February 09, 2011 // 12:00pm — 2:00pm
Chief of staff at the Office of the Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy at the U.S. Department of State, Vincent J. O'brien, stated that "stakes for an energy secure future have never been higher than they are today." Cooperation is needed on securing new resources of natural gas, diversifying energy sources and creating a more integrated European energy market. Given that the U.S.–EU trade relationship is the largest in the world and that the economies are increasingly becoming interdependent, Europe's energy security is naturally in the best interest of the U.S. While the dynamics behind Europe's energy concerns are complex, pipeline politics seem to dominate discussions.
February 08, 2011 // 11:00am — 12:00pm
Erion Veliaj, a former civil society activist and coordinator of the Albanian opposition parties, discussed the demonstration held on January 21, 2011. The demonstration ended in violence, with four shot and killed by the Republican Guard. Prime Minister Sali Berisha characterized the event as an attempted coup d'état in an attempt to justify the violent response, and said that the demonstrators had been carrying weapons disguised as umbrellas. Veliaj argued at the meeting that these contentions were "ludicrous": according to Veliaj, this was just another in a number of peaceful demonstrations organized by the opposition to protest what they see were unfair elections in 2009. The Albanian government, Veliaj said, was trying to force the population to choose between stability and freedom.
February 04, 2011 // 9:00am — 10:30am
Wilson Center on the Hill
An examination of policy issues affecting the developing world, including U.S. development policy, U.S. nuclear policy, and climate and conflict resolution.
February 02, 2011 // 11:00am — 12:00pm
Southeast Europe—a region still vulnerable from recent conflict, underdevelopment and reliance on foreign direct investment—has been uniquely effected by the global economic crisis. Citing his recent publication, Vassilis Monastiriotis explained that the region's underdevelopment had in part protected it from the financial crisis and that good policies have helped some countries to rebound more quickly.
January 28, 2011 // 9:00am — 10:30am
Wilson Center on the Hill
Experts will discuss how key regions such as China and Europe as well as issues such as immigration and urban growth affect U.S. trade and finance policy.
Ensuring Compliance: Strategies for Popular Cooptation by the Party and State Security in Communist Europe and in Ba'thist Iraq
January 27, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
With varying degrees of success, authoritarian regimes frequently co-opt their citizens to gather information on and undermine their domestic opposition. According to Martin Dimitrov, communist Bulgaria's ability to suppress dissent was diminished from the 1970s onward because the Western-led international human rights regime forced the government to replace harsher methods it had previously used with a system of rewards for volunteer informants and reprimands for dissidents. The ineffectiveness of these tactics contributed to the regime's eventual collapse. In contrast, Joseph Sassoon explained that Iraq's Ba'th Party—unable to rely upon a superpower for support and steeled by a series of wars—was able to remain in power for thirty-five years in part because it did not relax its efforts at co-optation and repression as the regime matured.
January 25, 2011 // 10:30am — 12:00pm
The economic crisis in Hungary has evolved into a political crisis, as Viktor Orban's FIDESZ government has passed a number of laws and initiatives that severely thwart democracy. Orban's populism has led his government to restrict press freedoms, undermine the balance of powers and silence opponents in the arts and academia by cutting institutional budgets, while claiming austerity. According to Attila Mesterházy, leader of the opposition Hungarian Socialist Party, the FIDESZ government's reforms do not serve the national interest and have harmed Hungary's reputation abroad during this crucial period when it holds the rotating EU presidency.
January 11, 2011 // 9:00am — 10:00am
"Open energy markets—which is the ability of oil and gas to flow to the purchaser—is really the core of our energy security," said David Goldwyn, the State Department's special envoy for international energy affairs. Making sure markets are open, fair, and transparent is one of five tenets of the administration's global energy security agenda that he discussed at a January 11 Director's Forum.
December 20, 2010 // 11:00am — 12:00pm
Following the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty last year, the European Union (EU) has initiated a series of decision-making and institutional reforms, including the creation of the External Action Service (EAS). Angelos Pangratis, Deputy Head of the European Commission Delegation in Washington, offered an informal progress report on how the EAS will be structured and the key areas of cooperation between the EU and the United States. He argued that the success of the EAS will be judged by its ability to produce concrete results in coordinating and implementing a comprehensive common foreign and security policy for the EU’s 27 members.
December 16, 2010 // 1:00pm — 2:30pm
Middle East Program
An author, activist and scholar, Senay Özdemir addressed her personal experiences as a Muslim feminist in Western Europe, along with her literary and journalistic efforts to give voice to the Mediterranean community and their role in Dutch politics.