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Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IU centers and SPEA sponsor lecture, conference on European Union

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 20, 2009

BLOOMINGTON -- The European Union Center and other academic units at Indiana University will sponsor a lecture and a day-long conference this week aimed at strengthening ties and communication between Indiana and the 27-nation European Union.

On Thursday (Oct. 22), Mattias Sundholm, deputy spokesman for the European Commission Delegation to the United States, will speak at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs Atrium at IU Bloomington. The lecture, "The U.S. and the EU and the Global Economic Crisis," will take place from 2:30-3:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Europe

On Friday (Oct. 23), scholars and officials will speak at a conference on "European Union Regulatory Policy: Lessons for Indiana" at Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Along with the EU Center, sponsors of the events include the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the IU Kelley School of Business Center for International Business Education and Research, and the West European Studies Center at IU Bloomington.

"The European Union is a critical spoke in Indiana's economy -- it is our second largest trading partner," said Lois Wise, director of the EU Center and professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. "At the same time, the EU is Indiana's most important international investor with firms in EU member states investing more than $24 billion in the Indiana economy.

"Combining exports and investments in the Indiana economy, EU-related activities account for more than 5 percent of the state's total employment," Wise said. "This conference directs our attention to the EU as a critical partner in the Hoosier economy and our need to understand EU regulatory policy, which creates the envelope in which these economic activities occur. "

With approximately 500 million people, the European Union trails only China and India among the world's largest populations. With a frontier-free single market and mainly operating with a single currency, the euro, the EU's trade with the rest of the world accounts for nearly one-fifth of global exports and imports.

The keynote speaker for the Friday conference will be Gary V. Litman, vice president for Europe policy and initiatives with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; his topic will be "Transatlantic Cooperation Where it Counts and Avoiding Conflicts on Consumer Product Safety." Sundholm will make closing remarks.

John D. Graham, dean of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), will welcome participants. Additional speakers are from IU, the University of Arizona, the Indiana Department of Labor, the Rural Policy Research Center, Rolls-Royce North America and the Ecologic Institute.

For information on speakers and their topics, see http://www.indiana.edu/~eucenter/lessons_for_indiana.shtml. To register, see http://www.kelley.iu.edu/CIBER/programs/conferences/page16415.cfm.

The European Commission in 2005 selected IU Bloomington as one of 10 sites in the U.S. for EU Centers of Excellence to promote the study of the European Union, its institutions and policies. The EU Center supports the activities of IU faculty and graduate students engaged in EU studies, emphasizes training in languages of EU member and candidate countries, and furnishes accurate and timely information about the EU to K-12 teachers, government officials, media, business and civic groups. It builds on the strengths of the West European Studies Center and other international and policy studies programs at IU.