Two of the second-year TAM students traveled back from Europe to the US this spring to take part in a conference at Yale University. The Center for European Studies was able to provide some travel funding for their trip.
We invite you to read about their conference experiences below.
Lucie Hinzelin: The European Student Conference (ESC) held at the Yale Management School in New Haven on Feb. 13-14, 2015 truly exceeded my expectations: It was a stunningly intellectual gathering that enabled me to scrutinize the EU’s most pressing issues from a variety of standpoints, to engage in vivid discussions with students from the US’ most renowned universities, as well as to generate and critically reflect on new policy alternatives to the status quo. In my workshop, “European Identity,” we intensively discussed and wrote policy papers on sub-topics such as the importance of identity and the institutions of identity as well as formulated two new narratives for the EU. One on human rights, cosmopolitanism, and minority rights, and one on economic solidarity, to which I contributed.
The ESC asks students to draft policy-papers before the conference in groups of four— and in close collaboration with the workshop leader. This experience gave me the opportunity to exchange ideas and interact with students from different geographic and academic backgrounds. At the conference, these policy papers triggered very fruitful discussions between the workshop participants and distinguished VIPs, i.e. EU-professionals, Yale professors and high-level politicians, who then provided additional input in order to refine our policy papers. Ultimately, the papers were then passed on to the European Commission.
We were honored to e.g. have Erhard Busek, former Vice-Chancellor of Austria, Karel Schwarzenberg, Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy professor at Yale University, as well as a former Director-General of the DG Education and Culture in our workshop. The interactions I had revealed the different opinions and analytical angles on current EU issues that persist even on the highest policy-making levels, as well as between policy makers and scholars. The conference left me feeling even more motivated to engage in EU Affairs – and to contribute to the success of ‘European Horizons’, the student-led think tank that was founded at the ESC! I also hope to publish an article in the ESC’s journal sometime later this year. In short, this experience in the lovely town of New Haven was amazing!
Jeffrey Brown: I participated in the ‘Transatlantic Relations’ sub-group, which was led by our policy advisers: Ignacio Garcia Bercero, a director at DG Trade and Chief TTIP negotiator, and Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the WTO. We produced five policy papers on Consumer Protection, Energy, Harmonizing Standards and Regulations, Investor-State Arbitration and Transparency and the Negotiating Process. It was wonderful working with such high level practitioners, and I particularly enjoyed the process of transforming our often overly idealistic rough drafts into final, polished documents which stand a chance of being incorporated into a final TTIP accord. Following the conference, I hope to publish an article in ESC’s new journal, ‘European Horizons’, which examines how the EU – US ‘Open Skies’ agreement of 2007 has influenced the current TTIP negotiations.