Page 58 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2012

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58
F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L / A P R I L 2 0 1 2
O
n Thursday, Feb.16, AFSA hosted
a panel discussion on the state of
the European Union and the cur-
rent euro crisis. Retired Ambassador
Edward M. Rowell moderated the panel,
which featuredDanishAmbassador Peter
Taksøe-JensenandActingDeputyAssistant
Secretary of the Treasury for Europe and
Eurasia Jeffrey K. Baker.
Baker and Amb. Rowell, both experts
on European fiscal and economic issues,
have been deeply involved in the most
severe fiscal crisis to hit Europe in the 20
years since the signing of the Maastricht
Treaty, and a decade after the introduction
of the euro.
Amb. Taksøe-Jensen shared the per-
spectiveof E.U. nations as theygrapplewith
the ongoing crisis. Noting that Denmark
currently holds the presidency of the
Council of the European Union, he
described the process, and complications,
of getting 17 member-states to agree on
howto respond. Despite some opposition
to various proposals, all concur that failure
to address the problem would harm the
entire E.U., he said
“Look at Germany. They benefit every
day from the euro because they have a
much lower interest rate, which has a very
positive impact on their exports and so
forth. And so it’s not sodifficult to explain
to the German worker that it’s also in his
interest that Germany takes steps to solve
the crisis,” he remarked.
While acknowledging that solutions to
the crisismust come fromE.U. members,
Mr. Baker emphasizedhowcritical the suc-
cess of the euro is to the rest of the world.
“Our first, best strategy is to have Europe
do what it needs to preserve its own cur-
rency union,” he said. The euro zone has
the capacity and resources to succeed, he
continued, but “the politics are difficult.”
The eventwas inspiredbyapairof focus
articles intheFebruaryeditionof the
Foreign
Service Journal
on the euro debt crisis. In
his commentary, Alan Larson, a retired
career ambassadorwhohas servedasunder
secretary for economic affairs and assistant
secretary for economic andbusiness affairs,
makes a case for a greater focus on eco-
nomic issues inAmericandiplomacy. And
Bruce Stokes, a senior trans-Atlantic fellow
at theGermanMarshall Fundof theUnited
States, warns that the euro crisis threatens
the strength and stability of the U.S.-E.U.
strategic partnership.
More than 80 people attended the
event, which concludedwith a livelyQ&A
session that made clear the great interest
in this timely subject. BothAmb. Taksøe-
Jensen andMr. Baker expressed optimism
that the difficult choices to preserve the
European Union’s common currency
could be made.
“More Europe is the answer,” saidMr.
Baker. Amb. Taksøe-Jensen agreed,
telling the audience, “There is support to
go down this road to more Europe, and
wewill have the strength tobring ourselves
out of this crisis.”
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on their way to slaughter in Kampala.
FSOs and other U.S. government
employees overseas have also contributed
to AKI’s efforts. Some help by ensuring
donated funds and supplies, such as tick
and flea medicines and sutures, reach in-
country partner organizations.
Sometimes the most valued support
isn’t financial but emotional. Pilar Thorn,
founder ofHelpingHands forHounds of
Honduras, had this to say: “For me, it is a
great helpand liftsmy spirits toknowI can
count onAKI tohelp inmy efforts to edu-
cate people about the humane treatment
of domestic animals. Just knowing there
is someone out therewhounderstands the
kinds of problems one encounters in less
developed countriesmakesmywork a lot
easier.”
AKI also supports a network of small
but determined animal welfare groups
whosework spans the globe, withpartner
organizations inUganda,Namibia,Ghana,
Malawi, Tanzania, South Sudan, Jamaica,
Honduras, Bosnia andArmenia. To learn
more about AKI and its partner organi-
zations, please visit
www.animal-kind.org.
To contact AKI, please e-mail karen@ani-
mal-kind.org.
ElizabethHaskett serves on the board of AKI. She
is an animal welfare advocate living in Anchorage,
Alaska, with her husband, Geoff, and their dog,
Stella.
Animals • Continued from page 57
More Europe Is the Answer
BY CLINT LOHSE, AFSA LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS ASSISTANT
Left to right: Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Europe and Eurasia Jeffrey K. Baker,
Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen, AFSA Executive Director Ian Houston and retired Ambassador
Edward M. Rowell after a lively panel discussion on the state of the European Union and the euro on
Feb. 16 at AFSA headquarters.