Arcadia Hosts European Ambassadors for Discussion with Students on U.S. – EU Relations

By John DeRosier | October 7, 2022

On Oct. 3, Arcadia hosted European Union ambassadors for a discussion with students on the current U.S.- EU relationship. The trip was sponsored by the Department of Historical and Political Studies. 

The ambassadors included:

  • Auriele Bonal: Deputy Chief of Mission and Deputy Ambassador of the French Republic to the United States of America
  • Jean-Arthur Régibeau: Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the United States of America
  • Kristjan Prikk: Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to the United States of America

The three took questions from students and discussed pertinent topics including climate change, the war in Ukraine, trade, and global security. 

“The relationship between the United States and the European Union is one of the most important for trade and security in the world,” said Prikk. “We share information about technology and innovation, share values about what is right and what is wrong, and have a shared understanding of safety and stability.” 

The EU investment in the United States is about $1.24 trillion, with $265 billion in goods being exported from the U.S. to the EU every year. Since its creation, the EU has created 3.15 million jobs in the United States through investment. 

Nearly $8.5 billion in exports are sent to the EU each year from Pennsylvania alone. 

The ambassadors explained that coming together as a union in Europe helps them negotiate directly with the United States in ways they otherwise would not be able to. 

“In Belgium, if we tried to negotiate with the U.S., we’d basically have no weight,” said Régibeau, “The EU helps level the playing field for us.”  

During a Q&A session with students from Politics, Government, and Law, as well as those from the School of Global Business and the International Peace and Conflict Resolution master’s program, students asked where major differences lie between the two sides despite the strong alliance. 

Those areas include climate change, civilian gun ownership, and online data privacy.