Testing Europe's UnityThe Atlantic Council kicked off the second day of the conference “Toward a Europe Whole and Free” with a keynote conversation featuring José Manuel Durão Barroso, president of the European Commission. With the crisis in Ukraine unfolding, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations on the agenda, and the European Parliament elections quickly approaching, President Barroso outlined how these developments pose both opportunities and challenges for Europe’s unity.
Highlights from the Atlantic Council’s “Europe Whole and Free” Conference
WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State John Kerry today advised Russia to “leave Ukraine in peace.” Kerry restated US support for NATO allies and Ukraine in the face of Russian-backed attacks in eastern Ukrainian cities.
Kerry spoke at a two-day conference on the future of Europe sponsored by the Atlantic Council. In front of government ministers from countries in eastern and southeastern Europe, he condemned the Kremlin for what he called its “zero” in implementing this month’s Geneva agreement meant to de-escalate the crisis. Russia has taken “not one single step” to fulfill the agreement, he said, adding that the conflict is a “wakeup call for us” in the NATO alliance.
At the Atlantic Council's Toward a Europe Whole and Free conference in Washington, DC on April 29-30, 2014, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, and James L. Jones, chairman of the Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and former national security advisor, introduced the initiative and the fifteen emerging leaders. Peter Westmacott, British ambassador to the United States, provided concluding remarks.
Toward a Europe Whole and Free Panel Explores Growth of Southern EuropeAfter an eventful start to the two-day conference “Toward a Europe Whole and Free,” and immediately following keynote remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Atlantic Council held a moderated panel discussion on “Consolidating Europe’s South” with four ministers from the region.
H.E. Ditmir Bushati, minister of foreign affairs of Albania; H.E. Igor Luksic, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and integration of Montenegro; H.E. Nikola Poposki, minister of foreign affairs of Macedonia; and H.E. Kristian Vigenin, minister of foreign affairs of Bulgaria all featured on the panel. Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Ian Brzezinski moderated the discussion.
At a time when events in Ukraine have dominated recent international news, the panel on Europe’s South considered the growth of a region that has itself experienced significant periods of conflict.