Ambassador Sondland brings together U.S. and European leaders to advance Transatlantic Relations

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland brings together U.S. and European leaders to advance Transatlantic Relations; Jared Kushner, Jay Leno, President Zelenskyy and others attend

June 5, 2019
Brussels, Belgium

On June 4, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland hosted the U.S. Independence Day event at Autoworld, celebrating the 243rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence for over 700 guests from government, the diplomatic corps, the media, and civil society. The night featured remarks by the Ambassador and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, as well as performances by Emmy award-winning comedian Jay Leno and the SHAPE International Band, the musical representative of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

In his remarks, Ambassador Sondland thanked HRVP Mogherini for her contributions to the transatlantic relationship, calling her a “consummate diplomat” and “special friend.” The Ambassador spoke of the unbreakable bond between the United States and the European Union, and how we “are more effective than ever in providing security and prosperity to all our citizens. In spite of our relatively minor, though headline-grabbing, differences, this is a relationship that delivers results for ourselves and others.” The Ambassador lauded our “shared economic prosperity has led to a transatlantic economy that is arguably the most integrated on Earth.” The event was supported by the generous sponsorship of many of the American and European companies that have helped create the 16 million jobs linked to the transatlantic economic relationship.

At the conclusion of the event, the Ambassador hosted a dinner for senior U.S. and European leaders to discuss how to achieve results on shared transatlantic interests, including European energy independence and support for Ukraine’s democracy and Euroatlantic integration. In addition to HRVP Mogherini, European leaders who joined Ambassador Sondland included President of Poland Andrzej Duda; President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky; Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze; Prime Minister of Romania Viorica Dăncilă; Vice Prime Minister of Romania Ana Birchall; Belgian Interior Minister Pieter De Crem; President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani; European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for European Integration Olena Zerkal; and the Commander of NATO Special Operations Headquarters Vice Admiral Colin Kilrain.

Senior U.S. leaders in attendance included Secretary of Energy Rick Perry; Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner; Counselor of the Department of State Ulrich Brechbuhl; Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker; Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium Ronald Gidwitz; and Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher.

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Visit our Flickr account for photos of the U.S. Independence Day event at Autoworld, and the Independence Day dinner for U.S. and European leaders.