Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July...From the European Union and Stockholm!

All of us in Denver wish the readers of this blog a Happy (but a bit belated) 4th of July! And we aren't the only ones wishing you the best.

Our program's "man" in Stockholm, Marcus Oscarsson, was featured on a national news show for Sweden's TV4 yesterday. Marcus, who some of you may be familiar with if you've taken "European Union Environmental Law & Policy" from me, joined a roundtable discussion about this 4th of July and America's mood as perceived from a European perspective.

And for those of you who don't know Marcus, let me tell you a little about him. Marcus and I became acquainted nearly 10 years ago when he was an intern at the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in Denver. That year, to be precise in the spring of 2001, Sweden's government was serving as the president of the EU and Marcus helped arrange for me -- recently returned from several years working in the EU -- to speak to the Denver group. Since then, we have become fast friends and he has helped me in my numerous offerings of "EU Law & Policy" and "EU Environmental Law & Policy."

For the next six months, Marcus is part of the Swedish government's EU presidency. This is a particularly important six months for the EU for many reasons, not least of which is that Sweden will lead the EU's delegation to the U.N. sponsored climate change talks in Copenhagen in December. In this role, Sweden (in collaboration with its other 26 EU member states) will likely take an ambitious position vis-a-vis where future global climate change policy will go. (It is worth noting that Sweden, and its impressive government and group of civil servants, is perhaps the most admired and respected holder of the EU presidency, which is rotated among the EU's member states.)  But this is getting a bit far afield from commenting about our program's great friend in Stockholm and the EU.

This coming semester (which begins in mid-August) I will be teaching "EU Law & Policy," and Marcus will most likely speak to the class from Sweden about the Swedish EU presidency.  Of course I would prefer to take the entire class right to Stockholm, but there is the slight matter of cost to do so...

If you check out the video link, Marcus is the one on the right-side of the panel.  Oh, and one more thing -- the video is all in Swedish so for those (like me) who don't speak Swedish, it may be a bit difficult (but not impossible) to follow!

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