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William Davidson Institute To Host D.C. Forum on EU Enlargement March 24

3/12/2004 --

Madeleine Albright will chair conference focusing on challenges and opportunities for the U.S. and Europe.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The expansion of the European Union from 15 members to 25 will unite nearly all the people of Europe and create a significant political and economic power, say scholars at the University of Michigan Business School's William Davidson Institute.

The enlargement, which includes several former Soviet bloc countries, presents both opportunities and challenges to Europe and the United States, especially when it comes to foreign policy and the world economy.

  • Will European companies gain a competitive edge and take markets away from U.S. companies as intra-European trade barriers fall?
  • Will a united Europe serve to counter-balance U.S. global political and economic power?
  • Will foreign direct investment and jobs move from Western to Eastern Europe, in response to the wage differential?

These questions and others will be discussed at a half-day conference, "Politics and Business as Usual? Europe and the U.S. after EU Enlargement," on March 24 in Washington, D.C.

The conference is sponsored by the William Davidson Institute and the European Union Center, both at the University of Michigan. It will be chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is the distinguished scholar at the Davidson Institute, which studies emerging and transition economies.

The issues to be discussed include whether direct foreign investment and production facilities will move from Western Europe to Central and Eastern Europe; if European companies will become more competitive and crowd out U.S. goods; and whether Europe can unite to counterbalance U.S. global power.

Speakers include Gunter Burghardt, ambassador for the European Commission to the U.S.; Tom Usher, chairman and CEO of US Steel Corp.; Gary Litman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce's vice president for Europe and Eurasia; and Christopher Makins, president of the Atlantic Council of the United States.

Those interested in attending should contact Kelly Janiga at the William Davidson Institute at (734)763-5020 or

For more information, contact:
Dan Shine
Phone: (734)615-4563