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Building bridges between cultures through travel

By The Cultural Affairs Team, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Mission to the EU What better way to broaden your horizon and  understand other people than to strap on your boots, leave your comfort zone, and interact with foreign cultures in places you have never been to or even heard of. The U.S. Department of State understands the importance of being exposed to other cultures and … Continue reading Building bridges between cultures through travel

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Providing a house is not the same as providing a home: an interview with PRM Refugee Coordinator Sam Healy

(Featured image source: ShareAmerica.gov)

On September 12-13, 2016, the United States Mission to the European Union (USEU) sponsored and helped organize the “Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion” conference in Brussels, along with the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the Council of Europe, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Canadian Mission to the European Union. In a number of speeches, panels, and workshops, the conference participants discussed the important next step in resolving the refugee crisis that Europe is trying to manage: integrating them into our societies.

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Sam Healy, PRM’s Refugee Coordinator at the U.S.Embassy in Belgrade (Source: USEU)

Members of the U.S. government played important roles during the conference. Chargé d’Affaires Adam Shub delivered a welcome address and two members of the U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migrants (PRM) presented case studies during the workshops. PRM’s Domestic Resettlement Section Chief Barbara Day’s workshop was titled “From Solidarity to Political Change,” and PRM’s Refugee Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Sam Healy, took part in a workshop titled “Housing Crisis vs. Refugee Crisis.”

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Fighting Traveling Child Sex Offenders

By Kamila Slanska, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Mission to the European Union

Special agents who investigate sexual crimes against children are my heroes because they rescue and protect the most vulnerable segment of our population, are confronted with disturbing content on a daily basis, and can be at significant risk during undercover operations.

We need to be talking more about the work that these heroes do. We also need to address what they are fighting against:  people who have been abusing four year-old girls since infancy causing them to require reconstructive surgery of their sexual organs; predators who kill prepubescent orphans with their hardcore sexual practices and then dispose of the bodies in makeshift graves (pedophiles then buy videos documenting these attrocities for up to $10,000), or families in developing countries who rent out their babies and toddlers to child sex offenders. One of the things we must aggressively address is the issue of traveling child sex offenders. Governments need to not only inform the population of the horrendous acts that these predators commit, but also work together to fight them. One way in which this can be accomplished is by developing systematic and automated information exchanges between countries.

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Organizing movie screenings, debates, panels, and trips: the USEU PD’s Programs and Exchanges Unit

By Tobias Van Assche, Information Specialist, U.S. Mission to the European Union.

Diplomacy does not have to be boring! Through the United States Mission to the European Union’s (USEU) Public Diplomacy Section, people interested in EU policy making can learn about topics that the United States (U.S.) cares deeply about in an interesting and entertaining fashion: by attending movie screenings, networking events, panel discussions, and even receiving scholarships or getting sent on an educational visit to the United States.

Since the United States was founded in 1776, it has always had a very close relationship with Europe, which has only grown stronger with the establishment of the European Union (EU) after World War II. In Brussels, USEU is tasked with helping to preserve and strengthen the ties between the two strong political and economic blocks and advancing U.S. policy priorities. This interaction does not only happen between senior diplomats behind closed doors; USEU also directly engages with scholars, researchers, activists, journalists, citizens, and public servants who are active or interested in EU policy making in Brussels—often referred to as the “Brussels Bubble”—through its Public Diplomacy (PD) section. Continue reading “Organizing movie screenings, debates, panels, and trips: the USEU PD’s Programs and Exchanges Unit”

United States Ambassador to the European Union: “Everything we have accomplished is because of our shared vision and hard work”

It has been an honor to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union over the past three years.

I believe in the European Union and in the power of the U.S.-EU relationship to do good in the world. I am reminded each day that we are essential partners in a turbulent world.

As I come to the end of my term, I would like to take a moment to reflect on what we have accomplished. It’s a long list and I’m proud of what we have achieved together.

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United States Government Helps Retrieve Italian Cultural Heritage

By United States Ambassador to the European Union Anthony L. Gardner

On December 2, I was in Rome and met with the Carabinieri, the national gendarmerie of Italy. I became interested in the work of a specialized art squad of the Carabinieri while reading The Medici Conspiracy. The book exposed a network of thieves and art dealers who smuggled the cultural antiquities of Europe and it highlighted the great work of the police who track them down.

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From plague columns to Global Health Security

By Dr. Karen Sliter, Regional Manager for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services’ International Services, and U.S. Mission to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium One needs look no further than the plague columns scattered throughout European city squares to realize the impact infectious disease has had on the trajectory of human history.  Prior to the discovery of the … Continue reading From plague columns to Global Health Security

2016 Open Doors Report: Exchange Students between Europe and the United States on the Rise

Every year, thousands of students from across the globe leave the comforts of their own home to study abroad. No matter what motivates them—to attend a world-class institution, to learn a language, to conduct research, to experience a different culture—these individuals will all gain important skills and knowledge that can help them succeed in a globalized 21st century.

The United States and the European Union both realize the importance of studying abroad. Exposing our future leaders to each other’s culture and traditions, and having our young citizens interact with each other fosters strong networks and enhanced understanding and cooperation. For this reason, the U.S. and the EU actively support student exchanges through initiatives such as the Fulbright-Schuman grants and the new Fulbright-Schuman innovation grant programs.

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