Frances Burwell

  • Burwell in RealClearWorld: Trump’s Travel Ban a Blow to the Atlantic Alliance


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  • Burwell Quoted by CNN on the Trump Administration's Relationship with Europe


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  • Burwell Joins German National Public Radio to Discuss President Trump and Europe


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  • Trump Said What?

    A closer look at some of Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions

    US President-elect Donald Trump’s comments about NATO, the European Union (EU), and Russia have rattled US allies as they look for indicators as to how the United States will engage with the international community and establish its role in the world.

    On January 16, Trump gave an interview to The Times of London and the German newspaper Bild in which he discussed his opinions on a variety of global challenges. As the inauguration nears, Trump’s statements have been taken as indicators of the direction of the new administration’s foreign policy. Atlantic Council experts weigh in on the president-elect’s comments and discuss their significance.

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  • Transatlantic Relationship Forecast: Stormy Weather Ahead

    The transatlantic relationship is in for a rough ride over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency simply because there is no “correcting mechanism” among the incoming cabinet to counter the next US president’s rhetoric on the European Union, according to an Atlantic Council analyst.

    In an interview with the Times of London and Germany’s Bild newspaper published on January 15, Trump bashed NATO as “obsolete,” described the European Union (EU) as “basically a vehicle for Germany,” applauded the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU, and predicted that more EU member states would follow. The comments rattled the United States’ European allies.

    Trump’s key cabinet picks—secretary of state nominee former ExxonMobil Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson and defense secretary nominee retired Gen. James Mattis—broke with the president-elect and spoke favorably of NATO at their confirmation hearings earlier in January. However, the absence of a depth of EU expertise among Trump’s cabinet is striking, said Fran Burwell, a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council.

    “They know about NATO or have had experience in NATO, but not regarding the EU. There is no correcting mechanism at the cabinet level that we see so far that would present a counterview to what Trump has said” about the EU, said Burwell.

    “The EU itself is in for a rough ride over the next few years,” she predicted.

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  • Burwell in the Telegraph: Europeans Can't Afford to Laugh at Russia's US Election Hacking. They Are in the Firing Line Too


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  • German Authorities Tread Carefully After Berlin Attack

    ISIS claims responsibility; official response ‘measured’ 

    German authorities have been “careful not to jump to conclusions” following a December 19 attack on a Christmas market in Berlin despite the fact that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has claimed responsibility, said Jasmine El-Gamal, a senior fellow with the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

    “They’re being very measured,” El-Gamal said. “[T]hey’re not quick… to shift the blame to someone else because they’re still in fact-gathering mode.”

    El-Gamal joined Fran Burwell, vice president for European Union and Special Initiatives at the Atlantic Council, for a Facebook Live discussion on December 20 to examine the security situation in Europe in light of the attack, as well as the potential political implications. 

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  • Will France Stem the Tide of Populism?

    As France looks ahead to its 2017 presidential elections, one of many elections throughout Europe next year, the electorate’s decision will set the tone for the future of Europe, either encouraging or halting the spread of populism throughout the transatlantic community, said an expert on French public policy.

    In introductory remarks at an event at the Atlantic Council on December 13, Dominique Moïsi, a senior counsellor at the Institut Montaigne, said: “The importance of France today can be summarized in one formula: the French… can demonstrate that the victory of populism is not irresistible. That somewhere you can say no to the temptation of populism.” Ultimately, “France will assume responsibility for the liberal democratic order,” he added.

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  • Italian Voters Deal Leadership Blow to Europe

    The victory of the “no” vote in the Italian referendum is not simply a rejection of reform, but will result in a significant loss of leadership on the European stage with the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, according to Andrea Montanino, director of the Global Business and Economics Program at the Atlantic Council.

    Montanino, a former career officer in the Italian Ministry of Finance, said that “the biggest problem in Europe now is the lack of leadership, the lack of someone to give a vision of what to do next.”

    On December 4, Italians voted down a referendum designed to reform and streamline the processes of government. Renzi, who had said he would resign if the “yes” vote is defeated, handed in his resignation to Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

    In Renzi’s absence, compounded by French President François Hollande’s decision to not to seek a second term in office and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to run for a fourth term, “the risk for the future of Europe, to me, is that you will have leaders… that are not able to find a common view,” Montanino said. Additionally, it will be hard for the United States to find a partner in an increasingly insular Europe, he added.

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  • TTIP is on ‘Life Support’

    A fundamental fear of globalization is the greatest threat to the success of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), said Marie Kasperek, assistant director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program.

    Kasperek joined Fran Burwell, vice president and director of the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council, to discuss the future of TTIP under US President-elect Donald Trump. While Burwell said TTIP is not dead, merely “on life support,” she asserted the importance of the deal for the US economy, describing how not only large companies, but small-to-medium enterprises can benefit from free trade.

    However, a major hindrance to free-trade deals is the lack of understanding and fear of globalization, according to Kasperek. “People are scared,” she said.

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