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European-American Topics - Politics - Luc Véron


Europe Day: The Historical Impact of European Integration
By Asli Omur
Posted May 10, 2008

Students with
Luc Véron. From left to right:  Marissa Ingalls, Kamil Jachec, Luc Véron, Erik Sokolowski   Photo © Karen Boschker


The European Union will only benefit from integration and is always a productive “agent for change,” said Minister Counsel and Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Washington, DC, Luc Véron during his lecture at the University of Washington’s Parrington Hall.

The event was hosted by UW’s Jackson School in annual commemoration of the May 9th Europe Day. Europe Day is a holiday in remembrance of the official signing of a 1950 declaration that was “the first move made towards the creation of what is now known as the European Union,” according to the Jackson School’s EU Center of Excellence website.

Véron’s visit was one of the many around the US for a week-long series of event topics ranging from space travel, war, Muslims in Austria, art and music. The Delegation of the European Commission to the US organized the events in collaboration with various educational centers around the country.

Véron’s lecture focused on the Lisbon Treaty, EU enlargement, the historical impacts of integration, EU’s relationship with the US and growth to 27 member states as well as the monetary and social security the EU provides its citizens and those who wish to invest in companies of the member states.

“We were 12, now we are 27. We have 15 member states using the euro. We have secured the Schengen Area that is passport free. The European Union reaches from Portugal to the Baltic states, to the north of Finland to the south of Greece,” said Véron matter-of-factly. When asked if he believes Turkey will be an EU member state, he said positively, “Turkey is a European country. There is no reason to doubt its ability to become a member state.” He was also asked by Phil Shekelton; Assistant Director of the EU Center of Excellence, what were the most underappreciated parts of the EU and the most over estimated. His answer was direct, “People think we have the money to put on the table always, and the most underappreciated part of the EU is that we don’t get credit for anything. People think that the US is the only solution to peace in the Middle East,” he added, “The last president most active in the Middle East was Jimmy Carter and that was some time ago. We need to show our teeth sometimes.”

The audience included UW law, international studies and European studies majors as well as several members of the community. Brussels bound student of European Studies Marissa Ingalls, European Studies and Political Science major Eric Sokolowski, and Political Science and Economics double major Kamil Jachec, met with Véron afterwards for pictures and advice. The European Studies Center hosts a number of students to experience the inner workings of the European Union first-hand during the summer months. Sokolowski and Ingalls are joining the group this summer. "I am looking forward to being able to meet representatives of the EU and discuss current topics under debate about enlargement, democratic deficit and the future of European integration," said Ingalls.


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