Event Recaps

On July 10th, The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center and South Asia Center welcomed Sumant Sinha, chairman and managing director of Renew Power, India's largest solar and wind energy company, for a discussion on the future of Indian renewables. Sinha started his career in investment banking in the United States and United Kingdom, before returning to India to hold senior leadership positions at a multitude of renewable energy companies. David Livingston, deputy director of climate and advanced energy for the Global Energy Center, introduced and moderated the roundtable.

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Day 1

On July 8 and 9, 2019, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center hosted the 13th Meeting of the International Energy Agency’s Gas & Oil Technology Collaboration Program Executive Committee, bringing together energy policy experts from across the world. The first day of the event consisted of two panels: “Addressing Energy System Choices and Responses: The Case of India,” and “Next Generation Energy Investment—the Case of the Oil and Gas Sector.” Jostein Dahl Karlsen, president and chief executive officer of the International Energy Agency Gas and Oil Technology Collaboration Program, offered introductory remarks stressing assistance to nations for their energy choices, drivers of the energy transition, and the importance of resolving energy affordability and accessibility issues.

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Days after the announcement of the Mercosur-European Union trade deal, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center partnered with the Global Business and Economics Program and the Future Europe Initiative for a conference call to discuss the details and implications of the momentous agreement.

A byproduct of two decades of discussions and forty rounds of negotiations, the deal is the largest for the European Union (EU) in terms of population and the first for Mercosur since the four-nation bloc, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, was established in 1991. The agreement covers a population of nearly eight hundred million people and will result in over four billion euros in tariff savings for the European Union.

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On May 23, 2019, the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY, in cooperation with Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ) held an event, hosted by the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD), on Turkey’s Energy Nexus which focused on Turkey’s energy sector and energy relations. The event presented the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY’s joint special issue with TPQ on Turkey’s energy sector dynamics entitled “Turkey’s Energy Nexus: Discoveries & Development”, which was launched at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. on December 6, 2018.

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On June 26, 2019, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center hosted the Fifth Annual Central and Eastern European Energy Security Conference, bringing together leaders and energy policy makers from across the region. The event consisted of three panels: “A Platform for US-Europe Cooperation on Energy Security,” “Strengthening Transatlantic Energy Security Through Innovation,” and “A Path to Energy Independence in Central and Eastern Europe.” Amb. Richard Morningstar, founding chairman of the Global Energy Center, offered introductory remarks stressing the interplay between energy, political, and economic security, as well as the importance of European energy security to the United States and transatlantic cooperation going forward.

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On June 26, the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East in collaboration with Arab Barometer held a public event to release the Arab Barometer's latest public opinion survey data from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. The data covered topics such as the state of the economy, institutional trust, migration, government performance, media consumption, corruption, and foreign relations. Following their presentation, Arab Barometer experts Dr. Mark Tessler and Dr. Kathrin Thomas joined Iraq Initiative Director Dr. Abbas Kadhim and Nonresident Senior Fellow Faysal Itani for a panel discussion moderated by Wall Street Journal reporter Vivian Salama.
On June 20, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and its Eurasia Center co-hosted a public event to discuss the extent of Russian involvement in Venezuela, Moscow’s motivations and possible next moves, and how the United States should react. As a wave of international and domestic support for a democratic transition is sweeping Venezuela, Moscow continues to support Nicolás Maduro. Displays of military force, Rosneft’s 49.9 percent collateral of Venezuela-owned CITGO refiner, and billions in loans to the Maduro regime showcase Russia’s rooted geopolitical and economic interests in Venezuela and the hemisphere.

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Watch the event here.

On Monday, June 10, the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East hosted a public discussion on the economic challenges facing the region.

Hariri Center Deputy Director Tuqa Nusairat welcomed guests and framed the discussion. Dr. Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the International Monetary Fund, then presented the findings of the IMF’s 2019 Regional Economic Outlook (REO) for the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Dr. Azour emphasized four major factors impacting the region’s economics: slowed global growth (projected to drop from 3.6 to 3.3 percent this year); lower and more volatile oil prices; lower external demand, particularly from key trading partners (China, Europe, and Russia); and uncertain global financial conditions. Slow progress in improving employment rates since 2011 has fueled rising discontent as well as hindered growth. Dr. Azour outlined several fiscal and structural policy recommendations for both oil-exporting and oil-importing countries in the region. He advised that the former resume gradual consolidation, insulate the economy from oil shocks, strengthen fiscal institutions, improve business environment and governance, increase SME access to finance, and invest in human and physical capital. He advised that the latter also pursue growth-friendly consolidation, initiate targeted social transfers and restructuring and digitization of SOEs, increase exchange rate flexibility, improve access to credit and the business environment, and undertake product and labor market reforms. 

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On Tuesday, June 18, the Africa Center hosted a public event on the state of democracy in Africa, occasioned by the launch of the new book Democracy Works: Rewiring Politics to Africa’s Advantage by Brenthurst Foundation Director Dr. Greg Mills, former Zimbabwean Minister of Finance Mr. Tendai Biti, Dr. Jeffrey Herbst, and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

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On June 13, 2019, the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center hosted Spencer Dale, group chief economist of BP, for the launch of BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2019. Amb. Richard Morningstar, founding chairman of the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council, introduced Dale and remarked upon the importance of the Statistical Review as the industry “gold standard,” as well as the general interpretation of this year’s report as gloomy due to rising global energy demand and emissions.

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