Frances Burwell

  • To B or Not to B? Obama Steps into Brexit Debate

    US President Barack Obama’s forceful, and unusual, call for the United Kingdom not to leave the European Union reflects a combination of Washington’s unease over the possibility of a Brexit and its big stake in the outcome of the vote, according to the Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell.

    It is “natural for friends to want to comment on such major decisions,” said Burwell, Vice President, European Union and Special Initiatives, at the Atlantic Council.

    “I’m sure the President would not have done this without the enthusiastic backing of [British] Prime Minister [David] Cameron. But neither would he have done this for an issue that did not affect US interests,” she added.

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  • Burwell Joins The Diane Rehm Show to Discuss What Britain’s Potential Exit From the European Union Could Mean For Global Markets


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  • Atlantic Council Digital Marketplace Report Featured in DigitalEurope


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  • Burwell Quoted in Handelsblatt on Brussels Terrorist Attacks and the Future of Security in the European Union


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  • Migrant Deal ‘Reengages’ Turkey with the European Union

    The deal reached on March 18 to address Europe’s migrant crisis “reengages” Turkey with the European Union, but is a “questionable deal” for Europe, said the Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell.

    “Even more important than the specifics of the negotiation, this deal reengages Turkey with Europe, taking the relationship out of the deep freeze where it had been,” said Burwell, Vice President of the Atlantic Council’s European Union and Special Initiatives.

    “Turkey is acknowledged as important in Europe, and some of its most recent questionable acts, such as the takeover of Zaman[newspaper], have been largely ignored by European leaders,” she added.

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  • Turkey’s Demands Could Destroy Migrant Deal

    Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell predicts political opposition in Europe

    A preliminary deal struck between the European Union and Turkey to shut Europe’s backdoor to migrants fleeing across the Aegean Sea could likely crumble under the burden of Turkey’s demands, said the Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell.

    “There are a whole bunch of questions about this deal and I would not be surprised to see it change again or perhaps even fall apart at the next meeting,” said Burwell, Vice President of the European Union and Special Initiatives at the Atlantic Council.

    Under the terms of the deal, which European leaders hope to finalize ahead of a March 17-18 summit in Brussels, Turkey will take back all new migrants who illegally enter Greece from Turkey. In a “one-to-one” swap, Europe will take in one Syrian from a Turkish refugee camp for every Syrian returned from Greece. There are close to three million Syrians already in Turkey.

    Turkey has demanded that the European Union double the $3.3 billion in aid already pledged to help it take care of the migrants, allow Turkish citizens visa-free travel in Europe, and speed up Turkey’s long-stalled EU accession process.

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  • Burwell in Rzeczpospolita: Poland's Strength Lies in the European Union's Strength


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  • Burwell Joins the Diane Rehm Show to Discuss the Ongoing Migrant Crisis and What it Means for the Future of Europe


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  • Brexit: And Now It Begins…

    For all the sturm und drangthat accompanied British Prime Minister David Cameron’s negotiations with his European partners on February 19, the specific topics addressed—and the points won by the Prime Minister—were remarkably small. The implications of those negotiations, however, could be immense, both for the United Kingdom and for Europe. Whether the British people vote to “remain” or “leave” on June 23, the campaign will be based on competing arguments for the separateness of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the United Kingdom leaves, it will be striking out on its own in a challenging world.  If it stays, it will do so as a reluctant, ambivalent member, with reduced credibility and influence.

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  • In Brexit Debate, David Cameron Averts Crisis. For Now.

    British leader’s decision to allow cabinet to pick sides on relationship with EU may not work in the long term, says Fran Burwell

    British Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to allow members of his cabinet to pick sides and actively campaign for the United Kingdom to stay in or leave the European Union avoids a split in his government and Conservative Party for now, but may not succeed in these objectives in the long term, says the Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell.

    Cameron has promised to hold an in/out referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain part of the EU. That vote could take place as early as this summer.

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