Guest Lecture of Lee A. Brudvig – Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Vienna

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International Business Management

On Friday, November 14th, 2014 Mr. Lee A. Brudvig – Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Austria – gave an interesting speech at CUAS on the topic of „The importance of the transatlantic relations and evolving challenges for the EU, OSCE and NATO with special emphasis on the economy”.

Mr. Brudvig highlighted the strong relationship between the European Union countries and the US. He especially emphasized the 3 pillars on which the good relations between the US and European countries are based, the European Union, the NATO and the OSCD, and the positive impacts and growing prosperity for both – the US and the EU – that can be achieved when both sides continue standing together in future.

He additionally referred to the importance of Austria within the relationship between the US and EU countries by highlighting the favorable strategic location of Austria as a gateway between Eastern and Western European countries.

Throughout his speech Mr. Brudvig referred to a time clock to highlight how the world economy and relationships between the US and the EU used to be in the past, how they are at presence and how he sees the development and changes in the years to come. He made a very interesting comparison between the economic and political situation in 1999 and nowadays. Mr. Brudvig pointed out that the circumstances have remarkably changed within this period of roughly 15 years. Nowadays countries and politicians would be faced with “a very different world” in comparison to earlier times. (e.g. through the threat of international terrorism or the increasing power of BRICS countries) 

However, even though the challenges countries are globally faced with have become much more complex, they tend to still work with institutions from the past. Brudvig thus sees the adaption of institutions to the changed global circumstances as one of the main challenges for the future.

The maintenance of the strong ties between the US and the EU and the close relationship based on mutual trust are crucial components in order to overcome the challenges and solve the problems that might arise in the future.

After his speech, the interactive part of the guest lecture involved discussions between Mr. Brudvig and the interested audience. The listeners very much appreciated Mr. Brudvig’s honest and direct way of responding even to critical questions.

Mr. Brudvig closed his speech with following words from Albert Einstein:

“Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep the balance, you have to keep moving."