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

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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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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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