CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN COALITION


POLICY BRIEF


Spring 2016 (last updated May 26)


The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), representing more than 20 million Americans, regularly issues Policy Papers to share concerns and ideas with the United States Congress and Administration.


UKRAINE

  • Support the creation of a Center for Information Analysis and Response, which would lead and coordinate the collection and analysis of information on foreign government information warfare efforts (S. 2692, H.R. 5181).
  • Assist military and national security forces of Ukraine, and provide defensive weapons to the government of Ukraine and other East European countries

(H.R. 955).

  • Enact Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act (H.R. 93).
  • Provide assistance to Ukraine for fulfillment of economic, social, and government reform requirements (S. 1635, 172, H.R. 2772).
  • Demand withdrawal of covert and overt Russian forces and equipment from Ukraine and compliance with cease-fire agreements.
  • Strengthen sanctions as necessary to achieve compliance with cease-fire agreements and withdrawal of covert and overt Russian forces and equipment from Ukraine as set forth in (S. 1356).
  • Demand that the President provide Ukraine with defensive equipment, services, and training in order to counter offensive weapons and reestablish its sovereignty and territorial integrity (H.R. 5859, enacted on December 18, 2014).
  • Enact Stability and Democracy (STAND) for Ukraine Act (H.R. 5094), which clarifies the position of the United States on Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, tightens sanctions on Russia, and drives new innovations to provide support for Ukraine.

NATO AND SECURITY IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

  • Support territorial integrity of Georgia (H.Res. 660).
  • Support NATO membership for aspiring qualified CEE countries (H.Res. 56).
  • Increase spending for NATO operations through the U.S. Department of Defense appropriations bill.
  • Establish permanent NATO bases in the Baltic countries and Poland to provide increased training and weaponry.

VISA WAIVER PROGRAM AND IMMIGRATION REFORM

  • Enact legislation to modify the Visa Waiver Program to include dependable U.S. allies, such as Poland (H.R. 1401).
  • Support reform of immigration laws that offer a pathway to citizenship. 

DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, THE RULE OF LAW, AND THE INFORMATION WAR

  • Enact the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (H.R. 624).
  • Ensure that Magnitsky Act sanctions against the Putin regime are fully implemented. The United States should closely monitor human rights and corruption issues in the Russian Federation as required by the Magnitsky Act.
  • Ensure that U.S. international broadcasting and social media efforts effectively counter Russian disinformation, and support freedom of the press (S. 2517, S.Res. 152, H.R. 2323, H.R. 2242).
  • Call on the President to work toward equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations based upon the Republic of Turkey's full acknowledgment of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide, and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity (H.Res. 154).
  • Promote democracy by supporting minority rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and combating manifestations of intolerance, such as anti-Semitism.

U.S. ASSISTANCE TO AND PROMOTION OF REGIONAL DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE

  • Join the Congressional Caucus on Central and East Europe.
  • Enhance FMF and IMET funding levels for CEE countries.
  • Support robust funding for the countries of Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, and continued assistance to promote democracy in Belarus.
  • Maintain funding for educational and cultural exchange programs. 

TRADE AND ECONOMIC INTEGRATION

  • Support U.S. policies that strengthen the ability of CEE countries to better integrate into Western institutions (S. 1725, S. 995, S. 2130, S. 1890, S. 2772).
  • Monitor TTIP negotiations to ensure that the agreement mutually benefits the United States and the countries of the CEE region (H.Res. 73).

ENERGY

  • Enact legislation to facilitate the LNG export procedures, enhance energy security and transparency of transactions in CEE countries (S. 33, S.1237, S. 1247, H.R. 89, H.R. 287).
  • Take action to reduce dependence on energy supplies from Russia.
  • Support development and export of clean energy technology to CEE countries (H.R. 1175).

BLACK RIBBON DAY 

  • Enact legislation to designate August 23rd as Black Ribbon Day to honor those who lost their lives, were tortured or deported, lost their property or otherwise suffered under the ravages of the Soviet communist and Nazi regimes.




CEEC Policy Seminar on 
"NATO's Stance on Russia - Vision or Reaction?"

Opening Remarks: Marju Rink-Abel, Estonian American National Council
Keynote Address: Dr. Michael Carpenter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Speakers:
Kurt Volker, McCain Institute, former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO
Mindaugas Zickus, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Lithuania
Damian Murphy, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 
Moderator: Mamuka Tsereteli, Georgian Association in the U.S.A.
 
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Discussion
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Reception 
Dirksen Senate Office Building - room 106

To RSVP:
ceecoalition@gmail.com or jbanc@jbanc.org




2016 CEEC PRESIDENTIAL QUESTIONNAIRE

In March, the CEEC reached out to the 2016 presidential campaigns and sent them the CEEC Presidential Questionnaire covering questions of importance to the Central and Eastern European communities in the United States. 

 Presidential Questionnaire

2016

 

 The Central and East European Coalition is comprised of 18 national membership organizations that represent more than 22 million Americans who trace their heritage to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We are keenly interested in issues that affect the stability and well-being of the region, U.S. strategic interests in the region, and our American constituencies. 

    1.  As President, what would your strategy be to deal with Russian aggression in Ukraine and threats in Central and Eastern Europe?  What options would you employ to achieve Russia?s withdrawal from lands it unlawfully controls, such as Crimea, eastern Ukraine, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria?
    2. What is your position on the current sanctions against Russia? 
    3. How do you view NATO?s role in countering Russian aggression? What is your position on maintaining U.S. /NATO equipment and troops permanently in the CEE region? Please provide specifics.
    4. Do you favor NATO enlargement to include countries such as Georgia and Ukraine? 
    5. What is your position on the Visa Waiver Program?s possible expansion to include other CEE countries, such as Poland?
    6. What is your position on U.S. assistance to ensure energy security in the CEE region?
    7. What is your position on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?

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CEEC CAPITOL HILL BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

The region of Central and Eastern Europe is currently experiencing stress from a number of sources.  The most serious one is that the peace and stability attained after the collapse of the Soviet Union are again severely threatened.  Events in Ukraine are the most visible, but they are by far not the only troubling developments.  The goals of building and sustaining democracy require ongoing implementation of economic and political reforms, such as fighting corruption. The current situation in Central and Eastern Europe is of major concern to Americans of Central and East European descent.  The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) is an alliance of U.S.-based ethnic organizations representing over 20 million such Americans.  

A number of Members of Congress and their staffs have recently visited the region. The CEEC is organizing a briefing session in the Capitol Visitor Center, on September 16, 2015, during which Members and staff have been asked to share their thoughts about visits to the region ? why it was important to make the visits, with whom they met, what were their impressions, what was accomplished, what follow-up is expected, etc.  Thus, we kindly invite you to attend.

The briefing session will begin at 4:45 p.m. and will last till 6 p.m.  The briefing will take place in CVC (House) Room 200.  Constituents from various CEEC organizations will be in attendance to ask questions and add their views.

For further information and to RSVP, please contact Michael Sawkiw, Jr., Director at the Ukrainian National Information Service (unis@ucca.org, tel. 202-547-0018), or Karl Altau, Managing Director, Joint Baltic American National Committee (jbanc@jbanc.org, tel. 301-340-1954).

Sincerely,

Karl Altau

On Behalf of the Central and East European Coalition


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CEEC Spring 2015 Policy Paper is published!

  CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN COALITION

The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), representing more than 20 million Americans, regularly issues Policy Papers to share concerns and ideas with the United States Congress and Administration. The current paper covers issues of interest during the 114th Congress and its First Session in 2015. It was issued in advance of the CEEC's congressional Advocacy Day on April 16th.

The CEEC's 2015 (114th Congress) Policy Paper:  CEEC 2015 SpringPolicyPaper FINAL.pdf 


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The region of Central and Eastern Europe is currently experiencing stress from a number of sources.  The most serious one is that the peace and stability attained after the collapse of the Soviet Union are again severely threatened.  Events in Ukraine are the most visible, but they are by far not the only troubling developments.  The goals of building and sustaining democracy require ongoing implementation of economic and political reforms, such as fighting corruption. The current situation in Central and Eastern Europe is of major concern to Americans of Central and East European descent.  The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) is an alliance of U.S.-based ethnic organizations representing over 20 million such Americans.  

A number of Members of Congress and their staffs have recently visited the region. The CEEC is organizing a briefing session in the Capitol Visitor Center, on September 16, 2015, during which Members and staff have been asked to share their thoughts about visits to the region – why it was important to make the visits, with whom they met, what were their impressions, what was accomplished, what follow-up is expected, etc.  Thus, we kindly invite you to attend.

The briefing session will begin at 4:45 p.m. and will last till 6 p.m.  The briefing will take place in CVC (House) Room 200.  Constituents from various CEEC organizations will be in attendance to ask questions and add their views.

For further information and to RSVP, please contact Michael Sawkiw, Jr., Director at the Ukrainian National Information Service (unis@ucca.org, tel. 202-547-0018), or Karl Altau, Managing Director, Joint Baltic American National Committee (jbanc@jbanc.org, tel. 301-340-1954).

Sincerely,

Karl Altau
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On Behalf of the Central and East European Coalition

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