PS21 Update Week Ending April 15

A couple of great events coming up next week, particularly one on European energy security in Washington DC on Tuesday and Wednesday’s joint networking drinks in London with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.

In London this week, Gwenn Laine chaired an excellent discussion on social media and politics in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In Washington, meanwhile, I moderated a discussion on the various drivers and potential implications of Brexit. You can watch the latter here.

The conclusion of the latter were interesting. Jonn Elledge, literally just off the plane from London, concluded that he still thought the UK would stay — but, like Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson, he believed the eventual results would be as much down to turnout as anything else. Essentially, those committed to leaving the EU are likely to vote. Those who want to stay in may be rather less so.

Former senior EU official Sir Michael Leigh explained how he felt a Brexit could further complicate the multiple other challenges facing the European project while Robbie Gramer from Atlantic Council said the whole story fitted nicely into the growing American feeling that Europe was simply falling apart. More broadly, though, the whole saga was seen yet another sign of popular discontent with the way the world is going and globalization in particular, in many ways Britain’s equivalent of Donald Trump.

Also on the PS 21 website this week, Helen Mason imagines Latin America in 2030. My weekly column this week, meanwhile, looks at the recent arrest of a Chinese-American naval officer for spying and the way in which human espionage seems to be surviving even in the computer age.

Many thanks as always and look forward to seeing some of you at the events below,


Peter Apps

Executive Director, PS21



Europe’s Energy Security

Tuesday, April 19, 6 PM. Thomson Reuters, 1333 H St. NW. Washington DC

From worries about Russia to the collapse of global energy prices and the rise of renewables, what will Europe’s energy security picture look like in the years to come? This event will be contacted under Chatham House rules.

Peter Apps [moderator] — global affairs columnist, Reuters

Roric McCorristin supports the development of renewable energy as the basis of a sustainable, decarbonized economy. Until recently he was Program Director for “The Transatlantic Energy and Climate Network” at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, Roric spent seven years as a Parliamentary Assistant at the European Parliament in Brussels. He is a graduate of The George Washington University and holds a B.A. in Political Science and German Language and Literature.

Patricia Schouker is an energy analyst based in Washington D.C.
As a member of Chatham House in London, she worked at Le Figaro in Paris and was a parliamentary assistant and attaché at the French National Assembly. While working for a petrochemical company in London she wrote her thesis on U.S Foreign Policy towards Terrorism after 9/11 focusing on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Patricia’s main interests and international research worldwide are within the scope of energy security, global energy market studies and geopolitical risk. She also writes for Pipeline Oil and Gas Magazine in Dubai, Foreign Policy Association Blog and Oxford University’s Department of Politics and International Relations. She often gives interviews for the Swiss Public Broadcast RTS on energy security in the Middle East.

Thomas Lambert entered the Belgian Foreign Service in 1998 before working in the Belgian delegations to the United Nations, World Trade Organization and European Union. Thomas joined the Private Office of the then Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Karel De Gucht in 2007, as deputy chief of staff, with specific responsibilities on EU policy and trade policy in particular. The year 2009 brought him back to New York for a four year assignment as deputy Permanent Representative for Belgium to the United Nations. And in 2013, he drove down south along the I-95 to take up his position as deputy Chief of Mission at the Belgian embassy to the United States. His first responsibilities are with economic matters, ranging from energy related issues over promoting Belgian interests in the US, to the transatlantic trade negotiations (TTIP).

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London networking drinks with YPFP

Wednesday, April 20, 2015, 6:30 PM. Blue Boar restaurant, London SW1

We are pleased to be partnering with the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) on our April networking drinks. PS21 and YPFP are delighted to invite you to drinks at the Blue Boar where we are looking forward to discussing current events such as the US election, Brexit and other contemporary issues.

For more information on YPFP, please visit their website

You can sign up for the event here.


Putin’s Russia and America’s take on Europe

Wednesday, April 27, 2015, 5:30 PM. Whitehall

A discussion in the heart of Whitehall with Fiona Hill, former US national intelligence officer for Russia, author of “Mr. Putin — Operative in the Kremlin” and head of the Europe program at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC.

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The Future of Europe in a Time of Crises

Thursday, April 28, 2015, 6 PM. Location TBC

From the migration crisis to militant attacks and Britain’s Brexit vote, a resurgent Russia to ongoing issues with the single currency, Europe faces more challenges that any point in its recent history. What does the immediate future have in store for the continent and how, if at all, can it overcome its issues?  In conjunction with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.

Tom Beasley [moderator] — company secretary, PS21

Gwenn Laine — a former French Navy officer, now PS21 global fellow

Holder Schmieding –– Berenberg Economics

Marina Prentoulis — University of East Anglia. Spokeswoman, Greece’s Syriza party

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