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July 18, 2013
On Tuesday, July 16, the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative and Program on Transatlantic Relations hosted a roundtable discussion on "Long-Term Trends and their Implications for the Transatlantic Partnership." Fred Kempe, Atlantic Council president and CEO, provided opening remarks for the event. Moderation of remarks was provided by Fran G. Burwell, vice-president and director of the Atlantic Council Program on Transatlantic Relations and James Elles, member of the European Union Parliament.

Roundtable discussion focused on analyses by speakers Mathew Burrows, US National Intelligence Council (NIC) counselor, and Alvaro de Vasconcelos, former director of the EU Institute for Security Studies (ISS). Dr. Burrows and Dr. de Vasconcelos offered their insights into how some of the key long-term developments identified in the NIC’s latest Global Trends report and similar analysis by the ISS will impact the future of cooperation between the United States and the European Union. Furthermore, both presented the outline of a draft working paper entitled “Transatlantic Ties 2030” that seeks to assess the key challenges likely to face US-EU joint action and set out emerging scenarios for transatlantic relations in a rapidly changing global context.

Insight and commentary on the plausibility of scenarios outlined by Dr. Burrows and Dr. de Vasconcelos were provided by Robert A. Manning, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, Eric Peters, adviser at the European Commission’s Bureau of European Policy Advisors, and Simon Serfaty, Zbigniew Brzezinski chair in global security and geostrategy, emeritus at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Participants centered conversation on the transatlantic partnership’s potential to act as an axis of stability in an increasingly polycentric world order. Emphasis was added to the importance of utilizing the strength of US-EU ties to support deeper integration of developing states into a more multilateral global system. Building upon this emphasis, dialogue evolved to include discussion over the importance of implementing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Focus on this endeavor stemmed from the agreed upon strategic imperative that shoring up the declining relative power of the partnership relies heavily on strengthening the growth potential of transatlantic economic ties.