European Parliamentarians Find Common Ground at Marshall Center to Address Threats Facing Their Nations

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European Parliamentarians Find Common Ground at Marshall Center to Address Threats Facing Their Nations

By James E. Brooks
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies  

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (July 6, 2015) - Fifteen parliamentarians from eight eastern European nations met at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies from June 30 to July 1, to discuss transnational threats impacting their nations’ prosperity and to forge new working relationships to help find solutions.

The seminar, “21st Transnational Security Challenge: The Role of Parliament,” was designed to help parliamentarians focus on what they can do in their governmental role to stem organized crime, curtail drug trafficking, and respond to other threats while growing national prosperity.

The key to resolving these transnational threats is cooperation and dialogue said Prof. Dr. Ioan Pascu, Vice President of the European Parliament and the Vice Chair, Committee on Foreign Affairs who spoke to the participants on the second day.

“This was an important seminar because it helps parliamentarians become aware that the security challenges in Europe are common and we have to face them together, irrespective of our membership in different organizations,” Pascu said. “I think the participants can take a certain awareness that ‘we’re in this together’ and irrespective of what we think individually, in the end, we’re in the same boat.”

Perhaps more importantly, the seminar brought neighboring national leaders together to form new working relationships to counter the shared challenges that always aren’t contained within national boundaries. Finding the right venue and forum to allow these new relationships to start is why the Marshall Center is so important. Certain connections might not be able to form otherwise.

“I met with a colleague who in the Moldovan parliament and Moldova does not recognize Kosovo (as a country). And here I told my colleague that ‘now is the time to stay and in touch and to work closely. Maybe soon your country will recognize Kosovo,’” said Njomza Emini, Kosovo’s First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Health, Labor, and Social Welfare.

As an important German-American organization, the Marshall Center promotes active, peaceful whole-of-government approaches to address both transnational and regional security challenges. Seminars and resident courses at the Marshall Center dissect the complex and security challenges facing participant nations and create the professional and personal relationships need to respond to them.