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Seminar Dublin 2004

Event: 
Seminar
Dates: 
Thursday,29/Jan/04 to Sunday,01/Feb/04
Hosted By: 
Ireland YFG
Topic: 
"The strongest link? Assessing the transatlantic alliance in global security"
City: 
Dublin,Ireland

Seminar Dublin 2004

At the end of January, Young Fine Gael (Ireland) hosted a YEPP seminar on the topic the ‘Trans-Atlantic Relationship – The Strongest Link’.
The meetings took place in the offices of the European Parliament. First up was a panel discussion on the ‘Current State and the Future of the Trans-Atlantic Relation’. Due to his presence in Ireland because of the Irish EU Presidency, the meeting was addressed by Kyle Scott, the Political Minister of the USA’s mission to the EU. He addressed the delegates on the topic, and offered us the view-point of the current US Administrations’ view point on the relationship. He believed that NATO bound the US to Europe, and questioned why Europeans wanted ‘to duplicate the framework, rational and development achieved by NATO.’’ The Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Mark J. Moher, also addressed the meeting and he was very eager to put across the distinctive viewpoint on the relationship that Canada offered. The meeting was also addressed by a former YFG activist and a current professor, lecturing on European Affairs, Ben Tonra. Next up was the discussion on the ‘Tensions within the Trans-Atlantic Relationship’ and was addressed by a panel of eminent people, including Gay Mitchell the Fine Gael spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, (retired) Captain Tom Clonan, Paul Gillespie of the Irish Times newspaper and Brendan Halligan of the European Institute.
 
Gay Mitchell spoke initially of Enlargement and of Fine Gael’s enthusiasm for this process; he described the enlarged Union as a Union of ‘ weight of wealth and of influence’. While Gay Mitchell accepted that there was a possibility of the pervious warm relationship between the EU and the US cooling in the future, he felt the Javier’s Solana’s analogy between Europe as the proverbial Venus (the bringer of peace) and the US as the proverbial Mars (the bringer of war) was unhelpful and untrue.
 
Later in the evening we were privileged to be addressed by former Irish Prime Minster and Fine Gael leader (currently EU Ambassador in Washington), John Bruton. John Bruton’s presentation covered the broad span of history between European and the United States, dating back to the influence of two major European ideals, the Rights of Man and the Protestant German Revolution on the American War of Independence. Furthermore John Bruton argued that the US revolution also had a knock on affect for the French Revolution and much later, the German Constitution which owed much to its American counterpart’s federal structure.
 
Also a representative of Amnesty International, who gave us an outline of the organisations current campaign to reduce the amount of small arms weapons currently in existence throughout the world.
 
The next day, Saturday was set aside for the YEPP working groups and the YEPP council to meet. Saturday’s work took place in the Hilton Hotel in Dublin, and in the morning the Permanent Working Groups of YEPP meet. Later in the morning the two YEPP working groups on the European Elections met to discuss both YEPP’s political message, and the campaign strategy of the European elections. The liveliest debate was however reserved for the discussion of the three Seminar working groups which dwelt on the subjects of ‘Tensions within the Atlantic Alliance’, ‘Europe, the US and NATO’ and ‘The Trans-Atlantic Security Relationshi