Brussels Forum Concludes with Call to Action
BRUSSELS — Senator Chris Murphy and Norbert Röttgen, head of the German Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, kicked off the final day of GMF’s Brussels Forum. In a conversation that touched on hot button issues from gun control in the United States to the threat posed by North Korea to rapid social change on both sides of the Atlantic, both Murphy and Röttgen expressed commitment to partnership between the United States and Europe. “We have to broaden the conversation. We have to build a kind of political approach among parliamentarians and businesspeople for this rational, liberal approach to foreign policy,” said Röttgen.
Murphy expressed a hope that that collaboration between Europe and the United States will continue, even on difficult issues such as trade and climate change. “I think we can do some work, behind the scenes, in an inter-parliamentary manner,” said Murphy. “There are solutions that can still be there.”
The final day of GMF’s Brussels Forum came on the heels of the announcement that President Trump intends to hold a bilateral meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. In a discussion on neutralizing the North Korean threat, several voices raised concerns over the possible outcomes of such a meeting. Kori Schake, deputy director general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, saw potential benefits, however. “Yes, the president is reckless,” said Schake. “But he has taken an important initiative that gets him out of the bind he had put himself in.”
The day’s conversation pivoted to a discussion on how to revive the Euro-Atlantic integration process for Georgia and the Ukraine. Discussants included Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukraine’s vice prime minister, European and Euro-Atlantic integration; Katarina Mathernova, deputy director general for neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations of the European Commission; Ambassador Kurt Volker, U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations; and President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili. President Margvelahvili emphasized the importance for his country to move closer to the European Union, saying, “We are applying to EU and NATO. We think we deserve to become members and we think we are entitled to become members.”
PRESS CONTACT INFORMATION
GMF's Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential U.S., European, and global political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic. With 53 countries represented and more than 800 attendees, the 12th annual GMF's Brussels Forum includes senior officials from European Union institutions and the member states, U.S. government officials and Congressional representatives, parliamentarians, academics, and media.
GMF is proud to be joined by our founding partners, Daimler and the Federal Authorities of Belgium, as well as our strategic partner, Deloitte. We are pleased to welcome Boeing, BP, Brussels Capital Region, Centrica, Microsoft, and the OCP Policy Center as forum partners. We would also like to recognize our associate partners: AARP, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, NATO, and the Wilfried Martens Centre, and our GMF's Brussels Forum Breakout Dinner partners — Elnet, Solvay, and Strategeast. In addition, we want to acknowledge the support of our GMF's Brussels Forum Young Professionals Summit partners — Silver Parker Group and the United States Mission to the European Union. Intelligence Squared U.S. is the official Oxford-Style Debate partner and POLITICO is the official digital media partner for GMF’s Brussels Forum. Lastly, we thank King Baudoin Foundation as a leading Belgian Institution for their support.