The Center for European Studies at the University of Michigan is pleased to welcome European Union (EU) Ambassador João Vale de Almeida and Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen for a lecture “The Future of Europe—From Economic Crisis Recovery to Sustainability Leadership: A Conversation with Ambassadors" as part of the Conversations on Europe series on Thursday, January 26. Denmark assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU on January 1, and its goals include forming a more responsible, dynamic, greener, and safer Europe. Ambassadors Vale de Almeida and Taksøe-Jensen will focus on current crisis, institutional questions, presidency priorities, and the green sustainability agenda. The event is free and open to the public.

Ambassador João Vale de Almeida is the Head of the Delegation of the EU to the United States. In this capacity, he represents European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, under the authority of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. He joined the European Commission in 1982 and was the chief of staff for President Barroso and Director General for External Relations prior to taking his current position in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen is the Danish Ambassador to the United States. He joined the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1987 and was the Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs at the United Nations from 2008 to 2010.  The Ambassador holds a degree in law from the University of Copenhagen and is well known in international legal circles as the driving force behind a number of Danish policies and initiatives to strengthen and develop international law.