The Daily Illini

EU Ambassador to speak on EU Day

Portrait of David O’Sullivan, European Union Ambassador to the United States.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Portrait of David O’Sullivan, European Union Ambassador to the United States.

David O’Sullivan, U.S. European Union Ambassador, will discuss EU-U.S. relations in a “State of the European Union and Transatlantic Relations” lecture Nov. 9, the University’s EU Day, at the Levis Center.

O’Sullivan’s conversation, moderated by William Bernhard, professor of political science, will focus on the U.K. Brexit process.

“The center was founded in 1998 as one of the ten original EU centers in the US, and it was mainly an initiative of the European Union delegation in the U.S. to fund these centers to advance dialogue between Europe and the U.S.,” Sebnem Ozkan, associate director of the European Union Center, said.

Ozkan said this year is the center’s 20th anniversary, and to mark the special occasion, they invited O’Sullivan to give a keynote speech and engage in a more informal conversation on the EU and current transatlantic relations.

A round table discussion with Illinois faculty members Xinyuan Dai, Brian Gaines, Konstantinos Kourtikakis, Carl Niekerk and Robert Evans, a former member of the European Parliament member will discuss EU-U.S. relations as well as a look at the results of the U.S. midterm election results and their implications for transatlantic relations, according to a press release

“EU day is an annual event that our center organizes, and what we typically do is to invite the ambassador of the country holding the presidency of the European Union, and it’s a rotation presidency,” Ozkan said.

Ozkan said the U.K. Brexit process is a big issue, so the ambassador is expected to express his opinion and take on it. 

“The event is Nov. 9, just right after the midterm elections in the U.S., so we’re also expecting him to potentially comment on how the midterm election might have an impact on transatlantic relations and U.S.-EU relations,” he said.

Ozkan said O’Sullivan will also reflect back on his tenure as an ambassador in the U.S., since he’s worked with different administrations, as well as give background information to the EU centers on America’s college campuses. Ozkan said he encourages students to come, especially if they don’t know much about the EU.

“It’s very important to be up to date about the state of transatlantic relations, especially after the elections,” he said. “It’s important to be a part of a conversation that looks at how even our local midterm elections and politics have an impact on U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic relations.”

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