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Marquette Forum hosts panel featuring US and European relations

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Marquette Forum hosts panel featuring US and European relations

Students attend the Transatlantic Rift panel Feb. 5.

Students attend the Transatlantic Rift panel Feb. 5.

Students attend the Transatlantic Rift panel Feb. 5.

Students attend the Transatlantic Rift panel Feb. 5.

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The Marquette Forum held “A Transatlantic Rift,” a panel that discussed the future of U.S. and European relations, in Raynor Memorial Libraries Feb. 5 at 10:30 a.m.

The panel consisted of H.E. Pjer Simunovic, ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the U.S., H.E. Jonatan Vseviov, ambassador of Estonia to the U.S., and Andrea Kendall-Taylor, senior fellow and director of Transatlantic Security Program in the Center for a New American Security. Risa Brooks, associate professor of political science, moderated the discussion.

The Center for a New American Security started the “Across the Pond, In the Field Initiative,” which brought the panel out to Milwaukee and other cities across the United States to discuss important and tough issues, Brooks said.

“We started (Across the Pond, In the Field), which will take us across 12 cities in the United States to hear from you about your thoughts on foreign policies and, specific to today, US and European relations.”

After 2016, it became pretty clear to us that there was a vast disconnect amongst those who make policies and the voters in the U.S.,” Kendall-Taylor said.

Vseviov said the way people communicate, do business, politics and more is changing and the challenges are getting larger.

“I believe that the U.S. has similar challenges that we have in Estonia, and we need to change how people view foreign policy and relations,” Vseviov said. “The current climate under the Trump administration has taught us to question our allies and to be persuaded by rhetoric that our allies don’t matter.”

Vseviov said Americans and Europeans need to get the narratives of downplaying allies under control in order to combat challenges and fix what is wrong in communities.

Simunovic said part of the reason the ambassadors were present was to clear up the narrative that allies don’t matter by discouraging isolationism and going against the growing threats to democracy.

“The U.S. is still to this day trying to figure out what the future of the post-Cold War looks like,” Simunovic said.  “Once the bubble of the Cold War was removed, questions arose about what to do about NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance between North American and European countries.”

The discussion also opened up the floor to the audience for questions. Students addressed the panel about topics including Brexit and the current rhetoric about the U.S. in Europe.

Irene Villodas Lopez, an international student from Spain and freshman in the College of Business, asked questions about how to maintain positive  international relations between the two countries to the panel.

“I decided to come to the talk today because I think it is very important to be aware about international relations and how we can keep peace between the different countries,” Villodas Lopez said.  “I realize that we need allies because there is so much we can learn from all the different countries that will help make our society better.”

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About the Writer
Donna Sarkar, News Reporter

Donna Sarkar is a current junior at Marquette University, majoring in Journalism in the College of Communications and minoring in Psychology and Human...

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