Transatlantic Academy opens with migration conference
On October 14, former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato opened a conference in celebration of the Transatlantic Academy with a speech outlining the challenges the European Union faces in dealing with migrants and security.
Amato, speaking to a gathered audience of academics and policymakers, provided insight into challenges including security, climate change, and energy. Amato said he felt the EU should step up to these challenges and become more of a "player" in the global arena.
The Transatlantic Academy is a scholarly forum for a select group of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic and from different academic and policy disciplines to examine a single set of issues affecting the transatlantic relationship each year. It is a joint initative of the the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius of Germany, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The Academy in its first year is studying issues of migration and integration.
Jim Kolbe, former U.S. congressman and current GMF Senior Transatlantic Fellow, delivered the luncheon keynote address and gave a U.S. view on the global challenges and how a new U.S. administration would face them. Questions from the audience drew on Kolbe's extensive experience working with border and immigration issues, and his current work with the Transatlantic Task Force on Aid.
In addition to the two keynote addresses, the conference featured a panel on the transatlantic learning community as well as three concurrent sessions dealing with specific aspects of migration.
The morning panel on the transatlantic learning community featured Marta Dassu, Victoria de Grazia, Francois Heisbourg, and Charles Kupchan as panelists, and was moderated by Stephen Szabo, executive director of the Transatlantic Academy. Panelists discussed the contrasts between an America which is a unified state, with a great deal of power and a sense of itself as exceptional with a diverse and multilayered Europe with a very different sense of relative power and the need share it.
At the level of research, American universities are hegemonic in the areas of higher education and have far more resources and flexibility than their European counterparts, panelists agreed. They and British universities tend to be more highly rated and innovative than their European counterparts. They are also more global in their reach. The European research model, however, is more collaborative while the American model emphasizes individual research, and this inhibits transatlantic collaboration.
Yet despite these contrasts, the consensus on the panel was that a transatlantic learning and values community exists and that there is much to be learned from each other on such big topics as the future of Turkey and the role of economic ideas and models. The west shares the fundamental principle of the belief in political restraint and this will continue to bind it in the future.
The afternoon panels highlighted the work of the current class of Transatlantic Fellows the 2008-09 Academy theme of Immigration and Integration. Rey Koslowski and Dietrich Thränhardt hosted a panel on "Increasing Mobility with Security at Borders," and they discussed their relevant work in the area. Jeroen Doomernik's research deals with high-skilled migrants, and he was joined by outside experts in discussing the "Battle for the Brains. The final panel, featuring Fellows Jonathan Laurence, Rahsaan Maxwell, and Ines Michalowski, discussed "Models of Integration."