Frances Burwell

  • 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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  • Burwelll Joins C-SPAN to Discuss Transatlantic Relations in a Donald Trump Presidency

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  • #AftertheVote Discussion with Fran Burwell and Marie Kasperek

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  • A Muddied Road to Brexit

    The November 3 ruling by a British High Court that Parliament must vote before the British government invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has been seen by many as making it less likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. In reality, although it may slow the process, it could also lead to a much more difficult negotiation with the other EU member states, and even increase the likelihood of a “hard Brexit” in which the UK loses access to the Single Market.

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  • Burwell Quoted by The Guardian on The Biggest Challenge Facing the Incoming President

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  • Burwell Quoted by International Business Times on How the CETA Blow Could Bolster Eurosceptics in Britain

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  • It’s Too Soon to Write Off Angela Merkel

    Angela Merkel has acknowledged that the setback her party suffered in elections in an eastern state this past weekend was a repudiation of her welcome to Syrian migrants, but the Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell said backing away from this controversial policy will only hurt the German chancellor further.

    “The voters would be more skeptical of her if she were to reverse what is a deep personal commitment, even though they may disagree with it,” said Burwell, vice president, European Union and Special Initiatives, at the Atlantic Council.

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