Trans-Atlantic Relations Project

B|Brief: Negotiators Advance TTIP Agenda but Several Key Issues Remain

The latest round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) concluded earlier this month with an air of uncertainty, as U.S. and EU negotiators committed to continue the process of resolving differences and consolidating texts without concrete plans for when or where the next round will take place.

Negotiators tabled a record number of text proposals this round and made progress on important technical details related to market access, regulatory issues and trade rules. However, the parties remain deadlocked on several critical elements of the agreement, including market access for services, government procurement and investment protection.

B|Brief: Protecting Europe’s Family Ties in Trying Times

In 1946, it was British Conservative Winston Churchill who famously called for the creation of a European family and the establishment of a United States of Europe. So perhaps it is fitting that another Tory may preside over the family’s dissolution.

The upcoming British EU referendum is a step in the wrong direction for the European Union, but it certainly isn’t the first. What began as a dream of an ever-closer union has devolved into a collection of states in which national interest trumps unity.

Preserving an Old Model in a New World: German Economic Policy

In the second issue of the Newpolitik series, the Bertelsmann Foundation explores Germany’s social market economy, which combines economic dynamism with social justice. Although Germany has been hailed by some as an “economic superstar” in recent years due to its low unemployment rate and export surplus, this stability may be in jeopardy.

B|Brief: Austrian Elections: When the Peoples' Parties Lose the People

When Austrians went to the polls in last month’s presidential election, the political establishment received a jarring wakeup call. Amid mounting frustration with the establishment, voters sent two so-called “outsiders” into a competitive runoff, taking place this weekend. Norbert Hofer, a member of the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) famously totes a Glock 26, and has said that refugees are a major threat to Austrian security. His opponent, Green Party veteran Alexander Van der Bellen is running as an independent in this race. He advocates for a strong and cohesive European Union and protecting refugees on humanitarian grounds. Although the role of president is largely ceremonial in Austria, the face-off between two extremes reveals a deepening polarization of the country.

B|Brief: Latest TTIP Round Yields Progress, Gridlock

Negotiators from the United States and the European Union convened in New York City last month for the 13th round of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, on the heels of the highly anticipated visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the Hannover Messe in Germany.

Intense negotiations continued on nearly all chapters of the agreement. Incremental progress was made, but significant points of disagreement remain in areas such as market access, regulatory cooperation and the overall structure of the agreement.

Germany's Response to the Refugee Situation: Remarkable Leadership or Fait Accompli?

In the first issue of the Newpolitik series, the Bertelsmann Foundation addresses the German government’s response to the refugee situation. Did German Chancellor Angela Merkel have a choice when she kept the borders open? Now that Germany has allowed more than 1 million asylum seekers through its borders, how can it effectively and efficiently respond to the challenges that follow?

B|Brief: A Road for Two: Brexit and the Future of Ireland

April 25, 2016

by Anthony Silberfeld

The last time a British exit affected the island of Ireland, the year was 1916. With the threat of a new Brexit looming, Dublin and Belfast must prepare to absorb and react to a concussive wave that will shake the island again.

B|Brief: The EU’s Arc of Instability: Can the European Neighborhood Policy be Resurrected?

Twelve years after its launch, the ENP has failed to secure any of its main objectives. Perhaps most shockingly, the EU and its flagship foreign policy mechanism have presided over a drastic deterioration in the humanitarian and security situations of its partners. Recent crises show that the ENP is in need of not just drastic reform, but an urgent reordering of its priorities.

B|Brief: Making Trans-Atlantic Relations Great Again? A Look at US Front-runners’ Positions on Europe

The latest, delegate-rich presidential primaries in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio further cemented Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as front-runners within their respective parties. While official delegates will not be awarded until party conventions in mid-July, the often raucous and anti-establishment nature of this cycle has raised the specter of a drastic shift in America’s tack toward Europe.

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