13 June 2012, 11:00 h, Sheraton Hotel, Sofia
On 13 June 2012, The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, together with the Embassy of the United States and the Embassy of Denmark, and with the special support of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, organized a discussion, entitled “Priorities in the US-EU Dialogue in 2012“.
The discussion was opened by Mrs. Gergana Passy, President of the PanEuropean Movement Bulgaria, who presented the special guest of the event – H.E. James Warlick, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, and H.E. Kaare Janson, Ambassador of Denmark to Bulgaria.
H.E. James Warlick focused on the deep relations between the US and EU. Economy, human rights and the future were part of the areas that Mr. Warlick mentioned. Ambassador Warlick specified that the US and EU were the two largest economies in the world; and together they both accounted for almost 50% of the global GDP. He said that the U.S.-EU Energy Council was established in 2009, to deepen the dialogue on strategic energy issues of mutual interest and to foster cooperation on energy policies. The American Ambassador continued with the protection of citizens in the areas of cyber security and cyber crimes – the US and EU had leveraged efforts to counter violent extremism by sharing information, coordinating communication and counter-narratives, and empowering local partners. As a final point, Ambassador Warlick touched upon the area of secure travel of citizens by the secure sharing of Passenger Name Record. According to him, this was the best way to identify and mitigate the threat from evolving terrorist and criminal tactics.
After Ambassador Warlick’s speech, H.E. Kaare Janson started his speech as he emphasized on the ideological root of democracy and its results. He stressed that stable societies, which were found in North America and Europe, had developed their own values upon freedom, free market, human rights, free decision-making and other important values. The Ambassador talked about Athens’s democracy, which, according to him, served as an example for transatlantic values, which the contemporary society took great pride with. The next period that H.E. Kaare Janson pointed out was the French Revolution and its demand for human rights that we are born with, not rights that we should buy or gain. The Danish Ambassador continued his speech with the events during the 90s, when the society had a much more optimistic view toward the future of the world. At the moment, many nations and institutions from the old continent reckoned that the EU was not able to guarantee the values it was fighting for. Mr. Janson maintained his proposition that during the 21st century, the society should fully utilize transatlantic values through cooperation, which would bring peace and stability.