On 18 February 2021, in the framework of the joint College of Europe-Fletcher School Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs (MATA), the College of Europe organised a one-day virtual study trip to allow students an exchange with major transatlantic stakeholders. First- and second-year students of the programme had the chance to engage with representatives of the U.S. Mission to the EU (Brussels), the European External Action Service (EEAS) (Americas division), the European Parliamentary Liaison Office (EPLO) (Washington, DC) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS) (Washington, DC).
In the exchange with the U.S. Mission to the EU, the students had the opportunity to discuss with Mark LIBBY, Chargé d'affaires, Anood TAQUI, Trade Officer, and Katy BONDY, Political Officer, and to ask questions about US-EU relations as well as future areas of transatlantic cooperation under the new administration of President Biden.
In the exchange with the European External Action Service, the students were welcomed by Javier NINO PEREZ, Deputy Management Director for the Americas, and Anamaria Lucretia MOLCUTESCU, Desk Officer for the US. They presented among others “A new EU-US agenda for global change” and the EU’s plans for improving people-to-people contacts as an important prerequisite for strong relations between the two partners.
Moving across the Atlantic to the European Parliamentary Liaison Office (Washington, DC), students had the chance to engage on various aspects of EPLO’s work in bringing together parliamentarians from the EU and the US with Joseph DUNNE, Director, Ryan MEILAK, Senior Outreach Advisor, Sanna KANGASHARJU, Senior Adviser on Congressional Relations, Peter BAJTAY, Senior Adviser for Foreign Affairs, and Naja BENTZEN, Policy Analyst. Michael TEODORI, a MATA alumnus who had interned with EPLO in 2019 also joined the meeting and shared his experience with the students.
The final part of the visit involved an exchange with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (Washington, DC). GMFUS President Karen Donfried welcomed participants, followed by an exchange about various aspects of the transatlantic relationship and the work of GMFUS with Zachary HOSFORD, Acting Director, Asia Program, and Steven KEIL, Fellow, Security and Defense Policy/ Future of Geopolitics.
The discussions with the different professionals working on transatlantic matters allowed students to expand their knowledge of transatlantic affairs and improve their understanding of organisations that are active in this area.
On 4 March, in the framework of MATA and IRD Study Trips a high-level lecture by NATO Secretary General Jens STOLTENBERG “NATO: keeping Europe safe in an uncertain world” took place at the College of Europe.
The College of Europe would like to thank all the partners for their warm welcome and cooperation.