Speakers will address EU and environmental topics in public forum

ANN ARBOR, MICH., January 17, 2012 –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 titled, “The Future of Europe—From Economic Crisis Recovery to Sustainability Leadership: A Conversation with Ambassadors” as part of the Conversations on Europe series. 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.

DATE: January 26, 12:00 PM

PLACE: 1840 School of Social Work, 1080 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor

SPONSORS: Center for European Studies; Delegation of the European Union to the United States; Danish Embassy, Washington DC.

WEB LINK: www.ii.umich.edu/ces-euc

CONTACT: Nataša Gruden-Alajbegovic, Center for European Studies, University of Michigan; Phone - 734.647.2743; E-mail: nalajbeg@umich.edu

The University of Michigan’s Center for European Studies (CES), a constituent of the University of Michigan International Institute and the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, is a multi-disciplinary research, education, and outreach program dedicated to improving understanding of modern, integrated Europe at the University of Michigan. In 2001, CES received a grant from the European Commission to establish a European Union Center (EUC), and from 2005 to 2011 U-M’s EUC was designated a European Union Center of Excellence, one of ten in the United States. In collaboration with academic and research units across U-M, and institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Europe, CES offers an array of public programs, funding opportunities, and innovative curricular outreach on Europe, and sponsors the visits of European scholars, artists, and professionals to U-M and southeastern Michigan. For more information, visit www.ii.umich.edu/ces-euc.

The Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE) supports faculty and student research, teaching, collaboration, and public engagement in studying the institutions, cultures, and histories of these regions. WCEE is housed in the University of Michigan International Institute with the Center for European Studies (CES); the Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies (CREES); and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED). Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCEE began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit www.ii.umich.edu/wcee.