CHICAGO: Delegation from the European Parliament Liaison with the US Congress visited Chicago Area on April 7-9, 2019. European Parliament diplomats met with different European American Communities, community organizations, had a presentation for students at University of Chicago to discuss European Union – United States issues, especially the upcoming European Parliamentary Election in May, 2019. We were invited for several meetings to listen their remarks and to do an interview.
Guests from the European Parliament in Washington attended musical concert organized by the Hungarian American Community in Chicago. They wanted to learn more about different communities, attend cultural and other events to better understand different communities.
We talked with Hon. Antoine Ripoll, Director, European Parliament Liaison Office with the US Congress, experienced diplomat with several decades of public service in Europe and almost 7. years of diplomatic work in Washington, D.C. We discussed EU-US relations, upcoming European Parliament Elections in May, 2019.
European Union has 500 million citizens. It is a strong trade and diplomatic partner with the United States. “The European Parliament attaches great importance to good relations with the US Congress”, wrote Antonio Tajani, The President of the European Parliament since 2017 in the booklet “Common Threads. Strengthening transatlantic bonds and values”, published by The European Parliament Liaison Office with The U.S. Congress. Mr. Tajani visited United States in February, 2019. He met with Hon. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Liaison Office was established in 2010. “It is a proof of our commitment to engage. Its function is to forge greater operational links between the legislators and staffers of both institutions”, writes President Tajani.
“The European Parliament Liaison Office (EPLO) with the U.S. Congress is the only Office of the European Parliament set up outside of the territory of the European Union. This reflects the common values and vital interests our citizens share, ” wrote Antoine Ripoll, Director of the European Parliament Liaison Office with the US Congress.
We discussed these issues during an interview with Director Ripoll. It helps me and our readers to better grasp the unique perspective of this office. Mr. Ripoll and his staff want to communicate using common language with the US Congress and European Citizens in the United States.
The European Union is an economic and political union between 28 member States in Europe. Each country has its own strengths, weaknesses. They face many challenges. EU is very complex. The diplomats want to changes public perception about EU in the United States.
The European Parliament is directly elected by citizens of the 28 EU member states. Each country is unique, with its own history. It is made up of 751 elected members (MEPs) representing different European-wide political groups. Elections take place across the Europe every five years. Members of the European Parliament speak 24 different, official languages. This makes the European Parliament the most multilingual parliament in the world and the world’s biggest employer of interpreters.
The upcoming European Parliament election will take place in May 2019. There are about 2,1 million European people living in the United States that can vote during this European Parliament Election. Most of the European Union countries allow their citizens to vote abroad but not all of them. Check the chart.
Obviously, there are millions of Americans in the United States with the European roots: English, German, Italian, French, Polish etc.
Photos @ Andrew/Andrzej Mikolajczyk
Infographics: @ The European Parliament Liaison Office (EPLO) with the U.S. Congress. Used by permission.