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Transforming science through international collaboration at the NSF Brussels office

Nicole Peterson, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at NSF, and Jessica Arriens, NSF’s Office of Legislative and Public Affairs

Scientific cooperation is stronger today than ever before. With increasing access to STEM education (Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics) and scientific facilities, opportunities for collaborative research are growing. Working together ensures we leverage both scientific resources and funding to improve science and relationships among people around the world. The National Science Foudation (NSF) Europe and Eurasia Office in Brussels that recently moved from Paris where it had been located since the 1980s is a hub for creating relationships with funders, scientists, and policymakers that can lead to better scientific collaborations, global research programs, and greater awareness of scientific results. With more than 55 percent of U.S. international research involving Europe or Eurasian countries, the Office plays an important role in maintaining our transatlantic connections.

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College of Europe Team Presents Social Media Project on Countering Violent Extremism at the State Department

(Featured Image Source: EUnited against Extremism Facebook page)

From the 24th to the 28th of June 2016, the “EUnited against Extremism” team from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium competed in Washington DC in the Peer 2 Peer Global Competition to challenge extremism, sponsored by the United States State Department and Facebook. In this competition, University students from around the world develop and execute campaigns and social media strategies against extremism that are credible, authentic, and believable to their peers and resonate within their communities. Of the 45 participating teams, the six finalists were invited to present their work at the State Department in Washington DC. Continue reading “College of Europe Team Presents Social Media Project on Countering Violent Extremism at the State Department”

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Ambassador Gardner on U.S. Independence Day: “We’re Not Opting Out, We’re Opting In”

On June 30th, 2016, the United States Ambassador to the European Union, Anthony L. Gardner hosted a July 4th party at his residence in Brussels. During this event, Ambassador Gardner delivered a strong speech on the state of the U.S.-EU transatlantic Relationship to over 700 guests. The full text of Ambassador Garnder’s speech can be found below. 

Ambassador Gardner:

‎Thank you for joining this year’s July 4 celebrations. Thank you to all our generous sponsors for helping to make this event a success.

We’ve all enjoyed the Brussels summer. It reminds me of the walks I used to take with my father in the country on cloudy days. He would point to the smallest sliver of blue sky on the horizon and say: “Good weather is coming our way.” We need some of that American optimism in Brussels; we need some of that American confidence in the European Union!

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World Refugee Day: Turning Tragedy into Opportunity

By Oriana Luquetta, Pickering Fellow at the Department of Public Affairs at the United States Mission to the European Union

(Featured Image: Cmacauley)

Every day, the world is confronted with gut wrenching images of refugees trying to make it to Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in makeshift boats and rafts. In the first half of 2016 alone, more than 2,500 refugees have been reported dead or missing trying to make the perilous journey.[1] Others remain in refugee camps in countries such as Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. The UN estimates that currently some 65.3 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced, of whom 21.3 million are considered refugees [2]. Over half of all refugees come from just three war torn countries: Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan. Refugees worldwide share important characteristics – they all have been seperated from homes, families, and communities. They all have experienced loss and face uncertain futures. And they all look to the rest of the world, for support, for hope.

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USEU Co-Hosts a Screening of the Academy Award Nominated Documentary “Winter on Fire”

By Tobias Van Assche, Information Specialist at the U.S. Mission to the EU

On Tuesday, May 24, The United States Mission to the European Union (USEU), together with the Ukrainian Permanent Representation to the European Union, and the European Parliament, hosted a screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015)” about the large-scale Euromaidan protests against then-President Yanukovych in Kiev during the winter of 2013-2014. Some 200 senior diplomats, European politicians, members of the policy community, and press attended the event held in the regal Bozar theater in the center of Brussels, where two years earlier, President Obama delivered his first major foreign policy address following Russia’s occupation of Crimea (see transcript). After welcome remarks by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Andrej Plenkovic and Ukrainian Vice-Prime Minister for European And Euro-Atlantic Integration, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Winter on Fire director Evgeny Afineevsky introduced his documentary with a moving speech on the strength and conviction of the protestors who stood up for their beliefs. After the screening–which received a standing ovation–Afineevsky responded to questions from the audience.

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