Colleagues: The selection of the new British PM (2nd female!) and the failed coup in Turkey give added importance to this timely discussion! Please join us!
This is the final announcement for the most timely presentation on….
BREXIT AND THE EU
So Just what is this “European Union” the Brits Decided to Leave?
COL. RALF VARGAS (USA, Ret.)
Former official in the NATO Diplomatic Headquarters
with a commentary by Dr. Jerry O’Driscoll
The Ramada, Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 9:00 a.m.
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) is already threatening to unravel a democratic bloc of nations that has coexisted peacefully and prosperously for decades. But now the post-1945 order imposed on the world by the U.S. and its allies is unraveling. Britain’s retreat into “Little England” is maybe just the first of many “exits” from the EU (and possibly NATO) by a number of European countries.
Slow economic growth and, especially, what some see as rampant immigration of peoples with very different religious, cultural and political orientations, drove the Brexit vote and could lead to similar exit decisions by other nations. Populism has replaced a shared, common identity; resentment against foreign ideologies and religions has grown while a commitment to a “common identity” is fading; decades of lowering of trade barriers is giving way to increased calls for protectionism; and the fragile entity known as the EU is in danger of collapsing.
Not surprisingly, many of us were/are unsure of just what the EU is, and how membership differs from, say, NATO, or the European Community. They are quite different, as Ralf Vargas will explain in his presentation. Vargas notes that right after the UK vote, the most “Googled” question in Britain was, “What is the EU?” Ralf will provide us with a brief history of the EU, its current organization and how it is governed, and potential future expansion—or shrinkage. Does the BREXIT portend a Grexit? A Frexit? A Nexit? Or, given that polls in the UK now indicate if the vote were taken today, “Remain” would win handily! So will the Brits in the two years that negotiations will take place before an exit can occur decide to reverse that decision?
Ralf Vargas retired as a U.S. Army Colonel after 30 years of service, with 16 years in overseas assignments, culminating in his appointment as Chief of the NATO Situation Center in Brussels. He lectures across the globe, focusing on topics related to the “Changing Face of Europe” and the EU. Dr. Jerry O’Driscoll is a former senior official in the Federal Reserve and a Fellow at the CATO Foundation.
Please join us for what will be a very interesting discussion. A full breakfast will be served ($15 Members, $25 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII Veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee and conversation.
You are encouraged to RSVP by clicking HERE. You may also RSVP by e-mailing email@example.com. Just a reminder, after the forum, we will be accepting new and renewal membership applications for the July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 period. Forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking HERE. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.