On April 7, Parkland will play host to a dignitary of the European Union, stationed in Washington, DC.
As part of his visit to the University of Illinois, Mr. Damien Levie, head of the Trade and Agriculture Section of the EU Delegation to the US, will be spending the afternoon at Parkland where he will meet administration and faculty, tour campus, and deliver a public talk on the relationship between the EU and agriculture in central Illinois. His talk will take place from 1 to 2 p.m. in room U140.
Hailing from Belgium, home of the EU’s capital, Mr. Levie earned law degrees from KU Leuven (Belgium) and the University of Chicago, as well as an economics degree from UC Louvain (Belgium). His section works closely with the US Government and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to coordinate trade, investment, and agriculture policies between the US and EU. Prior to his current posting, Mr. Levie served as a deputy chief negotiator on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), served in the cabinets of the EU Trade Commissioner and EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, worked on economic development policy in Africa and chemical regulation in Europe, and before joining the European Commission was a lawyer in Brussels and New York.
Devised in the wake of the Second World War by French and German statesmen to ensure the two European powers didn’t enter a fourth war against each other, the European Union began as an economic cooperative. Since then, the EU has grown from 6 to 28 members, turning it into the world’s largest and most advanced economy, and the United States’ single largest trading partner. Its global reach has enhanced free trade, human rights standards, and democracy around the world. While it is a continent away, the politics and policies of the EU affect international and domestic business and agriculture for Americans.
Mr. Levie’s visit to Parkland College is arranged and sponsored by the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, a US Department of Education Title VI-funded center.
[Chris Jackson is an international admissions advisor for Parkland Admissions and Records.]