Six founding countries – Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – signed a treaty to run heavy industries (coal and steel) under common management. Jean Monnet and other leaders with the first “European” ingot of steel
1957: Treaty of Rome • The six founding countries expanded cooperation to other economic sectors, creating the European Economic Community (EEC) – or “common market.” • As a result, people, goods, services, and capital today move freely across the Union. Signing of the Treaty of Rome
1951 Founding Members Belgium France Germany Italy Luxembourg Netherlands
1973 Denmark Ireland United Kingdom
1986 Portugal Spain
November 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall sets the stage for unifying Europe and EU enlargement
1995 Austria Finland Sweden
2004 Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Malta Poland Slovakia Slovenia
2007 Bulgaria Romania
Candidate Countries Croatia Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Turkey Potential Candidate Countries Albania Bosnia & Herzegovina Iceland Montenegro Serbia including Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244
2007 Treaty of LisbonTaking Europe into the 21st Century
The Treaty of Lisbon at a Glance • A More Democratic and Transparent Europe • A More Efficient Europe • A Europe of Rights and Values, Freedom, Solidarity and Security • A More Visible Europe on the Global Stage
The Treaty of Lisbon at a Glance • A More Democratic and Transparent Europe • A strengthened role for the European Parliament • Greater involvement by national parliaments • Decision-making of the Council must now be open to public • A Citizens' Initiative • Clearer categorization between Member State and EU competences • Explicit recognition of a Member State’s right to withdraw from the Union European Parliament
The Treaty of Lisbon at a Glance • A More Efficient Europe • Decision making based on a double majority system from 2014 (vote can only be carried by 55% of Member Countries who must represent at least 65% of EU’s population) • More Actions to be decided by majority voting in the Council • New full-time President of the European Council to give more coherence to EU actions • Improvement in the ability of the EU to act more swiftly in policy areas such as freedom, security and justice
The Treaty of Lisbon at a Glance • A Europe of Rights and Values, Freedom, Solidarity and Security • Democratic values: Reinforcement of the values and objectives on which the European Union is built • Guarantee of the freedoms and principles in the Charter of Fundamental Rights • Solidarity between Member States in the event of a terrorist attack or natural or man-made disaster • Extended capacity to act on freedom, security and justice including the fight against crime and terrorism
The Treaty of Lisbon at a Glance • A More Visible Europe on the Global Stage • A new High Representative for the Union in Foreign Affairs and Security Policy • A new European External Action Service • A single legal personality for the Union • Progress in European security and defense policy
The European Union and the United States “America has no better partner than Europe. Now is the time to build new bridges across the globe as strong as the one that bound us across the Atlantic. Now is the time to join together, through constant cooperation, strong institutions, shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century.” President Barack Obama “The relationship between the United States and Europe is the world’s strongest, most comprehensive, and strategically important partnership. The United States, and a united Europe – this is really the indispensable partnership.” President of theEuropean Commission José Manuel Barroso
Partners in Global Leadership • EU and U.S. work together to develop international standards: • Fighting terrorism and transnational crime • Advancing global trade liberalization • Combating piracy and intellectual property violations • Spreading benefits of globalization • EU and its Member States are helping restore peace and stability in Afghanistan. • EU and U.S. work together in the Middle East Quartet to advance the peace process. • When the EU and U.S. agree, others tend to follow. EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Shared Values and Responsibilities • Freedom & Democracy Support free elections, good governance, human rights, and the rule of law around the world. • Security Cooperate to fight terrorism, limit the spread of nuclear weapons, and work for global peace. • Development Together, EU and U.S. provide 80% of global development assistance and an even larger share of global humanitarian aid in times of disaster and conflict.
A Dynamic Transatlantic Economy • EU and U.S. together account for 40% of total global trade (more than $1.5 billion in transatlantic trade every day). • The $3.75 trillion EU-U.S. transatlantic economy employs 14 million workers on both sides of the Atlantic. • Since 2001, Europe has accounted for roughly two-thirds of total global investment flows into the U.S. – by far the most significant source of foreign investment in the U.S. economy.
European companies are the leading foreign investors in the U.S. • The UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands – top four sources of jobs created by foreign investment in the United States. • American companies invest far more in EU countries than in Asia. • U.S. investment in India is half of American investment in Sweden and roughly the same as in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary • Between 2000 and 2008, US firms invested $26.4 billion in China, less than U.S. investment in Belgium and less than half of American investment in Ireland BMW’s assembly plant is South Carolina’s largest private sector employer.
The EU-US Summit • At the last EU-US Summit on 10 June 2008, European Commission President Barroso, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša and US President Bush committed to the Transatlantic role in: • promoting international peace, stability, human rights, international criminal justice, the rule of law and good governance • fighting terrorism while protecting the fundamental freedoms of democracy • combating climate change, promoting energy security, helping developing nations lift themselves out of poverty, and curing the most crippling infectious diseases US President Bush, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša and European Commission President Barroso at the 2008 EU-US Summit
The EU-US Summit • EU and US leaders also committed to: • work together in conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction • encourage the world’s fastest growing economic powers to assume their responsibilities in the global rules-based system • foster open, competitive and innovative economies through free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, while working towards a prompt, balanced and ambitious agreement in the WTO Doha Round that creates new market access and strengthens growth in both developed and developing nations
The Transatlantic Economic Council • The TEC is a political body to oversee and accelerate government-to-government cooperation with the aim of advancing economic integration between the EU and the US. • The TEC brings together Members of the European Commission and Members of the US Cabinet who carry the political responsibility for the policy areas covered by the Framework. • The TEC convenes a Group of Advisers, consisting of the Co-chairs of the three existing transatlantic dialogues (the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue, Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue and Transatlantic Business Dialogue).
EU-US Aviation Agreements: Opening the Transatlantic Skies • In the margins of the 2007 EU-US Summit in Berlin, the EU and US signed the first aviation treaty between Europe and America. The “Open Skies” Agreement: • Encompasses 60% percent of world air traffic • Is expected to generate billions of dollars in economic benefits on both sides of Atlantic • Is expected to generate up to 80,000 new jobs and millions of additional passengers over the next five years
Future of Transatlantic Relations • EU and U.S. face common challenges that are global in origin and impact. With global challenges, come global responsibilities. • EU and U.S., with our shared values and common interests, are natural partners to give a lead in four key areas: • Promote peace, human rights and democracy worldwide. • Confront global challenges, including security and non-proliferation. • Foster prosperity and opportunity. • Advance strategic cooperation on energy security, climate change and sustainable development.
“Since no single nation can efficiently and effectively deal with global challenges such as climate change, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, pandemics and natural disasters on its own, we commit ourselves to strengthening our cooperation to address these challenges.” EU-U.S. Summit DeclarationVienna, July 2006
Illustrating European collaboration Action Plan for Aging Well in the Information Society • European Commission adopted 4-point Action Plan to improve quality of life and reduce cost of care of elderly with the help of information technology: 1) raise awareness, 2) reduce legislative and technical barriers, 3) validate European-wide solutions 4) joint research • European Commission proposed legislation for cooperation of Member States to step up financial support for joint research • Council of Ministers and European Parliament agreed this legislation, resulting in investment of $800 million and alignment of national rules. • Academics, user organisations, industry, public authorities are now running many EU projects for independent living of elderly people in situations of mild dementia, Alzheimer, risk of falling, social isolation.
Examples of EU research in IT for aging well Smart shoes in EU SMILING project Falls of elderly: frequent, costly, and reduce quality of life – but… technology can be of help Fall sensors in vest, Second Life simulation in EU CAALYX project iWalker in EU Share-IT project
Example of EU legislation • Temporary Workers Directive (Directive = EU Law) • 3 million temporary agency workers to get rights for equal treatment with permanent employees (pay, working hours, training, …) • Proposed in 2002 by European Commission, requiring approval by Council of Ministers and European Parliament • Main opposition by UK, concerned about temporary agency workers becoming less attractive; but also initial opposition by unions, concerned about permanent employees • Adopted in 2008, with still 3 years for entry into national law and a UK exception (12 weeks rather than immediate equal treatment in UK).
Another example of EU legislation:mobile phone rates • Cell phone rates used to be very high and variable to call from one country to another (roaming): the return-from-holiday bill shock • European Commission in 2006 proposed lower and capped rates • After a lot of opposition this was adopted as EU law in June 2007 • Consumer prices fell by 60%, traffic has gone up by